Biden-Harris Administration Releases New Data Showing 26 Million People in All 50 States Applied or Were Automatically Eligible for One-Time Student Debt Relief

Published by The Bee News

January 28, 2023

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New data comes as elected officials and special interests actively block many of their own constituents from getting relief

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration released new data showing the number of people in each state who applied for student debt relief or were automatically eligible for relief. These borrowers could be benefitting from the Administration’s program right now were it not for lawsuits brought by elected officials and special interests. In August, President Biden announced his Administration’s plan to provide up to $20,000 in debt relief for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year. The Administration’s program aimed to protect borrowers most at risk of delinquency or default as a result of hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic when the payment pause ends.

In the less than four weeks that the application was available, 26 million people either applied for debt relief or had already provided sufficient information to the Department of Education (Department) to be deemed eligible for relief. Over 16 million of those borrowers’ applications were fully approved by the Department and sent to loan servicers. However, in November of last year– less than a month after the application was first released – the Department was required to stop accepting applications as a result of lawsuits brought by opponents of the program. Loan servicers were thus prevented from discharging any debt.

Overall, more than 40 million borrowers would qualify for the Biden Administration’s debt relief program. Nearly 90% of the benefits of the relief going to out-of-school borrowers would go to those earning less than $75,000 per year. Millions of those borrowers could be experiencing the benefits of that relief today – were it not for lawsuits brought on by elected officials in some of their own states. For more information, visit

Below is a full breakdown of how many people applied for debt relief and whose applications were approved by the Department before the Administration was blocked from discharging debt, rounded to the nearest thousand.

State Number of people who applied or were deemed automatically eligible for relief Number of fully-approved applications sent to loan servicers for discharge
Alabama 373,000 238,000
Alaska 38,000 24,000
Arizona 496,000 314,000
Arkansas 222,000 144,000
California 2,315,000 1,473,000
Colorado 471,000 295,000
Connecticut 321,000 208,000
Delaware 81,000 52,000
District of Columbia 72,000 46,000
Florida 1,598,000 1,047,000
Georgia 1,012,000 642,000
Hawaii 74,000 46,000
Idaho 126,000 79,000
Illinois 1,044,000 679,000
Indiana 542,000 348,000
Iowa 264,000 169,000
Kansas 228,000 143,000
Kentucky 362,000 241,000
Louisiana 381,000 242,000
Maine 116,000 74,000
Maryland 522,000 323,000
Massachusetts 593,000 380,000
Michigan 864,000 566,000
Minnesota 507,000 327,000
Mississippi 248,000 160,000
Missouri 484,000 305,000
Montana 75,000 46,000
Nebraska 154,000 97,000
Nevada 198,000 128,000
New Hampshire 121,000 77,000
New Jersey 759,000 493,000
New Mexico 125,000 77,000
New York 1,549,000 998,000
North Carolina 812,000 522,000
North Dakota 53,000 32,000
Ohio 1,079,000 702,000
Oklahoma 270,000 172,000
Oregon 329,000 211,000
Pennsylvania 1,157,000 743,000
Puerto Rico 204,000 145,000
Rhode Island 96,000 63,000
South Carolina 442,000 282,000
South Dakota 73,000 46,000
Tennessee 517,000 336,000
Texas 2,163,000 1,391,000
Utah 191,000 121,000
Vermont 52,000 33,000
Virginia 685,000 429,000
Washington 486,000 308,000
West Virginia 131,000 85,000
Wisconsin 465,000 302,000
Wyoming 30,000 18,000
All Other Locations* 58,000 33,000
State Not Identified** 632,000 31,000
Total 26,260,000 16,486,000

* Borrowers who are in outlying territories, military zones, or currently outside of the United States ** Includes individuals for whom the Department of Education did not have an address on file or from whom more information was needed at the time that the program was blocked.

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