Biden's new student-loan forgiveness plan just began its 30-day public comment period — and anyone can tell the administration what they think of the relief

  • The public now has 30 days to comment on Biden's new student-loan forgiveness plan.

  • It's the next step in implementing a broader version of debt relief for borrowers.

  • The proposals include relief for those with unpaid interest, along with those in repayment for 20 years.

The public has one month to tell President Joe Biden what they think of his new student-loan forgiveness plan.

After announcing details of Biden's second attempt at student-debt relief last week, the Education Department formally published the draft text of the new rules on the Federal Register on Wednesday. The publication of the rules officially kicked off the 30-day public comment, set to end on May 17. Comments can be submitted to the Federal Register here, which the Education Department will then review.

The draft text currently consists of nine rules "that permit separate and distinct types of waivers using the Secretary of Education's longstanding authority under the Higher Education Act," the Education Department said in a Tuesday press release.

The rules address distinct types of borrowers that would qualify for relief under this new plan: those whose balances have grown due to unpaid interest, those who would be eligible for relief under certain repayment plans but have not yet enrolled, those who have been in repayment for at least 20 years, and those who have attended programs that left them with too much debt compared to post-graduation earnings.

The Education Department also said a separate rule to address relief for borrowers experiencing financial hardship will be released in the coming months.

"These historic steps reflect President Biden's determination that we cannot allow student debt to leave students worse off than before they went to college," Undersecretary of Education James Kvaal said in a Tuesday statement. "The President directed us to complete these programs as quickly as possible, and we are going to do just that."

The department aims to begin implementing relief as early as this fall. Still, as Business Insider previously reported, legal threats to the relief could imperil the department's timeline. While lawsuits have yet to be formally filed against Biden's administration, Missouri's Attorney General Andrew Bailey wrote on X in response to Biden's relief proposals: "See you in court."

And some experts said a conservative Supreme Court could likely rule like they did with Biden's first debt relief plan, striking it down.

"The administration is certainly still facing a very skeptical Supreme Court," Cary Coglianese, an administrative law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told BI. "Even though it's a different statute, it's still a skeptical Supreme Court. It's still a pretty big program even though it's a smaller one."

Following the public comment period, the Education Department will review comments and could choose to adjust their proposals based on the feedback they receive. It will then finalize the rule and move toward implementation.

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