Biden cancels ANOTHER $7.4 BILLION in student loan debt: President has now erased $153 billion for 4.3 million Americans in scheme ripped by critics as a bid to ‘buy votes’

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Debt is being wiped out for borrowers enrolled in the SAVE plan, Income-Driven Repayment plan and Public Service Loan Forgiveness plan
  • Latest effort brings number of borrowers to have debt wiped to 4.3 million
  • 18 Republican state attorneys general have sued Biden over his SAVE plan 
  • READ MORE: Biden unveiled new proposals to cancel student loan debt 

The White House has announced it is wiping out another $7.4 billion in student loan debt for 277,000 borrowers, bringing the total canceled by the Biden administration to $153 billion.

It is 81-year-old Biden’s second large-scale effort to forgive billions in debt in a week in a scheme critics say is a bid to ‘buy votes’ before the general election.

On Monday, the administration rolled out a combined plan that would impact some 30 million borrowers after his first bid was blocked by the Supreme Court last year.

Now more borrowers seeing their student loan debt forgiven will receive emails informing them of the move on Friday.

‘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. I will never stop working to cancel student debt – no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us,’ Biden said in a statement.

The debt being canceled Friday is for borrowers in three debt forgiveness programs already in use including a plan that 18 GOP-led states are suing to block.

President Biden touting his latest proposals to cancel student loan debt for millions of Americans during a visit to Madison, WI on Monday. On Friday, the administration announced it was canceling an additional $7.4 billion in debt under programs already implemented bringing the total forgiven so far to $153 billion

Nearly 207,000 borrowers are seeing some $3.6 billion in debt cancelled through President Biden’s SAVE plan, which the administration began forgiving student loan debt through earlier this year.

Another 65,000 borrowers are seeing debt wiped through administrative adjustments to the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans. To date, the administration has wiped out $49 billion in debt through IDR plans.

Third, an additional 4,600 public servants are seeing their debt forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. 

In total, 4.3 million federal student loan borrowers have seen student loan debt forgiven since Biden took office.

‘It shows we’re relentless in what we’re doing to help millions of hardworking Americans with the burden of student loan debt,’ Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said of the multiple rounds of debt canceled.

The Biden administration has canceled $153 billion in student loan debt through a series of efforts including the SAVE plan as well as changes to Income-Driven Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness plans

The Biden administration has canceled $153 billion in student loan debt through a series of efforts including the SAVE plan as well as changes to Income-Driven Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness plans

The bulk of the debt being forgiven on Friday comes through the SAVE plan, an income drive repayment plan that cuts down on the amount to time and money some borrowers have to pay before their student loan debt is forgiven.

The Biden administration announced it was launching the program last summer.

In February, the White House announced the first group to see debt canceled under the plan, and the Education Department said it would continue to identify borrowers who qualify on a continuing basis.

Eight million borrowers are enrolled in the plan to date. 4.5 million of those borrowers have a monthly payment of $0, and over one million have monthly payments of less than $100, the White House said.

However, Republicans have blasted the effort to cancel debt and accuse the president of attempting to ‘buy votes’ ahead of the election. 

They’ve called the student loan debt cancelation unfair to taxpayers who did not take on massive student loans for school or have the opportunity to go to college.

Two lawsuits have been filed by Republican state attorneys general against the Biden administration's income-driven repayment program known as the SAVE plan

Two lawsuits have been filed by Republican state attorneys general against the Biden administration’s income-driven repayment program known as the SAVE plan

The Republican attorneys general of 18 states are suing the Biden administration over the SAVE plan. One lawsuit signed onto by eleven states was filed in Kansas on March 28 while another with seven states was filed in Missouri earlier this week.

Biden Administration Student Loan Debt Forgiveness

August 2022: Biden announces original plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt

June 2023: Supreme Court blocks Biden’s first student loan forgiveness plan

August 2023: Biden announces  income driven repayment SAVE plan

February 2024: Biden administration begins canceling debt under the SAVE plan

March 2024: 11 states sue to block the SAVE plan 

April 2024: Biden administration unveils new proposals to cancel student loan debt under the Higher Education Act

April 2024: Seven states led by Missouri sue over the SAVE plan 

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blasted the lawsuits saying the Republican elected officials want to make their constituents monthly payments go up and keep them under a mountain of debt.

A senior administration official said they believe strongly in their legal authority to take action.

Republican officials acknowledged it is unlikely they would recoup debt already forgiven. 

Meanwhile, President Biden traveled to Madison, Wisconsin on Monday to tout additional new plans to eliminate student loan debt.

Those proposals are being rolled out through the more time consuming rulemaking process which the administration turned to after the Supreme Court blocked the original plan. 

According to the Biden administration, the new proposals would fully eliminate accrued interest for 23 million borrowers. 

It would also cancel the full amount of student loan debt for more than four million borrowers and provide more than 10 million borrowers with at least $5,000 in debt relief or more. 

The five major actions include canceling up to $20,000 in unpaid interest for borrowers who currently owe more on their student loans than they originally borrowed.

It would also wipe debt for two million borrowers who would have qualified for other forgiveness programs but have not yet applied. 

Additionally, undergraduate borrowers who entered into repayment 20 or more years ago and graduate student borrowers who began repayment 25 or more years ago would also see debt canceled.

Borrowers who have been enrolled in low-financial-value programs and those have have faced financial hardship paying back loans would also see relief.   

President Biden released a video on Monday touting his latest student loan debt forgiveness proposals which would cancel accrued interest for millions, wipe debt for some borrowers who have not already enrolled but qualify for other programs and cancel debt for some who have been in repayment for 20 or more years

President Biden released a video on Monday touting his latest student loan debt forgiveness proposals which would cancel accrued interest for millions, wipe debt for some borrowers who have not already enrolled but qualify for other programs and cancel debt for some who have been in repayment for 20 or more years

Protesters outside the Supreme Court on June 30, 2023. Biden's new student debt forgiveness proposals come after the Supreme Court blocked his original plan to cancel debt

Protesters outside the Supreme Court on June 30, 2023. Biden’s new student debt forgiveness proposals come after the Supreme Court blocked his original plan to cancel debt

The new proposals come after the president’s first massive $400 billion plan to cancel student loan debt was blocked by the Supreme Court last June.

‘Tens of millions of people’s debt was literally about to get cancelled, but then some of my Republican friends, elected officials and special interests sued us, and the Supreme Court blocked us,’ Biden said Monday, bragging ‘that didn’t stop us.’

Senior administration officials said they studied the Supreme Court’s 2023 decision carefully and pursued the new regulations in a way that is consistent with that decision.

The new plans unveiled Monday are a part of the regulatory process that started last summer and are being carried out under the Education Secretary’s authority in the Higher Education Act.

Administration officials said they are confident with the new proposals going forward. 

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