New Minority-Owned Company to Market College Student Loans to Blacks

Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, is launching a new business that will concentrate on making loans to African-American, minority, and low-income college students. The new firm, UTB Education Finance, will be partially owned by Goldman Sachs.

The company will offer loans to all college students at rates comparable to other loan companies. But UTB will concentrate its marketing efforts on groups that traditionally have been reluctant to borrow to finance higher education. As a minority-owned firm, UTB believes it will have an edge in marketing its services to black and other minority students, many of whom tend to have a great mistrust of white-controlled financial institutions.

UTB plans to start making loans for the spring 2007 semester.