Biden to forgive $1.2 billion in student debt in big move

Washington DC - President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday he would forgive $1.2 billion in student debt for some 150,000 borrowers who enrolled in his administration's new repayment plan.

President Joe Biden delivered remarks on canceling student debt at Culver City Julian Dixon Library on Wednesday in Culver City, California.
President Joe Biden delivered remarks on canceling student debt at Culver City Julian Dixon Library on Wednesday in Culver City, California.  © Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The plan, which is called the Saving on a Valuable Education, or the SAVE plan, makes it so that debt can be canceled after only a decade.

Debt forgiveness usually occurs after 20 or 25 years of payments.

One of Biden's presidential campaign promises in 2020 was to help alleviate the financial burdens of Americans who were in student debt. Ever since then, he has been under public pressure to push for student debt payment pauses and forgiveness.

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The president continued trying to keep his promise despite frequent pushback from Republicans in Congress and the conservative-majority Supreme Court.

After much congressional back and forth and loan payments resuming after Covid-pauses, Biden tried again in October. Wednesday's latest development may mean the program has finally stuck its landing.

How is student debt relief eligibility determined with the SAVE plan?

The "first round of folks" who "will have their debt cancelled" through the SAVE plan are those who have been repaying student debt for a decade or longer and originally borrowed $12,000 or less, the president revealed on Wednesday in Culver City, California.

"And we're pushing to relieve more," Biden wrote on X.

The US Department of Education has said that eligible borrowers should receive emails from Biden on Wednesday and that they don't need to take further action to receive debt relief.

The Biden administration said it has now canceled debt for almost 3.9 million borrowers through multiple eligibility initiatives, totaling $138 billion in relief so far.

"More to come, folks," Biden added.

Cover photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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