100,000 Student Loan Borrowers Now Eligible For Complete Debt Cancellation

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The US Department of Education announced Wednesday (March 9) that 100,000 student loan borrowers will now be eligible to completely wipe out their debts.

The cancellation applies to borrowers who were impacted by the changes the DOE made to the Public Servant Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program in 2021. According to reports, these borrowers would cancel about $6.2 billion of the more than $1.61 trillion currently owed by American student loan borrowers –– a disproportionate amount of whom are Black and Black women.

The borrowers who are specifically eligible are those who were told they'd have all their loans forgiven after making payments for 10 years. The program was established 15 years ago, meaning only a small number of borrowers have qualified before 2021. More than 90% of people who applied to the program have been rejected, according to CNN.

Under the Biden administration, the eligibility requirements were widened for a short time last year after some borrowers spoke out when they discovered they couldn't participate in the program despite paying on their loans for the last decade.

"The PSLF announcement made today means more our dedicated teachers, nurses, first responders, service members, and many other public service workers will get meaningful relief," DOE Secretary Miguel Cardoza said in a statement.

Lawmakers, borrowers, and advocates have called on Joe Biden to cancel all student debt –– a move that one analysis showed would bolster Black wealth by 40%. As it stands, Black students, particularly Black women shoulder more than 20% more student loan debt than their white peers, while also making less on the dollar and experiencing greater levels of unemployment.

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