Ahead of the November United States Presidential election, President Joe Biden who is running for his second term in Office has announced student debt cancellation of nearly $5 billion for an additional 74,000 borrowers.
This, according to reports includes more than half who earned forgiveness after 10 years of public service as teachers, nurses and firefighters.
With the White House announcement, the Biden-Harris administration has granted $136.6 billion in total loan forgiveness for almost 3.7 million Americans.
Of the debtors eligible for relief, around 44,000 have served in the public sector for ten years, and nearly 30,000 have been making loan repayments for at least twenty years but have never received the relief offered under income-driven repayment plans.
After the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s plan to cancel hundreds of billions of dollars in debt on June 30, he vowed to keep working to serve as many debtors as possible with student loan relief.
I won’t back down from using every tool at our disposal to get student loan borrowers the relief they need to reach their dreams,” he said in a statement.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the department was moving “full speed ahead” with efforts to deliver even greater debt relief for more borrowers and to help them get on a faster track to loan forgiveness under a new SAVE repayment plan.
As of June 2023, approximately 43.4 million student loan recipients had $1.63 trillion in outstanding loans, according to the Federal Student Aid website.
The figure represents an increase of nearly $17 billion in the outstanding loan balance and almost 600,000 in the number of student loan recipients since last year, it said.
Progressive voters, who are part of the coalition that helped elect Biden in 2020, long pressed the White House to address student loan debt, and the issue remains high on the agenda of younger voters, many of whom have concerns about Biden’s foreign policy on the war in Gaza and fault him for not achieving greater debt forgiveness.