President Biden announced an additional $4.8 billion in student loan forgiveness Wednesday, with the relief targeted at federal borrowers working in public service fields.
The debt relief will assist about 80,000 borrowers, approximately half of whom should have already qualified for relief through their public service jobs, but had not yet received it due to clerical errors, the White House said.
The remaining funds will “fix” the Income-Driven Repayment Plan, accurately accounting for loan forgiveness already earned, the Department of Education said.
“From Day One of my Administration, I vowed to improve the student loan system so that a higher education provides Americans with opportunity and prosperity – not unmanageable burdens of student loan debt,” Biden said in a statement. “I won’t back down from using every tool at our disposal to get student loan borrowers the relief they need to reach their dreams.”
The Biden administration has forgiven about $132 billion in loans for 3.6 million Americans, but the Supreme Court halted previous efforts earlier this year.
By targeting relief through fixing and funding current systems already in place, these student debt relief efforts will circumvent the court order.
“Before President Biden took office, it was virtually impossible for eligible borrowers to access the student debt relief they rightfully earned,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “This level of debt relief is unparalleled and we have no intention of slowing down.”
Public service jobs that qualify for the relief program include teachers, nurses and members of the military.