Senior Department of Education Official to Discuss Link Between Education and Financial Literacy at African American Festival in Baltimore

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Khalilah Harris, deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, will participate in a panel discussion on financial empowerment at the African American Festival in Baltimore, Maryland. The festival, hosted by Black Enterprise, will take place on Saturday, June 20. During the panel—"Impact of Debt in the African American Community"—Harris will discuss how education can influence attitudes and behaviors toward money management and financial literacy. She also will share information on the U.S. Department of Education's tools for reducing student debt.

The U.S. Department of Education has undertaken several new initiatives to help borrowers manage their debt and repay their loans. In addition to the financial aid counseling tool, there also is extensive financial aid information on, including details on flexible loan repayment plans, which allow borrowers to repay their loans based on their income. Last year, President Obama directed Secretary Duncan to allow all federal student loan borrowers to cap their monthly payment amounts at 10 percent of their monthly income. We've begun to put that directive into effect, with the goal of making the new plan available to borrowers next year. And thanks to a wide variety of outreach efforts, more than 2.5 million Direct Loan borrowers are currently enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan.

President Obama also created the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability to promote and enhance financial literacy and capability among the American people. The Council is tasked with a number of important charges, including advising the President on financial education efforts; promoting financial products and services that are beneficial to consumers, especially low- and moderate-income consumers; and promoting understanding of the effective use of such products and services.