Student loan forgiveness: DOE announces cancellation of loans for more than 160K

New debt cancellation has been announced.

The Biden administration is canceling $7.7 billion in student loans for another 160,000 borrowers through a combination of existing programs, the Education Department announced Wednesday.

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The latest debt cancellation will affect certain borrowers who received Public Service Loan Forgiveness, like teachers, nurses and law enforcement officials.

The debt relief also applies to some borrowers who signed up for the income-driven repayment plan known as SAVE and who qualify for a benefit that affords “shortened time-to-forgiveness,” as well as borrowers who are receiving relief because of other adjustments to income-driven repayment.

The Education Department said the debt cancellation includes $5.2 billion for nearly 67,000 borrowers as a result of changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness, $613 million for more than 54,000 borrowers through the SAVE Plan and $1.9 billion for over 39,000 borrowers through administrative adjustments to income-driven repayment counts.

“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,” President Joe 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.”

Biden has announced several rounds of debt forgiveness even in the face of legal challenges to the new programs.

The cancellation is moving forward even as Biden’s SAVE Plan faces legal challenges from Republican-led states. A group of 11 states led by Kansas sued to block the SAVE Plan in March, with more states joining in in April.

The administration has tried several plans to erase debt since the Supreme Court in June rejected Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, which would have canceled as much as $20,000 in student loan debt for individual borrowers, totaling $430 billion.

Since then, several plans have been introduced to help ease or erase the burden of $1.6 trillion in outstanding federally backed student debt.

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