Around 813,000 student loan borrowers will soon receive an email from President Joe Biden notifying them that their debt has been forgiven because of his actions, the White House said Tuesday.
Many borrowers who will get the email likely already knew about the loan cancellation and may have already received that relief. The message directly from the president, less than a year ahead of the 2024 presidential election, makes it clear who was responsible for the relief.
“Congratulations — your student loan has been forgiven because of actions my administration took to make sure you receive the relief you earned and deserve,” the email reads.
Biden has erased $127 billion in student debt so far for more than 3.5 million borrowers — more than any other president in history.
The Biden administration used existing programs, including Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans, to deliver the debt cancellation. Previously, the relief under these programs was hard to access.
“The president is committed to fighting for hardworking American families, making sure we get them a little more breathing room, and allowing them to support themselves and their families,” a White House official said on Tuesday.
Republican nominees for president oppose student loan forgiveness.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said that Biden didn’t have the authority to cancel student debt without prior authorization from Congress.
“He knows he’s done something that is illegal and over the top,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week” in 2022, shortly after Biden announced his broad forgiveness plan.
Former President Donald Trump sided with the Supreme Court.
“Today, the Supreme Court also ruled that President Biden cannot wipe out hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions of dollars, in student loan debt, which would have been very unfair to the millions and millions of people who paid their debt through hard work and diligence; very unfair,” Trump said at a campaign event in June.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said that it’s wrong to saddle taxpayers with the expense of student loan forgiveness.
“Why should a truck driver have to pay for somebody that got a degree in zombie studies?” DeSantis said at an Iowa event in early August. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Voters support forgiving at least some student loan debt by a 2-to-1 margin, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll. Less than a third oppose the policy.