Skip to Content

Biden to forgive $5.8 billion in student loan debt for nearly 78,000 public-sector workers

Dorann Weber/Moment RF/Getty Images via CNN Newsource

Originally Published: 21 MAR 24 05:15 ET Updated: 21 MAR 24 08:30 ET By Katie Lobosco, CNN

Washington (CNN) — President Joe Biden announced another round of student loan debt forgiveness Thursday, totaling $5.8 billion for nearly 78,000 public-sector workers, and will be sending congratulatory emails to those borrowers next week.

Additionally, 380,000 borrowers who may be eligible for debt relief within the next one or two years will also be getting emails from Biden with a message that says “keep it up!”

“If you continue your career in public service, you’re on track to get your eligible student loans forgiven in less than two years through Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” an example email provided by the White House reads.

Under the forgiveness program, known as PSLF, qualifying borrowers – like teachers, social workers, some nurses and doctors, and governmentlawyers – are eligible for student debt cancellation after making 10 years of monthly payments.

The emails come as the Biden administration is eager to remind voters in an election year about how it has approved more student debt cancellation than under any other president – despite the fact that the Supreme Court knocked down its broad student loan forgiveness program last year.

That program would have canceled up to $20,000 for low- and middle-income borrowers, for an estimated total of $430 billion of debt relief.

Instead, the Biden administration has canceled a total of $144 billion of federal student loan debt for nearly 4 million borrowers to date, mostly through existing student loan forgiveness programs that target specific groups of borrowers.

Biden started sending emails to borrowers who are getting student loan forgiveness last month when it announced a round of debt relief worth about $1.2 billion. Borrowers who received debt forgiveness previously may not have gotten an email from Biden.

PSLF expansion

PSLF was created by Congress in 2007 but was plagued with administrative problems before Biden took office. Just 7,000 people had ever received debt relief under the program previously, according to the White House.

In 2021, Biden put a temporary waiver in place, expanding eligibility so that some borrowers could retroactively receive credit for past payments that did not otherwise qualify for PSLF.

The Biden administration is also conducting a one-time recount of borrowers’ past payments to fix what officials have called “past administrative failures.” The agency expects to complete the recount by July.

Generally, the recount will give borrowers credit toward forgiveness for any months in which they made payments regardless of what repayment plan they were enrolled in at the time, according to the Department of Education. The recount especially helps borrowers who may have been inappropriately steered by their student loan servicing company into a long-term forbearance, a period in which they stopped making payments.

Other student debt relief programs

What Biden has been doing – before and after the Supreme Court ruling – is using existing student loan forgiveness programs to deliver relief to certain groups of borrowers.

The borrower defense to repayment program delivers relief to borrowers who were defrauded by their college, for example. The Biden administration also made discharges automatic for borrowers who are totally and permanently disabled.

Additionally, nearly 153,000 borrowers have been granted student loan forgiveness so far under Biden’s new income-driven repayment program known as SAVE (Saving on a Valuable Education). Under thatplan, remaining federal student loan balances are erased for those who originally borrowed $12,000 or less and have made payments for at least 10 years.

None of these programs expire, meaning they will help qualifying borrowers now and in the future.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: News
President Biden
student loans

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KION 46 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content