Biden's student loan forgiveness plan would not have checked eligibility, audit concludes

GOP lawmakers blasted the Department of Education's approach to this issue.

Published: November 18, 2023 12:34pm

An audit conducted by a congressional watchdog reports that President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan, which was ruled against in June by the Supreme Court, would not have checked eligibility for borrowers. 

Around the time the Court made their ruling on the program, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated that the Department of Education had already made approval decisions to modify the loan balances on over two million applications that relied on people to report their own incomes. 

These cases were automatically approved applications and were solely based on borrowers’ income that was self-reported with no verification checks, according to The Washington Times.

“Education sought to expedite approvals for millions of borrowers by approving them automatically, but relied solely on self-reported data for more than 2 million of these borrowers,” wrote GAO leads Melissa Emrey-Arras and Seto Bagdoyan regarding the audit. 

“By not addressing the risks of self-reported data, Education left the door open to the possibility of some ineligible borrowers receiving relief based on fraudulent data,” they added.

There is the possibility of an estimated $430 billion of relief going to over 31 million borrowers, according to the GAO report. 

GOP lawmakers blasted the Department of Education's approach to this issue.

“Rather than intervening to mitigate instances of fraud from students who applied for loan forgiveness, the department leaned back in its chair, kicked its feet up and took a nap,” said Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.

The GAO report also said that although the Supreme Court had shut down Biden’s loan forgiveness program, the Education department was still trying to get it done on a slimmed-down basis.  

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News