Biden’s new $9 billion student debt relief plan would greatly help public service workers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration halted all federal student loan repayments. After the national COVID-19 emergency ended in March 2023, Congress passed a law preventing further extensions. As a result, payments resumed in October.

For people whose student loan repayments have started up again, there’s good news.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden canceled $9 billion in student loans, helping 125,000 Americans and bringing the total amount of student debt cancellation under the Biden-Harris administration to $127 billion.

Many AFSCME members were among the 53,000 borrowers who benefited from $5.2 billion in additional debt relief authorized to fix problems with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

AFSCME has fought alongside the Biden-Harris administration to address the burden of student debt and to repair the broken PSLF program, which was meant to encourage public service work with the promise of having the balance of federal direct student loans forgiven after 10 years of repayments.

However, only a small fraction of PSLF borrowers had their loans forgiven as intended. Now, under the new Biden plan, fixes to that system will mean that borrowers enrolled in the PSLF program who have made 120 qualified payments will see the rest of their loans forgiven, as intended.

This news is further proof that Biden stands firmly with workers.

To learn more about PSLF and other resources for AFSCME members, please visit AFSCME’s student debt resource page.