Chronic household debt remains a sizable barrier to financial stability and ultimately wealth building. Consequently, reducing debt is a first step to helping families get and stay on a path to financial security. Tackling Debt focuses on the types of debt that trap families and are a pervasive impediment to wealth building—education, health, or justice. The primer takes a deep look at the impact of medical debt, government fines and fees, student loan debt, and payday loans and demonstrates how its array of consequences is not spread equally; it differs by race and ethnicity.

Tackling Debt also highlights a philanthropic strategy to address debt for households in the southern U.S. The Southern Partnership to Reduce Debt (SPRD) is a multiyear, multistate effort launched by The Annie E. Casey Foundation to close the racial-ethnic wealth gap and bring financial security to households of color. Partners include the Aspen Institute, National Consumer Law Center, National League of Cities, Prosperity Now, the Urban Institute, and MDC.

For more information on the SPRD and how to get involved, contact Karen Murrell at