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Biden-Harris Administration Cancels $7.7B In School Loan Debt for 160K Borrowers

President Joe Biden announced a new round of federal student debt forgiveness Wednesday that his administration said will provide relief to 160,000 borrowers.

The Education Department said it’s canceling $7.7 billion for certain borrowers who received Public Service Loan Forgiveness, like teachers, nurses, and law enforcement officials. The debt relief also applies to some borrowers who signed up for a relatively new income-driven repayment plan known as SAVE and who qualify for a benefit that affords “shortened time-to-forgiveness,” as well as borrowers who are receiving relief because of other adjustments to income-driven repayment.

The Education Department said the approved debt cancellation includes $5.2 billion for nearly 67,000 borrowers as a result of changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness, $613 million for more than 54,000 borrowers through the SAVE Plan and $1.9 billion for over 39,000 borrowers through administrative adjustments to income-driven repayment counts.

U.S. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona attend a meeting of the Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz (Elizabeth Frantz / Reuters)

The latest announcement comes after a broader effort to reduce student debt failed. The Supreme Court last year rejected Biden’s pandemic-era debt relief plan, which aimed to erase up to $20,000 in student debt for about 43 million borrowers.

According to the Education Department, the total number of people who have benefited from debt cancellation actions is 4.75 million, adding that the administration has now approved $167 billion in loan forgiveness.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement Wednesday that the administration “remains persistent” about its efforts “to bring student debt relief to millions more across the country.”

Biden also touted the debt relief in a statement, saying, “I will never stop working to cancel student debt — no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us.”

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