NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — More than half a million Tennesseans sought relief through the Biden administration’s plan for student debt relief, officials announced Friday.
The Biden-Harris administration released a breakdown of just how many people nationwide applied and were approved for the thousands of dollars of student loan relief. The relief program, announced last year by the White House, would have granted up to $10,000 in debt relief for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year or $250,000 for households. Pell grant recipients would have been eligible for an additional $10,000 in relief, bringing their total up to $20,000 in debt relief.
Applications for the program were open for less than four weeks when several states sued, arguing the program was outside the scope of the Department of Education’s authority and would economically harm taxpayers, who would be on the hook for the costs. A federal judge blocked the program, setting up an appeals process to the United States Supreme Court.
During the open application window, 26 million people either applied or were granted automatic approval for the relief program, the White House said in its announcement.
In Tennessee, 517,000 borrowers applied for or were deemed automatically eligible for the relief, according to the administration’s data. Of those 517,000 applicants, 336,000 of them had their information sent to their loan servicers for discharge, according to the White House.
| READ MORE | Latest headlines from Nashville and Davidson County
Nationally, 26,260,000 people applied, while 16,486,000 were already sent for discharge prior to the legal battles blocking the implementation of the program.
The country’s largest contiguous states, California and Texas, had the highest number of applicants at 2,315,000 and 2,163,000, respectively. Of those, 1,473,000 of California’s applications were forwarded through, and 1,391,000 were forwarded from Texas. Wyoming had the fewest applications at 30,000, 18,000 of which were sent forward to the loan servicers, according to the White House.