June 15, 2024 2:00 am

Biden cancels $1.2bn in student loans for more than 150,000 people

The Biden administration has announced it is cancelling $1.2bn (£949m) of student debt for 153,000 American borrowers.

The Supreme Court had previously blocked President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel student debt for over 40 million Americans.

This announcement only applies to those enrolled in a specific repayment plan who meet certain requirements.

Those affected will be notified and it will be applied automatically.

The announcement from the White House on Wednesday only applies to those enrolled in the voluntary Saving on a Valuable Education (Save) repayment plan who have been making payments for at least 10 years and who originally borrowed $12,000 or less for school.

It will “particularly help community college and other borrowers with smaller loans and put many on track to being free of student debt faster than ever before”, the White House said in a statement.

According to the Department of Education, 7.5 million people are enrolled in the repayment programme, which was created by the Biden administration.

It calculates monthly payment to a person’s income and family size and not their loan balance, in an effort to reduce the financial burden.

Everyone enrolled in the Save plan is eligible for loan forgiveness after 20 to 25 years of repayments. President Joe Biden has also shortened that timeline for those with smaller balances, putting them on a 10-year forgiveness track.

Loan forgiveness will be processed in the coming days for those eligible.

The Department of Education will also begin contacting people who are eligible for relief but who are not enrolled in the Save plan.

Mr Biden has cancelled $138bn of student debt for almost 3.9 million people through executive actions, according to the White House.

The US has $1.77tn in student debt and the average federal student loan debt per person in over $37,000, according to the Education Data Initiative, which researches data on the US education system.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the president had overstepped his authority with a proposal to cancel billions in student debt.

If not struck down, Mr Biden’s plan would have forgiven up to $20,000 in debt in some cases.

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