The U.S. Department of Education has already canceled over $66 billion in education debt despite President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan’s legal challenges.
Two million-plus borrowers, including those defrauded and those who work in the public sector, have benefited from that relief over the last few years, CNBC News reported.
“I feel like this administration has done more for borrowers in a short period of time than any other, especially for the most vulnerable borrowers such as the disabled and victims of fraud,” said Betsy Mayotte, president of The Institue of Student Loan Advisors said.
Still, supporters of Biden’s plans are concerned with the administration’s plan to resume soon federal student loan payments, which have been suspended since March 2020. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, 1 in 4 student loan borrowers were in default or behind on payments.
Here’s a breakdown of the debt relief already granted — and how to know if you qualify.
One debt relief program already granted it– the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that allows certain nonprofit and government employees to have their federal student loans canceled after ten years or 120 payments.
The Education Department announced earlier this month that it had approved $42 billion in loan cancellations under the program for more than 615,000 borrowers since October 2021.
Borrowers can see if their employment qualifies by filling out the employer certification form.
The Biden administration has focused on canceling the student debt of borrowers who say their colleges misled them. Over the last few years, around 1 million people have had their debt relieved through the borrower defense loan discharge, totaling $13.3 billion.
A borrower may qualify for this debt relief if their college engaged in misconduct, such as providing false or misleading information about their program or job placement rates.
If a borrower attended one of these colleges and applied for a borrower defense loan discharge on or before June 22, 2022, they should be entitled to automatic relief, even if their application was previously denied.
Eligible borrowers will likely get the cancellation no later than Jan. 28, 2024.
Another 425,000 federal student loan borrowers had their debt forgiven under President Joe Biden’s Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, for a total of $9.1 billion.
The relief provision is for borrowers with a physical or mental disability that makes it difficult or impossible for them to work.
Still, millions of Americans are waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt per borrower.
But if a borrower has already received debt cancellation under one of the above programs and has no remaining debt,
the president’s plan won’t affect them.
But in the meantime, dozens of other forgiveness options are available for state and federal loans.