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Media Press Releases Biden Administration Announces Public Comment Period for Proposed “Plan B” Debt Relief Plan, Marking Critical Step Forward Toward Sweeping Relief

Biden Administration Announces Public Comment Period for Proposed “Plan B” Debt Relief Plan, Marking Critical Step Forward Toward Sweeping Relief

Proposal Addressing Hardship Posed by Student Debt Expected to Follow

April 16, 2024 | WASHINGTON, D.C. — Less than two months after negotiators convened in a series of negotiated rulemaking sessions to inform President Biden’s new student debt cancellation plan, the Administration unveiled today the first package of proposals as part of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Beginning tomorrow, the public will now have a 30-day period to provide comment on this proposal.

Today’s NPRM includes proposals to provide debt relief for borrowers in specific circumstances, including: 

  • borrowers eligible for debt relief under an Income-Driven Repayment Plan, Public Service Loan Forgiveness or other relief programs but who are not enrolled; 
  • borrowers crushed by runaway interest; 
  • borrowers who’ve been stuck in repayment for over 20 years; and 
  • borrowers who have attended low-value programs or schools. 

In the coming weeks, the Administration is expected to release a second package of proposed rules, which will include a proposal targeted at borrowers experiencing hardship.

In response, Student Borrower Protection Center Policy Director Aissa Canchola Bañez released the following statement:

“Student loan borrowers and their families have been waiting far too long for much-needed debt relief and today they are one step closer to seeing this relief turn into a reality. When implemented, 30 million Americans will get to benefit and experience the life-changing impact of student debt cancellation. Now, borrowers from all walks of life will have the chance to weigh in on this process and share how this relief will drastically improve their lives. 

“The Biden Administration must ensure that final rules are completed swiftly and that debt relief is enacted as broadly and efficiently as possible. It is also critical that the Administration immediately unveil its proposal to support borrowers experiencing hardship. Younger borrowers who are experiencing or will experience hardship cannot be seen as an afterthought and deserve much-needed relief now.

“Make no mistake, opponents of debt relief wanted 45 million Americans with student debt to give up after the Supreme Court callously struck down President Biden’s original debt relief program. Today, opponents are even using the courts to attack more modest debt relief programs to score political points. President Biden must act swiftly and urgently to provide the desperately needed relief student loan borrowers deserve.”

Further Reading

SBPC email with background on the full student debt relief Neg Reg: What Happened in Neg Reg: Hardship Session

SBPC’s statement after ED release of hardship proposal:

Letter from negotiators about hardship:

Letter to Secretary Cardona sent by lawmakers about hardship:

Letter to Secretary Cardona sent by 67 organizations about hardship:

SBPC’s blog underscoring the need for President Biden’s new debt relief effort to include a plan to support borrowers experiencing hardship:

SBPC’s statement following ED’s announcement about holding a 4th session to discuss hardship:


About Student Borrower Protection Center

Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) is a nonprofit organization focused on eliminating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. We engage in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance racial and economic justice.

Learn more at or follow SBPC on Twitter @theSBPC.

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