Millions of borrowers have had billions in student loan debt erased and there’s more to come. Here’s how

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Millions of borrowers have had billions in student loan debt erased and there’s more to come. Here’s how




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Chris QuintanaNirvi Shah


President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief plan is teetering on the edge of a Supreme Court cliff. 

Other avenues for forgiving or winnowing student loan borrowers’ debt, however, are alive and well. There’s even a plan in the works to keep people from borrowing to attend a subpar school.

The administration has streamlined loan forgiveness for people who work in the public sector, canceled the debts of students taken advantage of by predatory colleges and universities and unveiled a new income-driven repayment plan that could reduce how much borrowers have to pay.

Together, these programs affect millions of borrowers, have led to billions in student loan debt being forgiven and could erase billions more. Most are meant to be long-term changes rather than a one-time fix.

Whether the court undoes Biden’s signature plan, or not, other programs are essential to addressing the nation’s student loan debt in the long run: One-time debt relief would wipe out a chunk of the country’s $1.7 trillion student loan debt portfolio, but it could quickly rebound if widespread borrowing continues unabated. 

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Changing how student loan payments work

proposal from the White House, expected to take effect next year would address student loan payments, interest on payments and other aspects of how repaying loans work, for people using a so-called income-driven repayment plan. Nearly all federal student loans are eligible for one of these plans. The changes include:

  • For undergraduat

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