WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Friday that his administration is canceling $7.4 billion in student loans for 277,000 borrowers.

The White House said the latest round of relief helps borrowers enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan as well as those in income-driven repayment or Public Service Loan Forgiveness plans. On the SAVE plan, an income-driven repayment plan that took effect last summer, the new policy will allow those who took out smaller loans to have the debt canceled more quickly, the Education Department said.

Image: Joe Biden
President Joe Biden departs Monday after delivering remarks on student loan debt at Madison College in Madison, Wis.Evan Vucci / AP

With its latest move, the administration has now canceled $153 billion for 4.3 million Americans, the White House said.

“Today’s announcement comes on top of the significant progress we’ve made for students and borrowers over the past three years,” Biden said in a statement. “That includes: providing the largest increases to the maximum Pell Grant in over a decade; fixing Public Service Loan Forgiveness so teachers, nurses, police officers, and other public service workers get the relief they are entitled to under the law, and holding colleges accountable for taking advantage of students and families.”

Biden said that since taking office in 2021, he has “promised to fight to ensure higher education is a ticket to the middle class, not a barrier to opportunity.”

“I will never stop working to cancel student debt — no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us,” he said.

Earlier this week, Biden announced revised plans to cancel student debt that when implemented would provide relief to more than 30 million Americans “when combined with actions the Administration has taken over the last three years,” the White House said.

The Education Department said that the new plans would waive accrued and capitalized interest for millions of borrowers, automatically discharge debt for borrowers otherwise eligible for loan forgiveness under the SAVE or other plans, eliminate student debt for borrowers in repayment for 20 years or more, help those enrolled in low-financial-value programs, and assist borrowers who experience hardship in repaying their loans.

The public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed actions “in the coming weeks,” the department said.

The administration introduced the current efforts to provide student debt relief after the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s original student debt relief program, which aimed to cancel up to $20,000 in debt for about 43 million borrowers.

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