May 22, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden administration cancels another $7.7B in student loans

President Biden speaking at Morehouse College in Atlanta on May 19.

President Biden speaking at Morehouse College in Atlanta on May 19. Photo: Christian Monterrosa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House announced on Wednesday that the Biden administration is canceling student loans for another 160,000 borrowers.

Why it matters: This latest round of forgiveness will erase $7.7 billion in outstanding loan balances, bringing the total student debt relief approved by the Biden administration to $167 billion.

What they're saying: "From day one of my Administration, I promised to fight to ensure higher education is a ticket to the middle class, not a barrier to opportunity," Biden said in a statement.

  • "I will never stop working to cancel student debt – no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us," he said.

The big picture: Since the Supreme Court blocked Biden's expansive student debt cancellation plan last year, the administration has continued with relief efforts through existing programs.

  • It announced a larger plan last month to provide relief for more than 30 million borrowers by, in part, canceling up to $20,000 of a borrower's accrued interest, regardless of income.
  • Under the plan, other borrowers enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan would have all of their interest forgiven.

Yes, but: That plan, too, could face legal challenges. Its critics have argued that student debt relief in general is unfair to taxpayers who repaid their loans or didn't go to college.

  • Several Republican-led states announced a lawsuit earlier this year against the Biden administration's SAVE plan, which seeks to provide a faster path to cancellation and has already been used to forgive loans for over 400,000 borrowers.

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