In 2018, Black certified financial planners comprised only 1.5% of all certified financial planners in the U.S. This low number is problematic because it shows a lack of diversity in financial planning. Black financial experts bring different life experiences to their jobs, providing clients with rich guidance and various viewpoints.
Here, we introduce 10 Black financial experts to follow for advice about paying for college and paying off student loans. Alphabetized by last name, our list particularly highlights Black experts who specialize in financial advice for Black students and new professionals.
Named one of the top financial advisors for millennials and a changemaker of the year, Dominique Broadway makes financial planning easier with her site Finances Demystified. Broadway focuses on helping college students, young professionals, and new families build their savings and increase their financial literacy.
Finances Demystified offers blog posts on student loans, a podcast to demystify finances, and dozens of resources to save money even while in school. Broadway also hosts a happy hour series and promotes the “Social Money Movement” to encourage people to talk about money and finances.
Chris Browning holds a finance degree and works as a financial analyst. He also loves sharing his personal finance knowledge on his Popcorn Finance podcasts. Browning aims to make finance topics simple and understandable. He wants to improve listeners’ knowledge in the time it takes to make a bag of popcorn.
Browning’s multiple podcast series, including Investing 101 and the Side Hustle Series, cover core financial planning information. He also offers a Back To School Series with tips on saving for college, finding scholarships, and taking out student loans. Podcast listeners can submit questions directly to Browning.
Marcus Garrett and Rich Jones
In 2013, Marcus Garrett and Rich Jones started the Paychecks & Balances podcast to share expert financial advice and provide accessible resources. Jones strives to make personal finance easy to understand and explains that money does not need to be complicated.
Paychecks & Balances encourages people to reach their financial goals, whether that means saving for school or having more money to travel. Jones also promotes diversity by bringing in a range of expert voices to the site and podcast. Readers can visit the blog or the site’s resources page to learn more about personal finance.
Talaat and Tai McNeely
Talaat and Tai McNeely, the couple behind His & Her Money, blend money and marriage advice. Early in their marriage, their different money philosophies left the pair $30,000 in debt. Tai paid off that debt in a single year, and now the McNeelys share their expertise in podcasts, videos, and articles on His & Her Money.
They offer tools to manage money, make money, and save money, geared toward people at different life stages. For example, their podcast offers tips on winning scholarships, graduating debt-free, and getting out of debt after college. The McNeelys also provide their perspective on marriage, family, and faith.
Tonya Rapley brands herself as the millennial money expert. Rapley helps millennials eliminate debt and become financially free. In her Banish The Balance challenge, Rapley helped more than 4,000 participants pay off over $200,000 in debt in just two months. She also founded My Fab Finance, a resource to help people break out of paycheck-to-paycheck living.
At My Fab Finance, visitors can pick up Rapley’s free Financial Success Bundle, which includes a budgeting calendar, debt-repayment tracker, and financial check-up. They can also read Rapley’s blog, which covers debt, finances, and credit.
Choncé Maddox Rhea
Choncé Maddox Rhea is a certified financial education instructor with personal experience in paying off debt. In 2013, she was a single mother struggling to meet basic expenses. Within a few years, she turned it around and paid off her debt. Rhea founded My Debt Epiphany to help millennials and members of Gen Z pay off debt. She also offers tailored advice for recent college grads to set them up for financial success.
Rhea’s blog offers tips on building financial awareness, embracing a frugal lifestyle, and eliminating unnecessary expenses. Readers can also learn about side hustle opportunities, review Rhea’s guide to budgeting, and save money with many frugal living tips.
Courtney Richardson founded The Ivy Investor in 2014 to help women learn about the investment world. An attorney and former investment advisor, Richardson breaks down college savings, investment strategies, and the stock market.
The Ivy Investor offers classes and events to build investment skills. For example, students can register for classes on investing in mutual funds, increasing their income streams, and planning for retirement. Learners can also register for one-on-one coaching. Richardson’s blog keeps readers current on finance news, savings opportunities, and stock information.
When Michelle Singletary is not writing her column for The Washington Post, she finds other ways to share her expertise. This financial advisor and award-winning financial journalist has written three books on money management and financial planning. Singletary, who was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, offers advice on personal finance, credit, debt, and student loans in her column that appears in more than 100 newspapers.
Singletary also provides financial resources on her website geared around topics like college help, loans, saving, and financial planning. In 2006, a panel of self-improvement book judges said, “Michelle Singletary’s work illustrates a range of writing that is both approachable and explanatory.”
Kara Stevens successfully paid off more than $65,000 in student loan and consumer debt. This experience inspired her to found The Frugal Feminista to help Black women manage their money. Stevens focuses on more than debt and savings by emphasizing personal growth.
Stevens brings a track record of helping thousands of women through her teaching and coaching. In addition to helping women eliminate debt and increase their net worth, Stevens emphasizes building financial confidence and overcoming personal challenges. As a result, The Frugal Feminista brings together financial education and personal development. The Frugal Feminista also publishes articles on rebuilding credit, minimalism, and paying off student loan debt.
Financial advisor Dasarte Yarnway, the founder and managing director of Berkness Financial Group, focuses on helping millennials build wealth. As a millennial-led financial services firm, Berkness offers financial planning, investment management, and estate planning services. The financial group operates on a fee-only basis to make the process straightforward.
Yarnway created the Young Money Podcast to share his insights with listeners. His blog and books build on the podcast to share expertise on wealth design and financial management. A financial thought leader, Yarnway was named to the Investment News 40 under 40 list in 2020.
Other Financial Resources
- Meaning of HBCUs Historically Black Colleges and Universities HBCUs play an important part in higher education. Learn more about the history of HBCUs and their role in closing the racial wealth gap.
- College Scholarships for Black Students Check out college scholarships for Black students earning an undergraduate or graduate degree. Our guide also provides tips on applying for scholarships.
- Scholarships for Historically Black Colleges and Universities Students attending HBCUs benefit from many scholarship opportunities. Our list brings together 50 scholarships for HBCU students.
Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and earned tenure as a history professor at the University of Louisville. An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a freelance writer and consultant.
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