White House approves student loan forgiveness for 16 million people

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The U.S. Department of Education has “fully approved” more than 16 million people for federal student loan forgiveness and sent their applications to loan servicers, the Biden administration announced Friday.

The administration gave a state-by-state breakdown of the number of borrowers who have applied and been approved for its sweeping debt relief program, which is on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decides its fate.

In August, President Joe Biden announced that he’d forgive at least $10,000, and up to $20,000, in federal student loan debt for tens of millions of borrowers.

Within months, however, Republicans and conservative groups had brought at least six legal challenges against the plan. The Biden administration in November had to close its student loan forgiveness portal after a federal judge in Texas struck down its plan.

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Still, more than 26 million people had applied for the relief while the application was open or have been deemed automatically eligible, according to the administration.

“These borrowers could be benefitting from the Administration’s program right now were it not for lawsuits brought by elected officials and special interests,” a White House fact sheet said.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments over the president’s plan on Feb. 28.

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