The Biden Administration has announced that nearly $5 billion dollars of student debt has been cancelled, offering relief for 74,000 borrowers.
Among those who have benefited from the cancellations, 44,000 include teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public service workers, who have been repaying debts for over 10 years.
The president said earlier this month that borrowers who took out less than $12,000 in loans and have been in repayment for 10 years will get their remaining loans cancelled as long as they are enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan.
The SAVE plan has arrived six months ahead of schedule, the White House said previously.
According to Friday’s announcement, the additional number of individuals to have their student debts cancelled now brings the total to over 3.7 million Americans. Anyone eligible for the SAVE plan can enrol at studentaid.gov.
“My Administration is able to deliver relief to these borrowers – and millions more – because of fixes we made to broken student loan programs that were preventing borrowers from getting relief they were entitled to under the law,” a statement from Mr Biden said.
Mr Biden – a long-time advocate for the cancellation of student debt – has previously faced opposition. Last year the US Supreme Court ruled that the president lacked the authority to broadly cancel student loan debt.
On Friday he reiterated his commitment to the cause, saying the Administration would continue to “pursue an alternative path” to deliver student debt relief to “as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible”.
“From Day One of my Administration, I vowed to improve the student loan system so that a higher education provides Americans with opportunity and prosperity – not unmanageable burdens of student loan debt,” Mr Biden’s statement continued.
“I won’t back down from using every tool at our disposal to get student loan borrowers the relief they need to reach their dreams.”