Nov 28, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Biden emails 800k student loan borrowers about forgiven debt

Biden speaks at a lectern with American flags behind him.

President Biden speaks on Nov. 27 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

More than 800,000 student loan borrowers are set to receive a message from President Biden Tuesday afternoon.

Why it matters: The email, shared in advance with Axios, is a direct appeal from the president to beneficiaries of his administration's debt forgiveness push, as his approval rating among Democrats hit a record low last month, jeopardizing his 2024 re-election bid.

Driving the news: "I hope this relief gives you a little more breathing room," Biden's Tuesday email states.

  • "I've heard from countless people who have told me that relieving the burden of student loan debt will allow them to support themselves and their families, or move forward with life plans they've put on hold."
  • "I'm proud that we were able to give borrowers like you the relief you earned," the email said. "I promise you that as long as I am President, I will never stop fighting for hardworking American families."

Of note: The 813,000 borrowers receiving the email were those who weren't accurately credited for student loan payments that should have given them forgiveness, or people placed into forbearance by loan servicers who violated Department of Education policies.

  • The email asks recipients to share what the relief means to them and blames "errors and administrative failures" for shortcomings in the student loan forgiveness process.

By the numbers: Biden's administration has forgiven $127 billion in student loan debt for nearly 3.6 million borrowers to date.

  • About 2.9 million borrowers who signed up for the Biden administration's SAVE plan now have a payment of $0.

The big picture: Eliminating student debt was one of Biden's signature campaign promises, but the Supreme Court struck down his biggest relief plan in June.

  • Since then, his administration has unveiled other relief proposals, including one prioritizing borrowers experiencing financial hardship.

Go deeper: Biden administration unveils new student loan relief proposal

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