Data released by the Department of Education Tuesday shows just how many people stand to benefit from the White House's $39 billion debt relief plan.
The report gives a state-by-state breakdown of the eligible 804,000 borrowers and relief amounts each would receive under the administration's Income-Driven Repayment plans, or IDR plans, which were "fixed" last week. Those fixes broadened what it means to be in repayments within an IDR plan, though eligible borrowers still have to have been in repayments for at least 20 years.
On Friday, the administration began notifying the student loan borrowers who will see relief, and loans will begin being discharged 30 days after the notifications were sent, the White House said.
These discharges are in part "to address historical failures in the administration of the federal student loan program in which qualifying payments made under IDR plans that should have moved borrowers closer to forgiveness were not accurately accounted for."
"We remain committed to the idea that a college credential is one of the best tools for building a stronger America. But we cannot bury the dreams unlocked by college under mountains of unaffordable debt," said Education Department Under Secretary James Kvaal. "Through this process we will work swiftly and tirelessly to make that relief a reality for borrowers."
Texas had the most borrowers approved for IDR discharge under the account adjustment, with 63,730. California was second with 61,890 borrowers, and Florida was in third with 56,930.
Since President Joe Biden took office, the administration has approved more than $116 billion in student loan forgiveness for more than 3.4 million borrowers.
He announced an alternate plan to forgive student loan debt less than three weeks after Supreme Court decided he didn't have the power to cancel so much debt.
"Republican lawmakers – who had no problem with the government forgiving millions of dollars of their own business loans — have tried everything they can to stop me from providing relief to hardworking Americans. Some are even objecting to the actions we announced today, which follows through on relief borrowers were promised, but never given, even when they had been making payments for decades," the president said Friday. "The hypocrisy is stunning, and the disregard for working and middle-class families is outrageous."
The Department of Education said it will continue to find and notify eligible borrowers every two months until next year "when all borrowers who are not yet eligible for forgiveness will have their payment counts updated."
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