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Biden cancels $7.7bn more student debt for 160,000 debtors

  • Biden cancels $7.7 billion in student debt for 160,000 borrowers
  • Total beneficiaries of debt relief initiative now 4.75 million
  • Republicans criticize debt cancellation as an overreach of authority

President Joe Biden of the United States has declared that his administration will cancel $7.7 billion in student debt for an additional 160,000 borrowers. 

According to the US Department of Education, Wednesday’s most recent action has increased the number of individuals who will benefit from the president’s debt relief initiative to 4.75 million. 

After the Supreme Court in June rejected his comprehensive plan to expunge $430 billion in student loan debt, Biden, eager to bolster his waning support among young people in anticipation of the November presidential election, committed to exploring alternative methods of debt relief last year. 

The president stated that the most recent measures will benefit individuals in three categories who have achieved specific milestones that qualify them for cancellation. These individuals include 54,000 borrowers who are enrolled in Biden’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan, 39,000 borrowers who are enrolled in earlier income-driven plans, and approximately 67,000 individuals who are eligible through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. 

Biden stated, “Today’s announcement is built upon the substantial progress we have achieved for students and borrowers in the past three years.” “I am committed to continuing my efforts to eliminate student debt, regardless of the number of times Republican elected officials attempt to impede our progress.” 

The statement further stated that the average amount of debt written off for each borrower was $35,000. 

The Biden administration has approved $167 billion in debt relief as of Wednesday’s announcement.

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The issue continues to be a significant concern for younger voters, who are concerned about Biden’s foreign policy regarding Israel’s conflict in Gaza and are critical of him for not achieving a more substantial debt forgiveness. 

In March, the campaign of former President Donald Trump, Biden’s Republican opponent in the White House election, criticized the student loan cancellation as a bailout that was implemented “without a single act of Congress.” 

Republicans have criticized Biden’s student loan forgiveness strategy as an overreach of his authority and an unjust advantage for college-educated borrowers, while other borrowers did not receive any relief. 

According to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website, which is an office of the US Department of Education, as of the conclusion of 2023, 43.2 million US student loan recipients had outstanding loans totalling more than $1.6 trillion. 

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the debt associated with higher education has tripled. 

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