100,000 student loan holders will now be able to have all of their obligations forgiven, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday (March 9).
The cancellation applies to borrowers who were affected by the revisions to the Public Servant Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program implemented by the Department of Education in 2021.
In accordance with recent figures, these borrowers would be able to cancel around $6.2 billion of the more than $1.61 trillion in student loan debt presently owed by American students, with a disproportionate number of Black and Black women borrowers.
Borrowers who were told they would have all of their loans forgiven after making payments for ten years are the ones who are expressly qualified for this program.
Since the program was launched 15 years ago, only a limited percentage of borrowers will be eligible until the program expires in 2021. According to CNN, more than 90 percent of those who applied for the program were turned down for consideration.
The eligibility restrictions for the program were widened for a brief period last year under the Biden administration after some borrowers expressed dissatisfaction with the program after discovering they were unable to participate despite having made payments on their loans for the previous decade.
As a result of the PSLF announcement announced today, more of the Department of Education’s hardworking teachers, nurses, first responders, military personnel, and many other public service workers will receive real relief, according to DOE Secretary Miguel Cardoza in a statement.
Lawmakers, borrowers, and advocates have urged Vice President Joe Biden to eliminate all college debt –– a move that, according to one study, would increase Black income by 40%.
As things stand, Black students, particularly Black women, are burdened with over 20 percent more student loan debt than their white counterparts, while simultaneously earning less per dollar earned and having higher rates of unemployment than their white contemporaries.