Biden-Harris Administration Announces an Additional $9 Billion in Student Debt Relief

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces an Additional $9 Billion in Student Debt Relief

New state-by-state data shows relief for income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness
October 4, 2023

 The Biden-Harris administration announced today that an additional 125,000 Americans have been approved for $9 billion in debt relief through fixes the U.S. Department of Education has made to income-driven repayment (IDR) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), and granting automatic relief for borrowers with total and permanent disabilities. Today's announcement brings the total approved debt cancellation by the Biden-Harris Administration to $127 billion for nearly 3.6 million Americans.

The Biden-Harris Administration is announcing it has approved:

  • $5.2 billion in additional debt relief for 53,000 borrowers under Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs.
  • Nearly $2.8 billion in new debt relief for nearly 51,000 borrowers through fixes to income-driven repayment plans. These are borrowers who have been in repayment for 20 or more years but never got the relief they were entitled to
  • $1.2 billion for nearly 22,000 borrowers who have a total or permanent disability and have been identified and approved for discharge through a data match with the Social Security Administration.

"For years, millions of eligible borrowers were unable to access the student debt relief they qualified for, but that's all changed thanks to President Biden and this Administration's relentless efforts to fix the broken student loan system," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "The Biden-Harris administration's laser-like focus on reducing red tape, addressing past administrative failures, and putting borrowers first have now resulted in a historic $127 billion in debt relief approved for nearly 3.6 million borrowers. Today's announcement builds on everything our administration has already done to protect students from unaffordable debt, make repayment more affordable, and ensure that investments in higher education pay off for students and working families."

 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 earlier this year launched the most affordable student loan repayment plan – SAVE – which makes many borrowers' monthly payments as low as $0 and prevents balances from growing because of unpaid interest. 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, President Biden announced his Administration was pursuing an alternative path to debt relief through negotiated rulemaking under the Higher Education Act.

The Department of Education took an important step forward in the negotiated rulemaking last week – announcing individuals who will serve on the negotiating committee and releasing an issue paper to guide the first negotiating session. The paper asks the committee to consider how the Administration can help borrowers, including borrowers whose balances are greater than what they originally borrowed, who would be eligible for relief under existing repayment plans but have not applied, and who have experienced financial hardship on their loans that the current loan system doesn't address.

To date, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved the following in debt cancellation:

  • Nearly $42 billion for almost 855,000 borrowers who are eligible for forgiveness through income-driven repayment by fixing historical inaccuracies in the count of payments that qualify toward forgiveness;
  • Almost $51 billion for 715,000 public servants through Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) programs, including the limited PSLF waiver and Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF);
  • $11.7 billion for almost 513,000 borrowers with a total and permanent disability; an
  • $22.5 billion for more than 1.3 million borrowers who were cheated by their schools, saw their institutions precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements.

The state-by-state breakdown of relief and impacted borrowers can be found below:

Borrowers with Processed PSLF Discharges (PSLF, TEPSLF, and limited waiver) since October 2021 by Location  

State 

Borrower Count 

Balance Approved for Discharge (in millions) 

