Biden Administration Announces Additional $4.9 Billion in Student Loan Debt for 73,600 Borrowers
By Kareen Liez
In a significant move to alleviate the burden on American borrowers, the Biden administration has discharged an additional $4.9 billion in student loan debt, according to an announcement by the Education Department. This latest round of relief benefits more than 73,600 borrowers, bringing the total amount of discharged debt under President Joe Biden's tenure to an impressive $136.6 billion, impacting over 3.7 million borrowers.
A substantial portion of the recent discharges, totaling $3.2 billion, is designated for 43,900 borrowers enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized that this relief is particularly directed towards teachers, social workers, and other public servants who have diligently served their communities, qualifying for PSLF.
$1.7 Billion Allocated for One-Time Payment Adjustment
Under the umbrella of income-driven repayment plans, $1.7 billion has been disbursed to 29,700 borrowers through a one-time payment adjustment. This initiative, introduced last year, aims to rectify discrepancies caused by loan servicers and ensures that eligible borrowers receive proper credit for certain months previously excluded from forgiveness calculations.
Secretary Cardona, in a press statement released on Thursday, expressed the administration's commitment to aiding borrowers who had relied on promised assistance. "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," stated Cardona.
Progress under PSLF Program
Since assuming office, the Biden administration has forgiven a notable $56.7 billion for 793,400 borrowers through the PSLF program. This program benefits professionals in public service jobs, including teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and military service members who may not qualify for other military loan forgiveness programs.
The one-time payment adjustment for income-driven repayment plans, announced last year, is progressing in waves, with eligible borrowers being notified via email. This adjustment rectifies errors made by loan servicers, ensuring that previously ineligible months contribute toward forgiveness. Discharges for borrowers in repayment for 20 to 25 years are ongoing and expected to be completed by this summer.
Additional Relief for Disabled and Defrauded Borrowers
Apart from the relief provided to PSLF and IDR borrowers, the Education Department disclosed that almost 513,000 borrowers with total and permanent disabilities received $11.7 billion in debt discharges. Additionally, over 1.3 million borrowers defrauded by their schools have been granted $22.5 billion in discharges under the borrower defense discharge program.
The ongoing efforts to address the student loan debt crisis highlight the Biden administration's commitment to providing financial relief and rectifying longstanding issues within the student loan system.
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