RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hundreds of thousands of Virginia would be potentially eligible for student loan relief, according to findings from the White House that were released earlier this week.
On Friday, 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.
In August 2022, President Biden announced plans to provide up to $20,000 in debt relief for student loan borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year. In the four weeks that the application was available, 26 million people applied or were automatically deemed eligible for relief. Overall, more than 40 million borrowers would qualify for the debt relief program.
But in November, the Department of Education was required to stop accepting applications as a result of multiple lawsuits opposing the program and loan servicers were prevented from discharging any debt.
In Virginia, 685,000 people applied for debt relief or were deemed automatically eligible. This means about 12.6% of Virginians were eligible or interested in debt relief. In total, 429,000 fully approved applications from the state were sent to loan services for discharge.
In terms of how Virginia compares to other states, the commonwealth was the state with the 12th highest number of applicants or pre-approved lenders.
A small number of states had over 1 million borrowers, which included Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The states with the most eligible borrowers were California and Texas, each with over 2 million people. Other states had much smaller numbers, such as Wyoming and Alaska, which only had 30,000 and 38,000 borrowers, respectively.
For more information on the student debt relief program, visit StudentAid.gov/debtrelief.