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White House cancels $5 billion in student debt for 74K borrowers

The announcement is the latest in a series of loan forgiveness actions by the administration after the Supreme Court last year struck down Biden's much broader plan.
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WASHINGTON — In a new wave of student loan forgiveness, the Biden administration is canceling $5 billion in debt for 74,000 borrowers, many of whom worked in public sector jobs for more than a decade.

President Joe Biden said that 44,000 of Friday’s approved borrowers were having their education debt wiped clean after 10 years of public service, and that those borrowers included teachers, nurses and firefighters. Almost 30,000 borrowers have worked toward repayment for at least 20 years but “never got the relief they earned through income-driven repayment plans,” he said in a statement.

It’s the latest round of loan forgiveness efforts after the Supreme Court struck down the White House’s student loan debt relief plan last year. Since the ruling, the White House has launched a series of smaller relief programs.

“My Administration is able to deliver relief to these borrowers — and millions more — because of fixes we made to broken student loan programs that were preventing borrowers from getting relief they were entitled to under the law,” Biden said Friday.

This brings the total number of people who have had debt canceled under the Biden administration to 3.7 million, the White House said.

The administration announced this month that the White House would eliminate federal student debt for certain borrowers who had taken out less than $12,000 in federal loans. In December, Biden approved about $4.8 billion in student debt cancellation for more than 80,000 borrowers.

The Supreme Court struck down Biden's student loan relief plan last June, arguing that the program was unlawful because it was not explicitly approved by Congress. The plan was designed to cancel up to $20,000 in debt for about 43 million eligible borrowers.

Biden said in Friday's statement that "we are continuing to pursue an alternative path to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible" in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision.