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Biden Administration Brings Student Loan Debt Relief Total to $136.6 Billion

U.S. Department of Education, student loan relief

The Biden Administration has approved an additional $4.9 billion in student loan debt relief for 73,600 borrowers.

This brings the total loan forgiveness approved by the administration to $136.6 billion for over 3.7 million Americans, the Department of Education said in a Friday (Jan. 19) press release.

One portion of the newly approved debt relief, amounting to $1.7 billion, will be allocated to 29,700 borrowers through administrative adjustments to income-driven repayment (IDR) payment counts, according to the release. These adjustments have brought borrowers closer to forgiveness and addressed long-standing concerns regarding the misuse of forbearance by loan servicers.

With this announcement, the Biden-Harris Administration has now approved a total of $45.7 billion in IDR relief for 930,500 borrowers, the release said.

The other portion of the newly approved debt relief, totaling $3.2 billion, will benefit 43,900 borrowers through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, per the release. This includes borrowers who have benefited from the administration’s limited PSLF waiver and regulatory improvements made to the program.

The total relief through PSLF now stands at $56.7 billion for 793,400 borrowers since October 2021, the release said.

“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,” President Joe Biden said in a statement released Friday.

The U.S. Department of Education recently began the fast-tracking of additional loan forgiveness through the early implementation of the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan, according to the release. Under this plan, borrowers who initially took out $12,000 or less for college and are enrolled in the SAVE Plan will see forgiveness after as few as 10 years of payments.

In addition to the relief provided through IDR and PSLF, the administration has approved $11.7 billion for almost 513,000 borrowers with total and permanent disabilities, the release said. Furthermore, $22.5 billion has been approved for over 1.3 million borrowers who were deceived by their schools, experienced sudden closures or are covered by related court settlements.

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that about 1 in 4 members of the Generation Z, millennial and bridge millennial generations are more concerned about student loans than inflation.

Forty-three percent of those with loans who are concerned about repayments believe their financial stability will suffer, according to the “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Back to School Means Back to Federal Loan Repayments.”