Thousands receive extra student debt relief as Biden program grows - TAI News
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The U.S. Department of Education announced on Feb. 21 that the Biden administration had approved an additional $1.2 billion in student loan forgiveness for borrowers. The department said the new round of relief will be available to 153,000 people currently enrolled in President Joe Biden’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan.

“With today’s announcement, we are once again sending a clear message to borrowers who had low balances: if you’ve been paying for a decade, you’ve done your part, and you deserve relief,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

The new round of forgiveness is available to borrowers who are enrolled in the SAVE repayment plan and have been making payments for at least 10 years on college loans of $12,000 or less.

According to the Biden administration, a total of nearly $138 billion in student debt held by 3.9 million borrowers has been canceled since Biden took office.

The administration also announced that total enrollment in SAVE has reached 7.5 million borrowers since the program was launched in August 2023. The repayment plan is intended to reduce the size of payments for undergraduate loans, provide early debt forgiveness for those with low account balances, cap the growth of loans due to unpaid interest, and eliminate monthly payments for many low-income borrowers.

Department of Education data from January showed that 289,800 borrowers in Pennsylvania had enrolled in the SAVE program at that point.

The program was launched following a 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court in June 2023 that struck down the Biden administration’s original loan forgiveness program, which would have canceled up to $20,000 in debt for individual borrowers.

Former President Donald Trump, the current front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has said he is opposed to debt relief and supported the Supreme Court decision.

“Today, the Supreme Court also ruled that President Biden cannot wipe out hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions of dollars, in student loan debt, which would have been very unfair to the millions and millions of people who paid their debt through hard work and diligence, very unfair,” Trump said at a campaign event in June 2023.

Congressional Republicans have also opposed Biden’s proposals to provide student debt relief. In February 2023, a coalition of 171 Republicans in the House and Senate filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court opposing Biden’s first plan.

After the Supreme Court decision, Senate Republicans and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin voted on a measure that would have stopped the SAVE program. The motion failed by a vote of 50-49.Biden said in a Feb. 20 social media post that his administration would be pushing to relieve more debt.

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