Biden admin uses new tactic to circumvent SCOTUS, forgive more student debt

The Biden administration has already forgiven some $127 billion in student loans for nearly 3.6 million borrowers through various gimmicks and federal programs.

The Biden administration is using the regulatory process to circumvent the Supreme Court in order to forgive billions of dollars in student loans.

The Department of Education announced draft regulatory text aimed at canceling the debts of four groups of borrowers, with plans to extend relief to borrowers “experiencing hardship.” The administration has already canceled some $127 billion in debt from more than 3.6 million borrowers.

[RELATED: Biden forgives $39 billion in student loan debt via administrative tweaks]

“President Biden and I are committed to helping borrowers who’ve been failed by our country’s broken and unaffordable student loan system,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a press release on Oct. 30. announcing We are fighting to ensure that student debt does not stand in the way of opportunity or prevent borrowers from realizing the benefits of their higher education.”  

The draft regulations are based on the Higher Education Act of 1965, which gives the Secretary of Education power to “enforce, pay, compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand, however acquired, including any equity or any right of redemption.”

The ED intends to use this vague authority to provide debt relief for four groups of borrowers. 

The first group is borrowers whose federal student loan balances exceed what they originally borrowed. The Associated Press reported that those borrowers will have their loans reset to their original balance, in effect canceling unpaid interest.

The second group is borrowers who entered repayment 25 years ago or more. Those borrowers may have their outstanding balances waived, AP reported.

The third group is those who borrowed “to attend career-training programs that created unreasonable debt loads or provided insufficient earnings for graduates, as well as borrowers who attended institutions with unacceptably high student loan default rates.” Those loans would also be discharged completely.

The fourth group is those borrowers whom “the Secretary determines are eligible for forgiveness under repayment plans like income-driven repayment or targeted relief programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness or closed school loan discharges except they have not applied for such relief,” the ED press release stated.

[RELATED: The government might shut down, but you still have to make student loan payments]

The ED also announced draft guidance intended to lead discussions on how to address a fifth group, borrowers who are facing “financial hardship that the current student loan system does not currently adequately address.”

The Biden administration has already forgiven some $127 billion in student loans for nearly 3.6 million borrowers through various gimmicks and federal programs: nearly $42 billion for 855,000 borrowers using income-based repayment plans “by fixing historical inaccuracies in the count of payments that qualify toward forgiveness”; Almost $51 billion for 715,000 government employees through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program; $11.7 billion for almost 513,000 borrowers with permanent disabilities; and $22.5 billion for more than 1.3 million borrowers whose institutions closed, whose schools defrauded them, or who are covered by related court settlements.