The Lead

Biden debt relief plan will forgive federal student loans for roughly 30,000 Pa. borrowers

By: - July 19, 2023 3:40 pm

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Nearly 30,000 Pennsylvanians qualify for student debt forgiveness under a new plan from the Biden administration to provide borrowers with relief.

State-by-state data released by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday showed an estimated 29,840 borrowers in Pennsylvania, which ranks among the highest in the nation for the most debt, are eligible for a combined $1.34 billion in student debt relief.

The plan, announced after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected President Joe Biden’s sweeping loan forgiveness program, applies to 804,000 borrowers with a total of $39 billion in federal student loans. Those eligible — borrowers who have accumulated the equivalent of 20 or 25 years of qualifying months, depending on their loan type and income-driven repayment plan — should see their remaining debt forgiven in the coming weeks.

The Biden administration has said this plan corrects past administrative mistakes and ensures “everyone gets the forgiveness they deserve,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Education started notifying eligible borrowers about the forgiveness plan.

The Institute for College Access and Success, a national organization that advocates for accessible and affordable education, reported that 64% of Pennsylvania college graduates had student loan debt in 2019-20.

During that same timeframe, the average debt load of a Pennsylvania college graduate was $39,375. Twenty-two percent of college graduates had private student loan debt, an average total of $42,361.

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