Revealing Disparities: Black Americans Overlooked in National Financial Recovery, Report Finds

Revealing Disparities: Black Americans Overlooked in National Financial Recovery, Report Finds

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies has released a report detailing the current state of the financial lives of Black Americans, concluding that there have been too few improvements even as the country’s economy has begun to recover.

In “Pessimism and Hope: A Survey of the Financial Status and Aspirations of Black Americans,” The Joint Center found that more than 57 percent of Black Americans have credit card debt, about 32 percent have student loan debt, and over 28 percent have mortgage debt, according to the NNPA/Black Press of America.

The Joint Center, founded in 1970 to “lend a hand to Black leaders as they traveled the uncharted road from civil rights activism to the political establishment,” also found that about one-third of Black Americans report having more debt than they feel is manageable, leading to increased stress and financial concerns.

“By collecting and analyzing new data on Black Americans specifically, we gain insights into the economic well-being of Black communities — and, therefore, the combined national economy — in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jessica Fulton, vice president of policy for the Joint Center, said in a news release. “Our findings will serve public and private sector decision-makers committed to connecting more Americans to economic opportunities, especially those focused on financial well-being and wealth building.”

The research also suggests that most Black Americans’ financial goals revolve around meeting their most basic needs as well as more immediate goals, according to NNPA/Black Press of America. Eighty percent of Black adults name not living paycheck to paycheck, not worrying about monthly bills, and being able to maintain an emergency fund as part of their chief financial desires.

Also, the outlet reported, nearly half of Black Americans earning $60,000 or more annually reported having a good or very good credit score; only 16 percent of Black Americans who make $30,000 or less per year, reported having good or very good credit scores.