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Biden administration announces $7.7B in relief for 160,000 student borrowers

The Biden administration on Wednesday announced $7.7 billion in debt relief impacting more than 160,000 in three categories. File Photo by Ting Shen/UPI
1 of 2 | The Biden administration on Wednesday announced $7.7 billion in debt relief impacting more than 160,000 in three categories. File Photo by Ting Shen/UPI | License Photo

May 22 (UPI) -- The Biden administration said on Wednesday it will forgive student loans for three categories of borrowers totaling $7.7 billion, the Education Department said.

The White House said about 160,500 borrowers will be impacted by Wednesday's relief including those enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness plan and certain Saving on a Valuable Education plan as well as those receiving forgiveness on income-driven repayment after changes by the Biden administration.

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"The Biden-Harris administration remains persistent about our efforts to bring student debt relief to millions more across the country, and this announcement proves it," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

"One out of every 10 federal student loan borrowers approved for debt relief means one out of every 10 borrowers now has financial breathing room and a burden lifted."

President Joe Biden said in a statement on Wednesday that each borrower received an average of $35,000 in debt cancelation.

"Today's announcement comes on top of the significant progress we've made for students and borrowers over the past three years," Biden said, noting that nurses, police officers and other public service workers received the benefits.

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Student loan debt forgiveness was one of Biden's biggest campaign promises in 2020, but that effort slowed when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year a larger, more sweeping plan under COVID-19 rules was unconstitutional.

Republicans have continued to push back on such efforts with lawsuits, charging that the paying for the loans would now fall unjustly on taxpayers.

Biden, though, said the debt from student loans has become a barrier to opportunity for many borrowers.

"I will never stop working to cancel student debt no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us," he said.

The Biden administration said that along with student loan relief, it has secured a $900 increase in the maximum Pell Grant and established new rules to protect borrowers from unmanageable debt.

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