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Biden-Harris Administration Approves an Additional $4.9 Billion in Student Debt Relief
The Biden-Harris Administration announced today the approval of an additional $4.9 billion in student loan debt relief for 73,600 borrowers. These discharges are the outcome of fixes implemented by the Administration to income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Today’s announcement brings the total loan forgiveness approved by the Biden-Harris Administration to $136.6 billion for over 3.7 million Americans.
“The Biden-Harris Administration has tirelessly worked to rectify our country’s broken student loan system and address the unnecessary obstacles and administrative inaccuracies that previously prevented borrowers from receiving the student debt forgiveness they deserved,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The additional debt relief of nearly $5 billion that we announced today will benefit teachers, social workers, and other public servants who have earned Public Service Loan Forgiveness, as well as borrowers who qualify for income-driven repayment forgiveness because their payments are now being accurately accounted for. Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are approving this loan forgiveness while continuing our efforts to provide even greater debt relief and assist more borrowers in achieving loan forgiveness through our new, affordable SAVE repayment plan.”
The debt relief announced today is divided into the following categories:
$1.7 billion for 29,700 borrowers through administrative adjustments to IDR payment counts that have brought borrowers closer to forgiveness and address long-standing concerns with the misuse of forbearance by loan servicers. Including today’s announcement, the Biden-Harris Administration has now approved $45.7 billion in IDR relief for 930,500 borrowers.
$3.2 billion for 43,900 borrowers through PSLF. This includes borrowers who have benefited from the Biden-Harris Administration’s limited PSLF waiver as well as regulatory improvements made to the program by the Administration. The total relief provided through PSLF now amounts to $56.7 billion for 793,400 borrowers since October 2021. Prior to the Biden-Harris Administration’s reforms to PSLF, forgiveness had only been granted to approximately 7,000 borrowers.
“Today, we are assisting borrowers who were promised help with their loans, shaped their lives around those promises, and earned forgiveness through years of payments,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal. “The Biden-Harris Administration will not rest until we have aided all those impacted by the broken student loan system.”
Continued debt relief for borrowers
Last week, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that the U.S. Department of Education (Department) is expediting additional loan forgiveness through the early implementation of the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan. Borrowers who initially borrowed $12,000 or less for college and are enrolled in the SAVE Plan will be eligible for forgiveness after as few as 10 years of payments. Those enrolled in SAVE and meeting the criteria for early forgiveness will have their debts automatically canceled starting next month, several months ahead of schedule, without any further action required.
The Department has started communicating with borrowers who may be eligible but are not yet enrolled in SAVE, encouraging them to sign up. The Department is also collaborating with its partners through the SAVE on Student Debt campaign to reach eligible borrowers and provide resources to sign up for SAVE.
Borrowers can find additional resources at StudentAid.gov and sign up for the SAVE plan at StudentAid.gov/save.
An unparalleled track record of borrower assistance
The Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic measures to alleviate the burden of student debt and ensure that student loans do not hinder opportunities for students and families. The Administration secured the largest increase to Pell Grants in a decade and finalized new regulations to safeguard borrowers from career programs that burden graduates with insurmountable debt or inadequate earnings. Moreover, in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Administration’s initial student debt relief plan, the Administration continues its efforts to pursue an alternative approach to debt relief through negotiated rulemaking under the Higher Education Act.
In addition to the relief provided through IDR and PSLF, the Biden-Harris Administration has also approved:
- $11.7 billion for nearly 513,000 borrowers with total and permanent disabilities.
- $22.5 billion for over 1.3 million borrowers who have been defrauded by their schools, have experienced sudden closures of their institutions, or are covered by related court settlements.