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Biden-Harris Administration Approves Additional $5.8 Billion in Student Debt Relief for 78,000 Public Service Workers

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 President Biden will email an additional 380,000 public service workers thanking them for their service and notifying them they are on track to have their debt cancelled through PSLF within two years

The Biden-Harris Administration announced today the approval of $5.8 billion in additional student loan debt relief for 77,700 borrowers. These approvals are the result of fixes made by the Administration to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Today’s announcement brings the total loan forgiveness approved by the Biden-Harris Administration to $143.6 billion for 3.96 million Americans. This action builds on President Biden and his Administration’s efforts to provide debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible.

“For too long, our nation’s teachers, nurses, social workers, firefighters, and other public servants faced logistical troubles and trap doors when they tried to access the debt relief they were entitled to under the law. With this announcement, the Biden-Harris Administration is showing how we’re taking further steps not only to fix those trap doors, but also to expand opportunity to many more Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Today, more than 100 times more borrowers are eligible for PSLF than there were at the beginning of the Administration. The Biden Administration is turning a promise broken under our predecessor into a promise kept.”

The debt relief announced today includes borrowers who have benefitted from the Biden-Harris Administration’s limited PSLF waiver as well as regulatory improvements made to the program by the Administration. Total relief through PSLF is now $62.5 billion for 871,000 borrowers since October 2021. Prior to the Biden-Harris Administration’s fixes to PSLF, only about 7,000 borrowers had ever received forgiveness.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to provide relief for another 77,700 borrowers who have given back to their communities through public service,” said U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary James Kvaal. “We hope this relief provides borrowers and their families some much needed breathing room.”

An additional nearly 380,000 borrowers who are within two years, or 24 qualifying payments, of receiving forgiveness under PSLF will also receive an email from President Biden  starting next week thanking them for their service and notifying them that if they continue in their public service work, they will be eligible for forgiveness within that time frame: “The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is an important way to bring more Americans into public service and help them get out from under the burden of student loan debt. But for too long, the program failed to live up to its commitments – and public service workers like you never got the relief you are entitled to under the law because of errors and administrative failures. I vowed to fix that, and I’m proud that my Administration has delivered on that promise,” the email from President Biden notes. “I hope you continue the important work of serving your community – and if you do, in less than two years you could get your remaining student loans forgiven through Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” the President adds.

The Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic steps to reduce the burden of student debt and ensure that student loans are not a barrier to opportunity for students and families. The Administration secured the largest increase to Pell Grants in a decade and finalized new rules to protect borrowers from career programs that leave graduates with unaffordable debts or insufficient earnings. And, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the Administration’s original student debt relief plan, the Administration continues its work to pursue an alternative path to debt relief through negotiated rulemaking under the Higher Education Act.

The updated state-by-state breakdown of borrowers approved for forgiveness under PSLF, including today’s announcement, can be found below:

Borrowers with Processed PSLF Discharges (PSLF, TEPSLF, and limited waiver) by Location (10/1/2021-3/15/2024)

State

Borrower Count

Outstanding Balance (in millions)

Alabama

               13,070

$1,035.8

Alaska

                 1,580

$108.1

Arizona

               14,230

$1,028.0

Arkansas

                 7,760

$541.1

California

               74,940

$5,619.7

Colorado

               16,290

$1,135.0

Connecticut

               10,210

$699.9

Delaware

                 2,770

$200.6

District of Columbia

                 4,880

$438.4

Florida

               48,550

$4,022.8

Georgia

               35,810

$3,193.0

Hawaii

                 2,690

$195.3

Idaho

                 4,570

$291.3

Illinois

               33,870

$2,408.3

Indiana

               15,980

$1,064.3

Iowa

                 8,950

$492.0

Kansas

                 8,340

$524.6

Kentucky

               10,780

$691.6

Louisiana

               10,750

$858.3

Maine

                 4,380

$285.6

Maryland

               26,170

$2,062.7

Massachusetts

               18,830

$1,290.8

Michigan

               30,810

$2,149.1

Minnesota

               18,940

$1,159.8

Mississippi

                 8,590

$734.5

Missouri

               18,970

$1,271.9

Montana

                 3,240

$200.2

Nebraska

                 5,500

$335.9

Nevada

                 5,020

$372.9

New Hampshire

                 4,170

$267.1

New Jersey

               21,740

$1,480.6

New Mexico

                 4,700

$316.4

New York

               67,100

$4,609.8

North Carolina

               24,410

$1,772.5

North Dakota

                 1,620

$97.0

Ohio

               38,310

$2,631.6

Oklahoma

                 7,950

$516.8

Oregon

               14,680

$967.3

Pennsylvania

               38,320

$2,701.1

Puerto Rico

                 3,660

$173.1

Rhode Island

                 2,770

$187.2

South Carolina

               15,990

$1,312.9

South Dakota

                 2,840

$163.9

Tennessee

               15,800

$1,223.0

Texas

               56,200

$3,995.6

Utah

                 4,960

$346.7

Vermont

                 2,840

$197.2

Virginia

               28,150

$1,970.6

Washington

               19,220

$1,298.0

West Virginia

                 5,060

$299.7

Wisconsin

               16,410

$997.4

Wyoming

                 1,250

$73.9

All Other Locations

                 6,530

$487.4

Total

871,140

$62,498.2

Data as of mid-March 2024

The sum of individual values may not equal the total due to rounding and timing.



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