By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter
The Biden-Harris Administration announced the approval of an additional $4.8 billion in student loan debt relief for 80,300 borrowers on December 6. These discharges stem from fixes made by the U.S. Department of Education to income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
The announcement brings the total approved debt cancellation by the Biden-Harris Administration to nearly $132 billion for more than 3.6 million Americans.
“Before President Biden took office, it was virtually impossible for eligible borrowers to access the student debt relief they rightfully earned,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The data released today once again make clear that the Biden-Harris Administration’s relentless efforts to fix the broken student loan system are paying off in a big way, with more than 3.6 million borrowers now approved for nearly $132 billion in loan forgiveness. This level of debt relief is unparalleled and we have no intention of slowing down.”
The debt relief approvals are in two categories:
• $2.2 billion for nearly 46,000 borrowers through fixes to IDR that will provide borrowers with an accurate count of progress toward forgiveness and address longstanding concerns with misuse of forbearance. Including today’s numbers, the Biden-Harris Administration has now approved almost $44 billion in IDR relief for nearly 901,000 borrowers.
• $2.6 billion for 34,400 borrowers through PSLF. This includes borrowers who have benefited through the limited PSLF waiver and ongoing regulatory improvements to the programs. This brings total relief through PSLF up to $53.5 billion for almost 750,000 borrowers since October 2021. By contrast, only about 7,000 borrowers had received forgiveness through these programs at the start of the Biden-Harris Administration.
In Ohio, the number of borrowers identified for Forgiveness under Income Driven Repayment are 41,750 borrowers with $1,951.3 Million in outstanding debt. The number of Ohioan borrowers with Processed PSLF Discharges (PSLF, TEPSLF, and limited waiver) are 32,820 with $2,260.8 Million outstanding debt. (Data as provided by the White House early November 2023.)
The Biden-Harris Administration states that they have “taken historic steps to reduce the burden of student debt and ensure that student loans are not a barrier to opportunity for students and families.” The Administration earlier this year launched the most affordable student loan repayment plan – SAVE – which makes many borrowers’ monthly payments as low as $0 and prevents balances from growing because of unpaid interest.
The Administration secured the largest increase to Pell Grants in a decade and finalized new rules to protect borrowers from career programs that leave graduates with unaffordable debts or insufficient earnings. And, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the Administration’s original student debt relief plan, the Administration works to pursue an alternative path to debt relief through negotiated rulemaking under the Higher Education Act.
Beyond the relief under IDR and PSLF, the Biden-Harris Administration has also approved:
• $11.7 billion for almost 513,000 borrowers with a total and permanent disability.
• $22.5 billion for more than 1.3 million borrowers who were cheated by their schools, saw their institutions precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements.
To learn more visit www.ed.gov/