Canceling a student loan could help more borrowers, but that doesn’t mean Biden will cancel a student loan for everyone


President Joe Biden is helping more student loan borrowers cancel student loan.

Here’s what you need to know.

Student loans

Biden has been focused on helping more student loan borrowers get a student loan cancellation, even if it’s not a large-scale student loan cancellation. His focused approach resulted in the cancellation of $ 3 billion in student loans. Most recently, he has been working on improving the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which helps student loan borrowers such as emergency responders, teachers, military personnel, nurses, doctors, and other government employees get federal student loan canceled. Under the College Costs and Access Act, Congress created a bipartisan federal program in 2007 under President George W. Bush’s administration. As of April 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education has canceled $ 452.7 million in student loan debt for 5,467 student loan borrowers under the Public Services Loan Forgiveness Program.

However, from the outset, the program faced numerous challenges, including the fact that nearly 98% of student loan borrowers had not canceled student loans at the time of application. Biden wants to change this to help more student loan borrowers who qualify for the program obtain student loan forgiveness. Here’s how:

Student Loan Cancellation: How To Improve Student Loan Forgiveness

To help reform the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, the US Department of Education asks for your input (even if you do not have student loans). Until September 24, 2021, you can post comments about “technical improvements, borrower experience, policy considerations, or other factors to consider to improve access” to government service loan forgiveness. These comments will be the first step in getting feedback to change the rulemaking regarding the forgiveness of public services loans. You can send your comments electronically to, or by mail: Office of the Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room [7E307], Washington DC, 20202.

Student loan cancellation: 16 questions

Here are some questions about student loan forgiveness provided by the U.S. Department of Education that you can answer in your comments:

Public service and student debt

1. What are the direct and indirect implications of student debt for America’s civil servants?

2. What are the direct and indirect benefits of the PSLF to American government officials, including the impact of the PSLF on individual borrowers, the labor market, communities, and the population served by civil servants?

3. Does PSLF provide a strong incentive for borrowers to participate in community service? How are government employees’ hiring decisions influenced by their debt and PSLF?

Government Service Loan Forgiveness Experience

4. What experience of the borrower should the Department and Congress consider when making improvements to the PSLF?

5. What functions of PSLF are the most difficult for borrowers to navigate?

6. What role do loan servicing staff play in making it easier or more difficult for borrowers to access PSLF?

7. What barriers prevent government employees with student debt from completing PSLF or receiving PSLF loan forgiveness?

8. For borrowers who have or have had loans other than the direct loan program, what was your experience when you tried to access or participate in PSLF?

9. How can the communication of PSLF requirements be improved?

10. What general questions do borrowers have about PSLF?

PSLF Strengthening Opportunities for Borrowers Currently in Public Service

11. What operational steps can the Department take to strengthen PSLF and better serve government officials currently in arrears for students, including borrowers who have already applied for PSLF and have been rejected?

12. What steps can the Department take to improve the borrower’s experience when applying for PSLF?

13. What steps or improvements can service organizations take to improve the experience of borrowers when applying for PSLF?

14. What can the Department do to improve partnerships with employers so that all borrowers are aware of the benefits of PSLF?

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Student Loan Borrowers in Public Service

15. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the ability of borrowers to access PSLF?

16. Are there any PSLF considerations that the Department should consider when preparing to end the COVID-19 administrative deferral for direct loans?

Cancellation of student loan during the Covid-19 pandemic

Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan includes improvements to the government service loan forgiveness program. As a result of the federal student loan exemption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, student loan borrowers will receive a $ 90 billion student loan cancellation by September 30, 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Education. This was especially helpful for those borrowers seeking forgiveness for a government service loan. Why? In addition to the lack of mandatory federal student loan payments, Congress also ensured that any defaults from March 2020 “count” towards the required 120 monthly payments for the program, even if the student loan borrower did not make actual payments. This is another form of student loan cancellation.

Student Loan Cancellation: Next Steps

This targeted student loan cancellation plan for student loan borrowers who work for a qualified government service or non-profit employer is separate from the large-scale student loan cancellation. Biden’s focus on government service loan forgiveness is another example of not only targeted student loan cancellation – helping a specific group of student loan borrowers within the broader group of student loan borrowers – but also Biden’s focus on the area of ​​loan cancellation on education based on existing law. The same goes for the protection of borrowers from repayment, through which Biden canceled $ 1.5 billion in student loans.

It is possible that Biden will decide to decide on a large-scale cancellation of the student loan. However, as noted by Biden, he does not believe he has explicit legal authority to act unilaterally without further congressional approval. Biden asked the U.S. Department of Education for its views on its legal authority to revoke student loans, but the Trump administration determined that the president did not have such authority. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (DC) said the same this week, noting that the president has no authority to revoke student loans. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York State) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) disagree, noting that the president has existing powers to revoke student loans under the 1964 Higher Education Act. Ideological divisions have not led to widespread student loan abolition, and it is unlikely that Congress will accept any widespread student loan abolition. This is one of the reasons Biden has focused on targeted student loan cancellation, and there is no sign that he will stop. In addition to forgiving government services loans, Biden is also focused on updating the student loan repayment process to make it easier and less burdensome for student loan borrowers.

If you have student loans, here are some popular ways to save money:

Student loans: additional information

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Will this change the rules of the game for student loan cancellation?

Biden thus canceled $ 40 billion student loans

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