Biden’s Team Moves To Keep Forgiving Student Debt Even After Supreme Court Decision

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The Biden administration is continuing to pursue the forgiveness of student debt for various categories of individual borrowers, securing financial betterment for such individuals even after the legal dead zone into which the president’s more wide-ranging relief plan was placed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now, the president and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona have announced pending loan forgiveness for more than 804,000 additional Americans. These individuals will be helped by adjustments to the tabulation process for plans by which borrowers could receive relief after making a certain number of payments, the administration said. (The required number of payments roughly equates to 20 to 25 years, though the tabulation is conducted in months.) Periods that can provide credit towards forgiveness include any “month in which a borrower was in a repayment status, regardless of whether payments were partial or late, the type of loan, or the repayment plan,” education officials explained.

The new relief is worth $39 billion, putting the student debt relief that the administration has already set into motion past $116 billion. The latest forgiveness will not require any action from beneficiaries for it to be effectuated. Also at issue in the underlying action was the potentially overly expansive use of the forbearance process in relationships between borrowers and student loan servicers.

Another major area of focus in federal efforts has been cultivating the debt forgiveness available to individuals in public service jobs including teaching and law enforcement. Certain non-profit organizations were also eligible, and for those in these groups, the required number of payments before the relief was accessible would be roughly equivalent to 10 years rather than twenty. And yet another area of focus has been students whose schools were mired in problems, whether a sudden closure or misrepresentations about the prospects of participating in their educational offerings. At the close of the Trump administration, the number of people who’d obtained student loan forgiveness through the offerings for individuals working in public service was in the single thousands. Now, it’s over 653,000 who’ve benefited.