Biden Administration Forgives Another $7.4 Billion in Student Debt

Biden Administration Forgives Another $7.4 Billion in Student Debt


President Joe Biden on Friday announced another round of student loan forgiveness, part of a piecemeal effort that has seen $153 billion in debt erased for 4.3 million borrowers.

The latest round of forgiveness involves about 277,000 debtors who have $7.4 billion in outstanding loans, the White House said.

About 200,000 of the debtors have loans of less than $12,000 and are currently enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education Plan, known as SAVE, an income-driven repayment plan that was rolled out last August. Others receiving loan forgiveness include teachers, librarians and public safety workers who qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, as well as a group of borrowers who have benefited from administrative adjustments made to their income-driven repayment accounts.

The Biden administration said loan forgiveness is intended to provide relief to people saddled with burdensome payments, especially those who were eligible for forgiveness but have not received it due to the poor design and execution of various repayment programs. “Today we are helping 277,000 borrowers who have been making payments on their student loans for at least a decade,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal. “They have paid what they can afford, and they have earned loan forgiveness for the balance of their loan.”

Comments by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona pointed to a broader theme of general relief from burdensome educational debt – a message the White House hopes will help with younger voters in the fall election. “Today’s announcement shows—once again—that the Biden-Harris Administration is not letting up its efforts to give hardworking Americans some breathing room,” Cardona said. “As long as there are people with overwhelming student loan debt competing with basic needs such as food and healthcare, we will remain relentless in our pursuit to bring relief to millions across the country.”

The White House noted that today’s loan forgiveness comes days after the announcement of a proposal that would reduce student debt for about 30 million people – a second attempt at large-scale forgiveness following a failed effort that would have benefited upwards of 40 million borrowers but was rejected by the Supreme Court last June.

Administration officials say their new plan is less susceptible to legal challenges, but that doesn’t mean that opponents of student loan forgiveness, who argue that it is unfair and costly, won’t try to stop it. On Tuesday, seven Republican-led states joined an existing lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the SAVE plan, and the Biden administration’s broad loan forgiveness proposal announced earlier this week is also expected to draw lawsuits in the coming months.