The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently announced the approval of an additional $4.9 billion in student loan forgiveness for 73,000 individuals. The relief was provided through several modifications to the income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PLSF) programs. To date, the Biden Administration has forgiven $136.6 billion in student loans for more than 3.7 million borrowers.
In its press release, the ED announced that the administrative modifications to the IDR program “address longstanding concerns” with respect to the misuse of forbearance periods by loan servicers, and affect nearly 29,700 individuals totaling $1.7 billion in forgiveness. Borrowers under the PLSF program received extended relief as well. An additional 43,900 individuals had $3.2 billion credited to their accounts in furtherance of the Biden Administration’s goal to erase student debt. The total relief through the PLSF program now stands at $57 billion for nearly 800,000 individuals, a significant increase from the 7,000 borrowers who received debt forgiveness prior to these modifications.
The ED also stated that it is beginning to expedite further loan forgiveness through the early implementation of the Saving on a Valuable Education Plan (SAVE). Under SAVE, individuals enrolled in the plan who borrowed $12,000 or less for higher education will see loan forgiveness after 10 years of payments. Those eligible for early forgiveness may see their debts automatically cancelled as early as next month.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona stated the Administration “has worked relentlessly to fix our country’s broken student loan system and addressed the needless hurdles and administrative inaccuracies that, in the past, kept borrowers from getting the student debt forgiveness they deserved.” Further, “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 PLSF, as well as borrowers qualifying for IDR forgiveness because their payments are, for the first time, being accurately accounted for.”
The Biden Administration continues to prioritize student loan forgiveness, even after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down its plan to forgive some or all federal student loans in June 2023.