Biden cancels $7.4 billion in student debt for 277,000 borrowers

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The Biden administration has announced the cancellation of $7.4 billion in student debt for 277,000 borrowers, as part of ongoing efforts to address student loan burdens. President Biden's plans aim to ease student debt, benefiting millions of Americans, including plans to cancel accrued and capitalized interest for borrowers, estimated to affect 23 million borrowers.


This latest round of debt relief targets individuals enrolled in various loan repayment programs, including the SAVE Plan, Income-Driven Repayment plans, and those receiving Public Service Loan Forgiveness. In addition to this announcement, the administration previously announced the cancellation of $6 billion in student loans for 78,000 borrowers in March.


Overall, the Biden administration has approved $153 billion in student debt relief, impacting 4.3 million Americans. These actions are part of broader efforts to alleviate the financial burden faced by many individuals due to student loans.


President Biden, a Democrat, had previously pledged to explore alternative approaches to address debt relief after his broader plan to cancel $430 billion in student loan debt was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. The campaign of former President Donald Trump, Biden's Republican opponent in the White House race, criticized the student loan cancellation in March, characterizing it as a bailout carried out "without a single act of Congress."


Debt forgiveness, particularly regarding student loans, continues to be a prominent concern among younger voters, with many expressing dissatisfaction with President Biden's foreign policy stance on issues like the conflict in Gaza and his perceived failure to achieve significant debt relief.


Republicans have criticized Biden's approach to student loan forgiveness, arguing that it exceeds his authority and unfairly benefits college-educated borrowers at the expense of others who do not receive similar relief.


According to the Brookings Institution, approximately half of federal student loan debt is held by individuals with graduate degrees. A report from the Department of Education in August 2023 highlighted that graduate students received the largest share, 47 percent, of federal student loan disbursements from 2021-22, despite comprising only 21 percent of all borrowers. 

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