Saturday April 13, 2024

Joe Biden cancels $1.2 billion of student loans — A stunt for presidential race?

Most student loan debt cancellations under Biden's rule are done through programmes of previous government

By Web Desk
February 21, 2024
Joe Biden gestures during a gathering. — AFP/File
Joe Biden gestures during a gathering. — AFP/File

President Joe Biden's administration is cancelling $1.2 billion in student loans for around 153,000 individuals who qualify under a programme designed to fulfil pledges to enhance debt forgiveness on Wednesday.

After the Supreme Court rejected a more comprehensive plan to forgive $430 billion in student loan debt in June of last year, Biden promised to look for alternative ways to address debt relief, according to the New York Post.

The move will “particularly help community college and other borrowers with smaller loans and put many on track to being free of student debt faster than ever before,” the White House said.

For people who borrowed $12,000 or less initially and have made payments for at least ten years, the outstanding sums on their federal student loans are forgiven under the new repayment plan.

On Wednesday, about 153,000 borrowers registered in SAVE should get an email informing them that the remaining $1.2 billion in federal student loan debt will be forgiven.

As the presidential race heats up, Biden's administration is keen to remind voters of the steps it has taken to alleviate student loan debt, so expect an email congratulating the candidate.

“From day one of my Administration, I vowed to fix student loan programs so higher education can be a ticket to the middle class—not a barrier to opportunity,” the message reads.

The Biden administration revealed last month that they would start ahead of the schedule in February, however, initially it was not set to begin until July.

The majority of the federal loan debt cancellations that took place under the administration of Biden have proceeded through programs existing before he took charge.

According to CNN, these programs are usually limited to specific categories of borrowers, such as public-sector workers, people defrauded by for-profit colleges and borrowers who have paid for at least 20 years.

However, more federal student loan debt cancellations have occurred under Biden's administration than under any other. This is partly because of initiatives to rectify prior administrative problems with student loan accounts and to expand certain debt relief programmes temporarily.