Bennett College president Suzanne Walsh at first ignored the email that would lead to cancellation of nearly 500 overdue bills at her North Carolina college. "People just don't reach out and say we can help your students pay off their debts," she thought. But the Debt Collective, a union of debtors rallying against consumer debt, wasn't joking. After the initial conversation, the group arranged to buy $1.7 million in unpaid student balances and then canceled it. This means students no longer have to pay off any debts owed to the school and all will be able to access their academic records and thus be able to continue their educations. Debt Collective spokesman Braxton Brewington said Black women on average have higher student loan balances than any other group of borrowers. "These are the people that are really taking the brunt of the student debt crisis." The debt cleared does not include federal student loans.

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