Updated Oct 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden: 22 million Americans have applied for student debt forgiveness

 President Joe Biden waves prior to a Marine One departure from the White House.

President Joe Biden waves prior to a Marine One departure from the White House. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Around 22 million Americans have submitted for student loan forgiveness via the Biden administration's new plan, the president said Friday.

Driving the news: The president promoted his student relief plan and the official application — which officially launched earlier this week — as the midterm elections loom.

What he said: "In less than a week, close to 22 million people have already given us the information to be considered for this life-changing relief," Biden said.

  • "It's about as easy to apply as signing up while hanging out with your friends or at home watching a movie," Biden said, adding that the majority of people signed up using mobile devices.
  • He said the relief plan aims "to give everybody a little more breathing room."

Student loan relief plan details

Biden's debt relief plan cancels up to $10,000 for individual borrowers who make under $125,000 per year and up to $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients.

  • More than 40 million Americans are eligible for relief under the administration's plan.
  • Borrowers need to apply by mid-November to receive the relief before student payments begin again on Dec. 31, 2022.
  • Relief is expected within six weeks for most borrowers.

Challenges to Biden's student loan forgiveness plan

Zoom out: The president's student loan forgiveness plan has faced legal challenges since its announcement — and seen some significant wins.

  • A federal judge in the Eastern District of Missouri on Thursday denied a Republican-led states bid to block the student loan forgiveness plan.

Democrats and Republicans running for office in battleground states have challenged the forgiveness plan to try and win over their respective voters.

  • While Biden hopes the plan mobilizes young voters, there's worry Republicans will use the plan to demonstrate that Democrats are not trying to stop inflation, Axios' Josh Kraushaar writes.

Go deeper: Student loan forgiveness application officially live

This story has been updated with additional details.

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