Critics Slam Biden Admin’s Move: Cancels Student Loans for 160K Borrowers

President of the US Joe Biden | Credits: The New York Times
President of the US Joe Biden | Credits: The New York Times

United States: The Biden administration orchestrates the annulment of educational debts for an additional 160,000 debtors, amalgamating pre-existing initiatives.

The Department of Education heralded this recent wave of expungement on Wednesday, stipulating the obliteration of USD 7.7 billion in federal student liabilities. Through various schemes, this administration has thus far absolved USD 167 billion in student debt for approximately 5 million citizens, as reported by AP News. 

“Inception of my tenure witnessed my vow to champion education as an avenue to the middle echelon, not a barrier to aspiration,” stated President Joe Biden in a statement. “My resolve to nullify student debts remains steadfast, impervious to the obstructionist efforts of Republican incumbents,” he further added.

The latest reprieve is earmarked for debtors falling within three delineations, who have reached particular thresholds rendering them eligible for nullification. It encompasses 54,000 participants in Biden’s novel income-oriented repayment framework, along with 39,000 beneficiaries of antecedent income-based arrangements, and about 67,000 qualifying under the aegis of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, according to AP. 

Biden’s innovative repayment schema christened the SAVE Plan, proffers an expedited trajectory to absolution compared to antecedent iterations. A burgeoning cohort now becomes eligible for debt cancellation upon reaching a decennial payment milestone, a swifter denouement than hitherto faced by borrowers.

This pardoning proceeds notwithstanding legal opposition encountered by Biden’s SAVE Plan from states governed by Republicans. In March, a coalition of 11 states, spearheaded by Kansas, initiated litigation to impede the plan, followed by an additional seven states led by Missouri in April. These litigations posit that Biden necessitated congressional ratification for his overhaul of federal repayment paradigms.

Concurrently, a distinct initiative by the Biden administration seeks redress for prior lapses that impeded the cancellation process for certain participants enrolled in alternative repayment schemes and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, as reported by the Associated Press. 

The administration habitually unveils new tranches of reprieve monthly as a growing cohort fulfills eligibility criteria within the aforementioned trichotomy.

As per the Department of Education, one in every ten federal student loan debtors has now secured approval for some variant of debt remission.

“Each debtor attaining approval for debt alleviation signifies financial respite and a lightened burden,” remarked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in a statement.

Even as it perseveres with extant avenues for debt annulment, the Biden administration advocates for a novel, one-time absolution benefiting over 30 million debtors across five demographics.

This prospective plan seeks to alleviate the burden on debtors saddled with substantial accrued interest, those bearing older loan obligations, attendees of low-value educational programs, and those grappling with impediments to loan repayment. It additionally targets debt cancellation for individuals eligible under extant programs yet to petition for relief, as per AP News. 

While navigating a protracted regulatory process, certain facets of this initiative are slated for expedited implementation, with unpaid interest slated for waiver commencing autumn for myriad debtors.

Conservative adversaries have issued threats to contest this proposal, decrying it as an inequitable boon for affluent college graduates at the expense of taxpayers devoid of collegiate credentials or those who have discharged their loans.

The Supreme Court rebuffed Biden’s prior endeavor at one-time debt cancellation, asserting a breach of executive authority. This nascent proposal is undergirded by a distinct legal rationale.