Student loan forgiveness is on the way for more than 800,000 borrowers

Over 804,000 federal student loan borrowers are set to have their debts automatically erased, due to a promise by the Biden administration.

The big picture: The U.S. Department of Education announced plans to forgive $39 billion in federal student loan debt.
* Despite the Supreme Court’s thwarting of widespread debt forgiveness attempts by President Biden, over 800,000 borrowers will receive an email from the Department of Education confirming that their debts will be erased.
* The decision comes in response to complaints and lawsuits about mismanagement of the government’s income-driven repayment plans (IDR), and a promise made by the Biden administration last year to rectify the situations.

How it works: Income-driven repayment plans promise forgiveness of borrower’s loan balances after 20 years of payment, but many borrowers were falsely led into long-term forbearances due to difficulties enrolling in IDRs.
* These forbearances temporarily relieved borrowers from making payments, but the interest continued to accumulate.

Reality check: A March 2021 report found that although 4.4 million borrowers had been repaying loans for at least 20 years, only 32 had their debts canceled under IDR due to these issues.
* The Department of Education plans to give retroactive credit towards loan forgiveness for months spent in long-term forbearance, even to those who have never been in an IDR program.

What’s next: This review of borrower accounts is set to continue until 2024 and significantly adds to previous debt relief efforts by the Biden administration, which now total at least $116 billion.

View original article on NPR

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