Alabama

10,700

$831.70

Alaska 

1330 

$89.5  

Arizona 

11,700 

$840.0  

Arkansas 

6,370 

$439.3  

California 

60,680 

$4,450.6  

Colorado 

13,220 

$925.0  

Connecticut 

8,300 

$558.1  

Delaware 

2,250 

$160.9  

District of Columbia 

4,070 

$359.9  

Florida 

40,410 

$3,335.6  

Georgia 

29,160 

$2,563.4  

Hawaii 

2,250 

$161.7  

Idaho 

3,800 

$240.4  

Illinois 

27,550 

$1,939.7  

Indiana 

13,010 

$866.5  

Iowa 

7,290 

$400.4  

Kansas 

6,910 

$434.4  

Kentucky 

8,790 

$561.6  

Louisiana 

8,940 

$704.5  

Maine 

3,550 

$229.8  

Maryland 

21,520 

$1,688.3  

Massachusetts 

15,460 

$1,052.7  

Michigan 

25,410 

$1,755.6  

Minnesota 

15,400 

$945.4  

Mississippi 

6,990 

$587.7  

Missouri 

15,580 

$1,039.3  

Montana 

2,710 

$162.6  

Nebraska 

4,470 

$270.9  

Nevada 

4,200 

$306.2  

New Hampshire 

3,440 

$220.1  

New Jersey 

17,730 

$1,199.0  

New Mexico 

3,890 

$259.6  

New York 

56,540 

$3,841.3  

North Carolina 

19,730 

$1,422.1  

North Dakota 

1340 

$81.2  

Ohio 

31,290 

$2,145.0  

Oklahoma 

6,490 

$431.7  

Oregon 

12,050 

$787.1  

Pennsylvania 

31,670 

$2,211.1  

Puerto Rico 

3,020 

$141.2  

Rhode Island 

2,230 

$151.7  

South Carolina 

13,170 

$1,079.5  

South Dakota 

2,350 

$134.2  

Tennessee 

12,950 

$994.7  

Texas 

45,600 

$3,212.5  

Utah 

4,000 

$281.2  

Vermont 

2,320 

$163.2  

Virginia 

23,340 

$1,622.0  

Washington 

15,700 

$1,048.6  

West Virginia 

4,160 

$244.8  

Wisconsin 

13,500 

$816.3  

Wyoming 

1030 

$60.1  

All Other Locations 

5,570 

$412.4  

Total 

715,130 

$50,861.9  

Data as of late September 2023
The sum of individual values may not equal the total due to rounding and timing

Borrowers Identified for Forgiveness under Income Driven Repayment Direct-to-Discharge Account Adjustment by Location 

State

Borrower Count

Balance Approved for Discharge (in millions) 

Alabama 

              13,560  

$597.4  

Alaska 

                1,050  

$55.7  

Arizona 

              21,790  

$1,099.4  

Arkansas 

                7,480  

$369.4  

California 

              65,340  

$3,145.5  

Colorado 

              15,830  

$856.9  

Connecticut 

                7,710  

$333.5  

Delaware 

                2,610  

$123.1  

District of Columbia 

                2,380  

$139.8  

Florida 

              60,410  

$3,243.4  

Georgia 

              40,850  

$2,279.0  

Hawaii 

                1,800  

$96.8  

Idaho 

                5,990  

$266.2  

Illinois 

              30,010  

$1,402.1  

Indiana 

              20,770  

$993.9  

Iowa 

              11,330  

$502.1  

Kansas 

                8,960  

$454.1  

Kentucky 

              11,830  

$480.0  

Louisiana 

              16,330  

$890.4  

Maine 

                5,100  

$228.3  

Maryland 

              17,830  

$984.8  

Massachusetts 

              13,210  

$624.4  

Michigan 

              28,740  

$1,364.3  

Minnesota 

              14,500  

$692.1  

Mississippi 

              10,210  

$487.8  

Missouri 

              20,010  

$1,026.4  

Montana 

                3,960  

$198.8  

Nebraska 

                5,980  

$285.4  

Nevada 

                7,290  

$352.8  

New Hampshire 

                3,260  

$155.1  

New Jersey 

              18,280  

$843.1  

New Mexico 

                5,740  

$279.0  

New York 

              44,230  

$2,045.6  

North Carolina 

              26,390  

$1,221.3  

North Dakota 

                2,210  

$106.7  

Ohio 

              39,690  

$1,861.3  

Oklahoma 

              12,230  

$592.2  

Oregon 

              12,430  

$607.0  

Pennsylvania 

              32,040  

$1,444.4  

Puerto Rico 

                3,960  

$110.6  

Rhode Island 

                2,740  

$116.2  

South Carolina 

              17,460  

$914.3  

South Dakota 

                3,240  

$157.5  

Tennessee 

              18,100  

$933.4  

Texas 

              67,590  

$3,314.3  

Utah 

                4,220  

$229.2  

Vermont 

                2,060  

$102.9  

Virginia 

              22,930  

$1,116.1  

Washington 

              17,390  

$834.1  

West Virginia 

                5,270  

$211.0  

Wisconsin 

              13,130  

$623.5  

Wyoming 

                1,320  

$67.5  

All Other Locations 

                6,150  

$292.5  

Total 

854,870 

$41,752.6  

Data as of mid-September 2023
The sum of individual values may not equal the total due to rounding and timing