Updated Dec 6, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden forgives another $5 billion in student loans

President Biden at the White House on Dec. 6. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday announced $4.8 billion in student debt relief for some 80,300 people.

State of play: That brings the total approved student debt cancellation by the Biden administration to $132 billion for more than 3.6 million Americans.

Details: A portion of the relief comes as a part of the administration's effort to "fix" the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which wipes out the student loan balance of public service workers who have worked for 10 years and made 120 qualifying payments.

  • $2.6 billion of relief is going to 34,400 borrowers through PSLF.
  • Another $2.2 billion is for nearly 46,000 borrowers through fixes to the Income-Driven Repayment plan.
  • The adjustment to IDR "will provide borrowers with an accurate count of progress toward forgiveness and address longstanding concerns with misuse of forbearance," per the Department of Education.

The big picture: Despite the Supreme Court blocking his large-scale student debt forgiveness plan, Biden has delivered relief for millions of borrowers by circumventing the need for Congressional or court approval.

  • "In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on our student debt relief plan, we are continuing to pursue an alternative path to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible," Biden said in a statement Wednesday.

Context: The Supreme Court struck down President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan earlier this year.

What he's saying: "From Day One of my Administration, I vowed to improve the student loan system so that a higher education provides Americans with opportunity and prosperity – not unmanageable burdens of student loan debt," Biden said in a statement.

  • "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 added.

Go deeper: How Biden forgives student debt despite the Supreme Court ruling

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a breakdown of who received the latest round of student loan forgiveness.

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