Biden Erases Student Debt for 125K Borrowers

Move wipes out another $9B in debt
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 4, 2023 1:00 PM CDT
Biden Cancels Another $9B in Student Debt
President Biden speaks about student loan debt relief at Delaware State University, Oct. 21, 2022, in Dover, Del.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

President Biden announced another round of federal student loan forgiveness on Wednesday as borrowers braced for payments to restart after a three-year pause that began during the COVID-19 pandemic. The president's latest step will help 125,000 borrowers by erasing $9 billion in debt through existing relief programs, the AP reports. In total, 3.6 million borrowers will have had $127 billion in debt wiped out since Biden took office. "President Biden has long believed that college should be a ticket to the middle class, not a burden that weighs on families," the White House said in a statement.

Biden promised to help alleviate the burden of student debt while running for president, and he's been under pressure to follow through even though his original plan was overturned by the Supreme Court. He has been relying on a patchwork of different programs to chip away at debt, such as public service loan forgiveness and the SAVE Plan, which lowers payments by tying them to borrowers' income. The Education Department says around 40% of the loans forgiven Wednesday involve borrowers who made payments for 20 years or more under income-driven repayment programs but got no relief because the system failed to keep track of their payments, the Wall Street Journal reports.

CBS News reports another 40% of impacted borrowers qualify due to their enrollment in public service loan forgiveness programs, which are available to people who work for the government or nonprofits while making 120 qualifying monthly payments. The third impacted group are borrowers with a total or permanent disability.

(More student debt stories.)

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