Last month, President Biden launched his Administration’s student debt relief application, enabling tens of millions of Americans to apply for relief in under 5 minutes as they recover from the pandemic. Already, close to 26 million people have provided the Department of Education the required information to be considered for debt relief – that’s close to 26 million Americans who could be on their way to getting a little more breathing room as they prepare to resume loan payments in January. By the end of the week, 16 million applications will have been approved.

The Biden Administration’s student debt relief plan will benefit working and middle-class families the most. Borrowers are eligible if their individual income is less than $125,000 per year, no borrower in the top 5% of incomes will benefit, and nearly 90% of relief for out-of-school borrowers will go to those who earn less than $75,000 per year. Borrowers with remaining undergraduate loan balances will also see their monthly payments cut in half under the Administration’s plan – providing long-term cost-savings to millions of families.

Republican officials across the country, however, have a different plan. Rather than easing the burden of loan debt for tens of millions of Americans, Republican officials have sued to prevent those hardest hit from the pandemic from getting relief. At the same time, Republicans in Congress are calling for a $3 trillion giveaway for Big Pharma, corporations, and the ultra-wealthy.

If Republican officials get their way, tens of millions of Americans’ monthly costs will rise dramatically when student loan payments resume next year. Working and middle-class Americans who could have up to $10,000 or $20,000 of their student debt relieved under the Biden Administration’s plan will remain under the burden of loan debt – preventing them from pursuing the dream of homeownership, saving up for retirement, or starting small businesses.

If Republican officials get their way:

  • Close to 26 million Americans who have already provided their information to the Department of Education will lose out on up to $10,000 or $20,000 in debt relief.
  • The 16 million people whose applications will have been approved by the Department of Education by the end of this week won’t get relief.
  • The more than 40 million borrowers in total who are currently eligible for debt relief under the Administration’s plan – more than 60% of whom are Pell Grant recipients eligible for up to $20,000 in relief – will be denied the opportunity to receive relief.
  • Nearly 20 million borrowers who are eligible to have their debts zeroed out as a result of the Biden Administration’s student debt relief plan won’t get any debt cancelled.
  • The over 70% of Black undergraduate borrowers who are Pell Grant recipients won’t be able to get up to $20,000 in student debt relieved.
  • Almost half of Latino borrowers would see their entire student debt balance cancelled under the Biden Administration’s plan. But if Republican officials get their way, these borrowers will remain under the burden of student loan debt.
  • Borrowers who didn’t graduate but who earned a certificate – such as welders and dental assistants – who, under the Biden Administration’s plan, are eligible for nearly 40% of relief dollars – would be blocked from getting any of their debt relieved. 


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