Financial Literacy Resources for Black Students

Financial Literacy Resources for Black Students

Across higher education, Black college students face systemic inequality when it comes to financial and college opportunities. Black students borrow more for college and pay more on their loans because it takes longer to repay them. Instead of relying on family wealth to cover college expenses, many Black students struggle to pay for their own schooling. Up to a quarter of the wealth gap between white and Black young adults comes down to student loans.

This page introduces financial literacy resources geared toward Black students. By listening to the advice of Black financial experts, students can increase their financial literacy and improve their financial outlook. We also introduce specific financial challenges Black students face, as well as resources catering to them.

Financial Factors Unique to Black Students



This section examines some of the financial factors unique to Black students. Black college students face unique circumstances when it comes to paying for college and launching their career without the burden of overwhelming debt. The racial wealth gap, higher student loan payments, and a lack of financial resources can hinder Black graduates.


  • Available Resources

    The persistent wealth gap between white Americans and Black and Latinx Americans limits the financial resources available to Black college students. While the median wealth for white families was $171,000 in 2016, according to the Center for American Progress, Latinx families had $20,700 and Black families had $17,600. This wealth gap means white families have access to financial resources that simply are not available to many Black families.

    A lack of resources means fewer financial opportunities for Black students. This also translates into higher student debt for Black college graduates. As the American Council on Education concluded in its report on student debt, “Student debt is more of a burden for African American students than for others.” For example, while 29% of the Class of 2016 graduated without debt, only 14% of Black college graduates could say the same. Around one in three Black graduates took out over $40,000 in debt, a much higher figure than the average of 18%.


  • Financial Preparation

    The racial wealth gap adds a major hurdle for Black college students. In 2016, Black families owned only one-tenth the wealth of white families, and the inequality has only grown since the Great Recession. As a result, Black households have less savings than white households, which can impact college decisions.

    This also means that white students may have greater access to advice on saving for college and graduating debt-free. White families are more likely to pay for their child’s college degree, and intergenerational wealth transfers means many white students have a leg up.

    Some families start saving for college before their baby can walk. For many Black families, that level of financial preparation simply is not possible. Instead of relying on long-term college savings investments, Black college students rely more heavily on student loans, which creates problems of its own.


  • Student Loan Debt

    In 2020, the total amount of student loan debt topped $1.6 trillion. However, student loan debt is not evenly distributed among college students. Black college graduates owe $7,400 more than white college graduates, translating into 46% higher student loans to repay. Four years after graduation, Black graduates hold nearly twice as much student loan debt as white graduates.

    Today, 44% of Black young adults must repay student loans, compared with only 35% of white young adults. This difference helps contribute to the racial wealth gap. With higher student loans, Black graduates have fewer financial options in the early years of their careers. But Black student college finances are not doomed to continue this pattern. By limiting college debt and increasing college savings, Black college students can earn a degree without the overwhelming burden of debt.


Financial Advice from Black Financial Experts



Black financial experts can help college students expand on their financial literacy and plan for their financial futures. Many of these experts became financial advisors after experiencing the challenges of repaying student loans, staying within a budget, and making sound financial decisions. Black financial experts bring personal experience when it comes to understanding the financial needs of Black college students.

While many financial advisors specialize in retirement planning and investing, learners should look for experts who focus on college students, young adults, and early career professionals. The challenges that current and recent college students face look different from the financial picture for mid-career or late-career professionals.

Fortunately, many Black financial experts share their expertise in podcasts, blogs, videos, and other free resources. By researching resources on college savings, preparing to graduate and enter the workforce, or first-time stock market investors, Black college students can take steps to secure their financial freedom. We highlight several of these experts below.

10 Financial Literacy Resources



Black college students seeking financial literacy resources can explore a variety of options. Here, we outline resources that can help students stick to a budget, secure college scholarships, and achieve financial freedom. Students should also seek out local financial resources and experts for focused information.


