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NEBRASKA EXAMINER: Nebraska student debt relief could reach $268 million under new plan

July 19, 2023


LINCOLN — Nearly 6,000 Nebraskans qualify for more than $268 million in student debt relief offered under a new Biden administration policy, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The Department of Education and the White House announced last week that more than 800,000 federal student loan borrowers will have their remaining debt eliminated. State-by-state numbers were released Tuesday.

The $39 billion in debt relief will come through fixes to mismanagement of the agency’s income-driven repayment plans, officials have said. Many long-time borrowers, including those who had been making payments for 20 years or more, were denied relief they were eligible for under the repayment plans. Qualified payments that were made were not accounted for.

“For far too long, borrowers fell through the cracks of a broken system that failed to keep accurate track of their progress towards forgiveness,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

Starting Friday, the Department of Education will begin to notify those 804,000 borrowers of their forgiveness, and within 30 days their debts will be wiped out.

The plan includes borrowers with Direct Loans or Federal Family Education Loans held by the department (including Parent PLUS loans of either type) who have reached a forgiveness threshold specified by the department.

“By fixing past administrative failures, we are ensuring everyone gets the forgiveness they deserve, just as we have done for public servants, students who were cheated by their colleges, and borrowers with permanent disabilities, including veterans,” Cardona said.

The left-leaning Protect Borrowers Action is targeting 13 U.S. House districts — including Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District held by U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb. — who opposed President Joe Biden’s initial debt relief plan.

Bacon told the Nebraska Examiner this month that Biden’s first plan was “out of line” because “Congress holds the pursestrings.”


He pointed to a separate House Republican proposal to the student loan issue: the Federal Assistance to Initiate Repayment (FAIR) Act.

— States Newsroom’s Washington Bureau contributed to this report.

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