Over 5,000 Pennsylvanians have had their student loans forgiven under Biden

President Joe Biden departs after delivering remarks on student loan debt at Madison College, Monday, April 8, 2024, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By Ashley Adams

June 21, 2024

Millions of dollars in student debt was recently forgiven for thousands of Pennsylvanians through the SAVE plan. 

It can be tough to follow all the student debt relief programs happening lately. That’s because our student loan system was built up by different politicians, agencies, and banks over decades, all benefitting from creating a gnarled, twisted tree of student debt that has hung over the heads of 43 million Americans for too long. But during his time in office, President Joe Biden has relentlessly hacked away at that tree—and today, Pennsylvania’s economy is seeing the results.

HOW MUCH? In Pennsylvania alone, the Biden-Harris administration has found ways to wipe out $45.1 million in student loan debt. That’s 5,600 Pennsylvanians who now have more money in their pockets every month.

Nationwide, the Biden-Harris administration created programs to wipe out $1.2 billion in student loan debt for 153,000 borrowers.

“When we talk about fixing a broken student loan system, this is what we’re talking about,” said US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

HOW’D HE DO IT? President Biden had a plan ready to go in summer 2023, which would have used dozens of executive actions to cancel $400 billion of the $1.6 trillion (yes, trillion) in outstanding federal loans for college. However, over a two-day decision spree at the end of June, the six conservative members of the US Supreme Court overruled the three progressive justices to reject Biden’s plan (in addition to effectively ending affirmative action in higher education). 

Back at the drawing board, the Biden administration came up with the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan. It’s an income-driven repayment plan that lowered payments for almost all borrowers, and allowed the government to cover any interest beyond a set amount. The United States Department of Education said it plans to continue to identify and discharge the loans of borrowers enrolled in SAVE who are eligible for forgiveness over the coming months and years.

CAN I STILL QUALIFY? Student debt forgiveness is continuing to happen under the SAVE Plan, so find out if you can switch over to it here. Most people can. If your debt isn’t forgiven, you’ll probably be paying less—and almost certainly less in interest—than you were with your original plan. 

Other borrowers could have their debt canceled under new actions that Biden’s working on, so be sure to follow along here. Get caught up on all the forgiveness programs to-date here.


  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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