  • Brown Ambition A podcast from Mandi Woodruff and Tiffany Aliche, Brown Ambition provides advice on personal finance. Woodruff, the former personal finance editor at Business Insider, brings a background in finance and journalism. Aliche specializes in financial education and founded the Live Richer Challenge and Dream Catchers, which unites more than half a million women interested in personal finance. Students can listen to podcasts on student debt mistakes, student loan forgiveness, and paying for college.

  • My Fab Finance Founded by Tonya Rapley, known as the millennial money expert, My Fab Finance offers information on wealth building, financial freedom, and debt elimination. Rapley's Banish the Balance Challenge helped 4,000 people pay off over $200,000 of debt in only 60 days. At My Fab Finance, readers can learn about budgeting, debt repayment, and tracking expenses. With its focus on millennials, the site offers valuable resources for early career professionals and people paying back student debt.

  • Tay Talks Money Tay Talks Money covers money, career planning, and growing up. Its founder, Taylor, graduated from college in 2011 with no idea of how to manage money. After racking up debt, Tay committed herself to budgeting, paying off student loans, and helping other people manage their money. She calls Tay Talks Money 'your online best friend,' and offers transparent resources on building credit, financial freedom, and money management. The site covers topics like zero sum budgeting, side hustles, and fashion on a budget.

  • The Ivy Investor Investing can feel overwhelming and intimidating. Courtney Richardson, the founder of The Ivy Investor, aims to make the investment world understandable. An attorney and former stockbroker, Richardson explains college savings, retirement strategies, and the stock market in an engaging way. The Ivy Investor points readers to blog posts, videos, podcasts, and classes to strengthen their personal finance and investing knowledge. Richardson also hosts life events and offers one-on-one coaching.

  • Building Bread Kevin L. Matthews II founded Building Bread in 2010 to help millennials reach their financial goals. Today, Building Bread continues to provide personal finance advice for young adults. In addition to Building Bread, Matthews is a bestselling author and a money manager. Building Bread offers free and paid classes on investing, savings, and portfolio management. Subscribers can also receive a weekly email and two free chapters of Matthews' book.

  • Financial Literacy Initiative The National Black Church Initiative offers financial education tools through its Financial Literacy Initiative. In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, which hit Black homeowners and investors hard, this initiative emphasizes building and managing wealth. Readers can also learn about currency investment, insurance, and money management strategies. The initiative offers an online money course that covers spending program principles and gives students a money booklet, a guide to financial management.

  • Generation Wealthy Generation Wealthy creates videos and resources to empower teens, college students, and young adults. Through educational videos, the team of millennials shares personal finance tips and advice. The platform aims to teach viewers about personal finance and open a broader conversation about money. Videos on subjects like banking, credit, and employment offer foundational knowledge. In addition to videos, the site hosts blog posts about personal finance, taxes, savings, and budgeting.


  • Manage Your Damn Money with Ben & Malcolm

    With podcasts, shorts, and episodes on money management, Manage Your Damn Money provides financial education with creative flair. Hosts Ben Carter and Malcoln Ethridge, a certified financial planner, interview experts and discuss key money issues. They aim to connect financial advice to viewers’ everyday lives in an accessible way.

    Instead of stale advice, Manage Your Damn Money encourages conversations around money with a focus on millennials. The site also offers a blog on financial news, investing, and personal finances.


  • Popcorn Finance

    Chris Browning, the financial analyst behind Popcorn Finance, believes that personal finance does not need to be complicated. Browning offers financial advice in an accessible format, promising to educate podcast listeners in about the amount of time it takes to make a bag of popcorn. Browning brings his background in finance to topics like the Back to School Series, which covers everything new students need to know about scholarships, student loans, and money management in school.


  • Paychecks & Balances

    A podcast and multimedia platform, Paychecks & Balances helps millennial professionals reach financial independence. The site’s core beliefs include a commitment to making money neither complicated nor boring, embracing different definitions of financial freedom and prioritizing mental health along with financial health.

    Founder Rick Jones also argues that diversity in voices benefits money conversations, since experts with diverse backgrounds bring different perspectives. In addition to a podcast and blog, Paychecks & Balances provides a list of trusted resources.


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