Biden Administration Announces It Will Cancel Student Debt, But Only for a Certain Group of People

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The Biden administration announced Thursday it will automatically erase student loan debt for more than 300,000 Americans with severe disabilities that leave them unable to earn significant incomes. The move will wipe out more than $5.8 billion in debt, according to the Education Department, and it marks the start of a broader overhaul of the program. “We’ve heard loud and clear from borrowers with disabilities and advocates about the need for this change and we are excited to follow through on it,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. The federal government offers student debt relief for people who are “totally and permanently disabled” and have limited incomes. But the current rules require them to submit documentation of their disability and undergo a three-year monitoring period to prove they’re earning little pay. Tens of thousands of people have been dropped from the program and had their loans reinstated because they failed to submit proof of their earnings. Critics have said the complex rules deter some people from applying and pressed the Education Department to eliminate the monitoring period entirely.

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