ED Forgives $4.8 Billion in Student Loan Debt for Over 80,000 Borrowers

By Maria Carrasco, NASFAA Staff Reporter

The Department of Education (ED) on Wednesday announced that it approved an additional $4.8 billion in federal student loan debt forgiveness for over 80,000 borrowers through fixes to the income-driven repayment (IDR) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) programs.

The fixes are part of ED’s initiative to remedy “historical failures” of the IDR program, in which qualifying payments made under IDR plans were not accounted for. ED first announced in April 2022 that it would perform a one-time adjustment to count some borrowers’ accounts in long-term forbearances toward IDR forgiveness and PSLF.

ED announced in July that it forgave $39 billion in federal student loan debt for 804,000 eligible borrowers enrolled in IDR plans. And in October, ED announced an additional $9 billion in student loan debt forgiveness for 125,000 borrowers through fixes to the IDR and PSLF programs, along with automatic forgiveness for borrowers with total and permanent disabilities.

Wednesday’s announcement specifically provided $2.2 billion in student loan forgiveness to 46,000 borrowers through fixes to the IDR program. ED stated that including Wednesday’s announcement, the Biden administration has approved almost $44 billion in IDR relief for nearly 901,000 borrowers.

Additionally, ED provided $2.6 billion in student loan forgiveness for 34,400 borrowers through PSLF. ED clarified that this number includes borrowers who have benefited through the limited PSLF waiver and ongoing regulatory improvements to the programs. In total, almost 750,000 borrowers received $53.5 billion in student loan forgiveness through PSLF since October 2021. 

“The data released today once again make clear that the Biden-Harris Administration’s relentless efforts to fix the broken student loan system are paying off in a big way, with more than 3.6 million borrowers now approved for nearly $132 billion in loan forgiveness,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. This level of debt relief is unparalleled and we have no intention of slowing down.”


Publication Date: 12/7/2023

David S | 12/7/2023 11:46:16 AM

Love to see it, this is how student loans (and the Department of Education) are supposed to work. Unfortunately, it will be conflated by some student loan forgiveness opponents with the Biden Administration's attempts at broader cancellation that SCOTUS struck down; I'm sure social media is already filled with "oh, so us taxpayers are stuck with the bill" comments by people who think this was an arbitrary decision by the Administration as opposed to simply following the law.

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