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Biden forgives $5 billion more in student debt for 74,000 borrowers

By Jake Beardslee · January 19, 2024

In brief…

  • President Biden announced $5 billion in student debt forgiveness for nearly 74,000 borrowers
  • Over 43,000 recipients were public servants eligible for relief after 10 years
  • Nearly 30,000 borrowers have been repaying loans for 20+ years under income plans
  • Total student debt forgiveness under Biden administration now tops 3.7 million Americans
President Biden is continuing efforts to tackle the student debt crisis by announcing $5 billion in loan forgiveness for nearly 74,000 borrowers, bringing the total number of Americans receiving relief under his administration to over 3.7 million.  The White House/Wikimedia

President Biden announced on Friday that the administration is providing nearly $5 billion in student loan forgiveness for over 73,000 borrowers, marking the latest effort to offer relief to those struggling with education debt.

According to the White House, more than half of the recipients – around 44,000 – are teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public servants who have been enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for 10 years. The program was created to erase student debt for those working in public service fields after they make 120 monthly payments, but it has long faced criticism for its complex requirements that resulted in many applicants being denied.

The other roughly 30,000 borrowers receiving forgiveness have been enrolled in income-driven repayment plans for 20 years, but did not get the relief they earned due to, as Biden stated, “broken student loan programs.”

With this new round of cancellations, the Biden administration has now approved over $10 billion in student debt relief for approximately 3.7 million borrowers. President Biden underscored that his administration was able to provide this aid by fixing flaws in existing loan programs.

“My Administration is able to deliver relief to these borrowers — and millions more — because of fixes we made to broken student loan programs that were preventing borrowers from getting relief they were entitled to under the law,” Biden said.

The president also highlighted other efforts his administration has taken to reform student debt, including increasing Pell Grants, modifying the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and implementing a new income-driven repayment plan.

This news comes after the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s broad student loan forgiveness program in June, which would have canceled up to $20,000 in debt for tens of millions of Americans. Biden reaffirmed his commitment to “using every tool at our disposal to get student loan borrowers the relief they need to reach their dreams.”