Forgiving $50K in school loans would free 36 million student borrowers from debt: data

More than 36 million people would be freed from debt if the Biden administration cancels $50,000 in student debt per borrower, according to data put out Tuesday from the Education Department.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Broadband companies funded fake net neutrality comments, investigation finds | Twitter rolls out tip feature | Google to adopt 'hybrid work week' Warren: Trump is 'a danger to democracy' Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers MORE (D-Mass.), a vocal proponent of the cancellation proposal being pushed by progressives, released the data after requesting answers from the Education Department earlier this month.

The 36 million borrowers who would have their debt completely forgiven account for the vast majority of the 45 million federal student loan borrowers overall.


The data also shows that 9.8 million federal student loan borrowers who were in default or more than three months behind on their debt at the end of 2019 would have their debt forgiven. That’s almost all of the 10.3 million federal student loan borrowers who were in that position. 

Warren’s release of the data marks the latest salvo in progressives’ push to convince President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE to take unilateral action to scrap $50,000 in student debt per borrower. 

Biden has set his sights lower, saying he might target $10,000 in debt while still questioning his legal authority to cancel the debt by executive action.

Should the president forgive that amount of loans, 15 million borrowers would completely have their debt forgiven, including 4.6 million people who were in default or delinquent at the end of 2019.

“I do think in this moment of economic pain and strain that we should be eliminating interest on the debts that are accumulated, No. 1. And No. 2, I'm prepared to write off the $10,000 debt,” Biden said in February

White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainHouse Republicans urge opposition to vaccine patent waiver Pressure builds for Biden to back vaccine patent waivers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Biden sales pitch heads to Virginia and Louisiana MORE said earlier this month that Biden had requested information from Education Secretary Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaOvernight Health Care: Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine 96 percent effective in teens | Nearly 940,000 sign up for ObamaCare coverage in special enrollment Education secretary expects all schools to fully reopen in-person in fall Jill Biden a key figure in push to pitch White House plans MORE regarding his legal authority to cancel student loan debt.

“He hasn’t made a decision on that either way. In fact, he hasn’t yet gotten the memos that he needs to start to focus on that decision,” Klain said.