Biden Administration releases new data showing 26 million people in all 50 states applied or were automatically eligible for one-time student debt relief

Today, the Biden Administration released new data showing the number of people in each state who applied for student debt relief or were automatically eligible for relief. These borrowers could be benefitting from the administration’s program right now were it not for lawsuits brought by elected officials and special interests.

In August, Biden announced his administration’s plan to provide up to $20,000 in debt relief for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year. The administration’s program aimed to protect borrowers most at risk of delinquency or default as a result of hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic when the payment pause ends.

In the less than four weeks that the application was available, 26 million people either applied for debt relief or had already provided sufficient information to the Department of Education to be deemed eligible for relief. More than 16 million of those borrowers’ applications were fully approved by the Department and sent to loan servicers.

However, in November of last year — less than a month after the application was first released — the department was required to stop accepting applications as a result of lawsuits brought by opponents of the program. Loan servicers were thus prevented from discharging any debt.

Overall, more than 40 million borrowers would qualify for the Biden Administration’s debt relief program. Nearly 90 percent of the benefits of the relief going to out-of-school borrowers would go to those earning less than $75,000 per year. Millions of those borrowers could be experiencing the benefits of that relief today — were it not for lawsuits brought on by elected officials in some of their own states.

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