(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden moved to forgive $4.8 billion in student loans Wednesday, providing relief to more than 80,000 borrowers including public sector employees and Americans who have been repaying their federal debts for decades.
The move implements regulatory changes taken by the administration to expand access to existing programs. Under new rules, the US wiped out $2.6 billion in loans for more than 34,000 federal, state, local, and nonprofit employees, including teachers and members of the military.
The administration also approved $2.2 billion in relief for nearly 46,000 borrowers who have been making income-based repayments for an extended period of time.
While White House efforts to provide sweeping student loan relief were stymied by the Supreme Court, Biden has sought to expand forgiveness under existing programs. Some 3.6 million borrowers have received $132 billion in loan forgiveness under Biden, the Department of Education said.
“I vowed to improve the student loan system so that a higher education provides Americans with opportunity and prosperity – not unmanageable burdens of student loan debt,” Biden said in a statement. “I won’t back down from using every tool at our disposal to get student loan borrowers the relief they need to reach their dreams.”
After the Supreme Court decision, which stuck down Biden’s proposal to forgive as much as $400 billion in debt, the White House has said they will offer additional proposals in hopes of slashing debt while passing legal muster. Earlier this week, the Education Department announced a proposal to provide debt relief for low-income Americans whose student loans are now greater than their original loan amounts.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.