Biden administration announces $7.4B in student debt relief; 8,100 in North Carolina to benefit

Ahmed Jallow, NC Newsline

The Biden administration announced on Friday that it will cancel student loans for 277,000 more borrowers nationwide, including 8,100 individuals from North Carolina. The administration said it’s using existing student loan forgiveness programs such as the SAVE Plan to provide debt relief totaling $7.4 billion to borrowers.

The latest round of debt relief targets borrowers enrolled in the SAVE Plan, other income-driven repayment plans, and public sector workers.

Under the Biden administration, the number of people becoming eligible for student loan forgiveness continues to grow. Today’s announcement brings the total loan forgiveness approved by the administration to $153 billion for nearly 4.3 million Americans, accounting for more than 9% of all student loan debt. This figure includes $3.9 billion for 82,410 people in North Carolina.

“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. I will never stop working to cancel student debt – no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

In 2022, Biden introduced the SAVE Plan, which offers the most generous terms for low-income borrowers. About $3.6 billion of the student debt relief announced on Friday will be allocated to individuals enrolled in the plan.

Nearly 8 million borrowers have enrolled in the SAVE Plan in the past year, and about 360,000 people have had their student debt cancelled.

In two separate lawsuits, Republican attorneys general from 18 states are attempting to stop the plan, arguing that it goes beyond the president’s authority. They say that the SAVE Plan makes it difficult for states to hire employees and undermines a separate cancellation program that encourages careers in public service.

“This lawsuit is sadly another attack by Republican attorneys general who want to deny millions of their own constituents’ access to affordable repayment plans,” said a White House official in Thursday’s call. “The Secretary is acting under an authority to issue income contingent repayment plans, and it’s an authority that’s been used in past administrations.

“If these attorneys general were to get their way, which, given the statute, is not going to happen, millions of borrowers would have to pay hundreds of dollars more a month.”

According to figures released by the White House, a total of 10,150 student borrowers in North Carolina, amounting to $144 million, have had their debt cancelled through the SAVE plan.

The administration provided the following student loan debt relief figures for North Carolina:

  • $1.5 billion in debt cancellation for 30,950 people in North Carolina through fixes to other Income-Driven Repayment plans
  • $1.8 billion in debt cancellation for 24,560 public service workers in North Carolina
  • $486 million in debt cancellation for 16,750 people in North Carolina with a total and permanent disability
  • In total across SAVE, IDR, PSLF, and TPD, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved $3.9 billion in debt cancellation for 82,410 people in North Carolina

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