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Biden-Harris Administration Forgives An Additional $4.9 Billion In Student Loans

The latest round of debt relief places the total loan forgiveness approved by the federal government to $136.6 billion which covers over 3.7 million Americans.

A press release from the Biden-Harris administration on Jan. 19 announced an additional $4.9 billion in student debt relief, covering 73,600 borrowers. The latest round of debt relief places the total loan forgiveness approved by the federal government to $136.6 billion, which covers over 3.7 million Americans. United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona thanked the Biden-Harris administration for its work before saying that the debt forgiven in this round will largely go to public servants.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has worked relentlessly to fix our country’s broken student loan system and address the needless hurdles and administrative inaccuracies that, in the past, kept borrowers from getting the student debt forgiveness they deserved, Cardona stated.

Cardona continued, “The nearly $5 billion in additional debt relief announced today will go to teachers, social workers, and other public servants whose service to our communities have earned them Public Service Loan Forgiveness, as well as borrowers qualifying for income-driven repayment forgiveness because their payments are for the first time being accurately accounted for.”

According to the press release, the debt relief comprises two distinct categories. One category allots $1.7 billion for 29,700 people using adjustments to the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) payment counts. CBS News reports that in February, those who have already enrolled in the White House’s Saving on a Valuable Education Plan repayment plan and have been making payments for at least 10 years and less than $12,000 in student loans would have their student loan balances erased. 

Another category earmarked $3.2 billion in relief covering 43,000 borrowers through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. That program has forgiven $56.7 billion to date, covering 793,400 borrowers since 2021. The Department of Education has started to have conversations with borrowers who could be eligible for the program but have not enrolled yet to convince them to sign up. 

According to the U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal, the Biden-Harris administration is motivated to assist those who the student loan system has had a hand in harming. “Today, we are helping borrowers who were promised help with their loans, planned their lives around those promises, and earned forgiveness through years of payments,” Kvaal said. “The Biden-Harris Administration is not going to stop until we’ve helped all of those harmed by the broken student loan system.”

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