Student Loan Cancellation Update: 25 Million People Could Get New Relief

student loan cancellation update: 25 million people could get new relief

President Joe Biden is joined by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona as he announces new actions to protect borrowers after the Supreme Court struck down his student loan forgiveness plan in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on June 30, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

The Biden administration is inching towards its goal of forgiving 30 million student debts by winter, with nearly 25 million borrowers to receive relief in the coming months, according to the Department of Education.

The continued commitment follows the president's latest announcement on Wednesday to write off nearly $7.7 billion in student loans for 160,000 borrowers. The Department of Education also stated its intention to finalize the plan aimed at providing relief to 30 million Americans soon, with a goal of "delivering relief this fall."

The total forgiven by the Biden administration now stands at $167 billion for 4.75 million Americans, according to the Department of Education. Each of those borrowers have "received an average of over $35,000 in debt cancellation" through more than two dozen executive actions, the White House said in a news release Wednesday.

"One out of every 10 federal student loan borrowers approved for debt relief means one out of every 10 borrowers now has financial breathing room and a burden lifted," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The majority of the relief—$5.2 billion—went towards 66,900 borrowers, many of whom are public service workers such as teachers, nurses, and law enforcement officials. And $613 million went towards 54,300 borrowers enrolled in Saving on A Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan.

Newsweek has reached out to the DoE and White House for comment via email.

In April, the administration unveiled the details of a new plan aimed at providing student debt relief to over 30 million Americans across five categories of borrowers through the Higher Education Act.

It includes waiving accrued and capitalized interest for borrowers, automatically discharging debt for borrowers not enrolled but eligible under the SAVE Plan, eliminating debt for borrowers who entered repayment 20 or more years ago, canceling debt for attendees of programs of "low financial value," and assisting borrowers who experience "hardship in paying" their loans.

With this central campaign and re-election campaign promise, Biden has pursued student loan forgiveness over the past three years but has faced political and legal hurdles, notably the Supreme Court's rejection last June of his plan to erase $400 billion in student debt.

He continues to confront legal obstacles as his SAVE Plan, which provides a quicker route to forgiveness and more affordable monthly payments, faces legal challenges.

Eighteen states argue Biden overstepped his authority in the Higher Education Act by creating the SAVE Plan and must seek Congressional approval to relieve student loan debt. There are more than 7.5 million borrowers enrolled in Biden's SAVE Plan, according to the Department of Education.

Biden's newest round of student loan cancelations comes less than six months away from election day, where Biden is expected to face off the presumptive Republican nominee and former president Donald Trump.

Recent polls, such as the FiveThirtyEight latest national poll aggregation shows an extremely tight race, with Trump leading by 1.3 percentage points.

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