The Biden administration announced on Wednesday its decision to forgive $1.2 billion in student debt for close to 153,000 borrowers who are part of its newly

introduced repayment initiative known as the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan.

Under this program, relief will be extended to individuals who have been in repayment for at least ten years and initially borrowed $12,000 or less. Typically, debt forgiveness is granted through income-driven repayment schemes after 20 or 25 years of consistent payments. However, with the SAVE plan, those with lower borrowing amounts can now have their debts discharged after just a decade.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized the administration's commitment to providing relief, stating, "With today’s announcement, we are once again sending a clear message to borrowers who had low balances: if you’ve been paying for a decade, you’ve done your part, and you deserve relief."

Eligible borrowers will receive notifications from President Joe Biden via email starting on Wednesday, with no further action required on their part to access the relief, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Following the Supreme Court's decision last June to block President Biden's broader student loan forgiveness plan, his administration has been leveraging existing authority to alleviate the burden of educational debt. To date, nearly 3.9 million borrowers have had their debts canceled, amounting to $138 billion in relief. Photo by US Department of Education, Wikimedia commons.