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Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Touts New Student Debt Relief Plan

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona touted the Biden administration's new student debt relief plan today, saying it will provide relief to millions of Americans struggling with student loan debt.

In remarks at a White House press briefing, Cardona shared his own experience as a first-generation college student who worried about how to pay for higher education. He said too many qualified students rule out college because of fears over mounting debt.

"As an educator who has spent my career helping students, I've seen too many with great potential limit their options due to worries over student loans," Cardona said. 

Under the new plan, up to 30 million borrowers are eligible to have up to $10,000 of their federal student loan debt forgiven if they earned less than $125,000 in either 2020 or 2021. Certain past borrowers of federal loans including Pell Grants can have up to $20,000 forgiven.

Cardona estimated the action will provide $300 billion in total debt cancellation. He said no other administration has forgiven as much student loan debt. Over $140 billion in relief has already been provided in the first three years of the Biden presidency.

The Secretary touted the benefits for public servants like teachers. He cited one example of a teacher paying over $660,000 on a $30,000 loan due to accumulated interest over time.

"We're fixing a broken system that hasn't worked for borrowers," Cardona said. "This debt relief is not a red or blue issue - it's about giving students the opportunities they deserve."

While some may challenge the plan in court, Cardona said the administration's priority is helping millions struggling under the weight of student loans. The Department of Education will provide more details about how borrowers can receive debt relief in the coming weeks.

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