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Student loans: the Biden administration gives $24 billion for forgiveness

The Biden administration has given $24 billion in loan forgiveness to 360,000 student borrowers through a policy fix called the Limited PSLF waiver.

Student Loan Forgiveness temporarily blocked

360,000 student loan borrowers qualified for $24 billion in forgiveness through a policy fix known as the Limited Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver. The waiver is a temporary measure to expand the eligibility of borrowers to get relief from their debts.

The PSLF program, signed into law in 2007 by then-President George W. Bush, aims to erase the federal student loan debt of those who have been engaged for 10 years in qualifying employment in public service or particular non-profit or government organizations.


PSLF’s problems

However, the measure has encountered problems involving eligibility requirements. The program’s strict rules on qualifying payments and poor communication between borrowers and loan services resulted in a low approval rate for those applying to have their loans forgiven.

The waiver sought to address these issues of borrowers being barred by technicalities despite being employed in a qualifying job.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, the average borrower received more than $67,000 in debt relief.

One-year opportunity over

President Biden had announced the Limited PSLF Waiver Opportunity in October 2021, which was to last a year. Although it ended around two months ago, qualified borrowers still have a chance to receive forgiveness if they were unable to take advantage of the one-year fix.

The Education Department has said that even if they missed the waiver opportunity, some borrowers who work in public service could qualify for a one-time adjustment of their payment count. There will also be some permanent changes that will be implemented in the PSLF program, which could allow those with loans to be credited for late payments. Both these actions will take place in July.