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Biden Administration Forgives $6 Billion in Student Debt for Public Service Workers

2024

President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that his administration will forgive approximately $6 billion in student loans for 78,000 public service workers. This relief is part of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which is designed for employees of government agencies or nonprofit organizations such as teachers, nurses, and social workers.

This announcement brings the total loan forgiveness under the Biden administration to $144 billion for approximately 4 million borrowers. Just a month ago, Biden announced $1.2 billion in loan forgiveness for 150,000 borrowers eligible for a special benefit in the new affordable repayment plan developed by his administration.

Many borrowers have expressed that student debt has hindered their ability to achieve milestones such as homeownership and starting families. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized that the Biden-Harris administration is committed to fixing logistical issues and expanding opportunities for more Americans.

Before Biden took office, only 7,000 borrowers had all their student debt relieved under the PSLF program, leading to criticisms that the program and the student loan system were broken. Since then, over 871,000 borrowers enrolled in PSLF have had their loan debt canceled.

Public service workers selected for relief can expect to receive emails next week informing them of this development. Additionally, about 380,000 other PSLF borrowers who are not yet eligible for forgiveness will receive emails notifying them that they will qualify for cancellation within one or two years if they remain employed in public service jobs.

President Biden has reiterated his commitment to addressing the student debt crisis, which now exceeds $1.7 trillion, and the soaring costs of higher education. His administration has increased the maximum amount of the Pell grant to $7,395 during the 2023-24 school year and proposed a further 10% increase earlier this month.

While campaigning for president, Biden vowed to address the challenges posed by student debt. Despite the Supreme Court striking down the administration's plan for sweeping debt forgiveness, the Biden administration has implemented incremental relief measures to provide targeted relief to subsets of borrowers.

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