$5 billion in student debt relief allocated for long-time borrowers and public servants

President Joe Biden has given his approval for an additional 74,000 borrowers to receive student loan relief, resulting in the forgiveness of $4.9 billion in debt.

The relief is specifically targeted towards borrowers who have been enrolled in income-driven repayment plans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The changes made by the Education Department to these programs, influenced in part by a nonpartisan watchdog report, have led to this latest round of relief.

This latest action by President Biden is in line with previous instances of loan forgiveness he has granted and showcases his determination to provide more targeted relief, despite facing criticism from the Supreme Court regarding his initial relief plan last summer.

Regarding the relief, President Biden stated, “I won’t back down from using every tool at our disposal to get student loan borrowers the relief they need to reach their dreams.”

For 29,700 borrowers in income-driven repayment plans, their repayment timelines were reassessed, resulting in $1.7 billion in loan forgiveness. Those borrowers who had been making loan payments for more than two decades automatically qualified for full forgiveness following the adjustment.

An additional $3.2 billion went to 43,900 borrowers enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which is designed for public servants. Many of these borrowers also had their repayment timelines shortened through federal government reassessment of their payments.

Over the past few months, the administration has been working on readjusting the accounts of borrowers in income-driven repayment plans and reassessing payments made by Public Service Loan Forgiveness borrowers. The Education Department has been gradually notifying borrowers of these changes. In the month of October alone, 125,000 borrowers received $9 billion in loan forgiveness, followed by another $5 billion for approximately 80,000 borrowers last month.

Experts believe that the Biden administration has strategically prioritized student loan relief as part of their political calculation to strengthen their chances of reelection in November.