Despite Supreme Court ruling, Biden unveils $39 billion in new student loan debt forgiveness

Education Department says new authority involves “fixes” to student loan programs based on income levels.

Published: July 14, 2023 8:18am

Just weeks removed from a Supreme Court ruling that declared its student loan forgiveness program unconstitutional, the Biden administration on Friday announced new relief for students that will cancel $39 billion in debt for more than 804,000 past students. 

“For far too long, borrowers fell through the cracks of a broken system that failed to keep accurate track of their progress towards forgiveness,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “By fixing past administrative failures, we are ensuring everyone gets the forgiveness they deserve.”

Cardona said the new program is justified by adjusting payment schedules in student loan programs to recognize some qualifying payments “should have moved borrowers closer to forgiveness were not accounted for.”

The justices voted 6-3 last month to strike down Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in debt for 43 million student loan borrowers, concluding the president did not have the legal authority to do so without legislation from Congress.

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