(NEXSTAR) – Over 40 million Americans are expected to qualify for federal student loan forgiveness from the Biden administration, with as many as 20 million likely to have their remaining balances entirely erased.
New figures from the White House show no state will see less than 45,000 residents qualify for up to $10,000 in debt relief. For some states, that estimated number of eligible residents is in the millions.
Last month, President Biden announced his plans to forgive thousands of dollars in federal student loan debt for qualifying borrowers: those with federal student loans who earned less than $125,000 (or $250,000 for a couple) in 2020 or 2021 can receive up to $10,000 in relief, and those who received a Pell Grant are eligible for up to $20,000. More details on who qualifies and how to determine how much you’ll receive can be found here.
According to the White House, 90% of this student loan relief will go to borrowers earning less than $75,000 a year. The number of borrowers impacted in each state, however, will vary – drastically, in some cases.
The latest data from the White House shows states with larger populations will see the most amount of borrowers impacted by relief: California, Florida, New York, and Texas each have more than 2 million borrowers expected to qualify for up to $10,000 in debt relief. Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are each expected to have more than 1 million borrowers in that category.
In California, over 3.5 million borrowers are expected to receive up to $10,000 in student debt cancelation. Texas has the second-highest total at 3.2 million.
On the opposite end of the scale are, of course, states with smaller populations – in Wyoming, for example, 49,600 borrowers will receive up to $10,000. For nearby North Dakota, it’s about 82,000 borrowers, and in Alaska, it’s 60,500.
When it comes to borrowers eligible for up to $20,000 in relief (those that received a Pell Grant), California and Texas both have more than 2.3 million expected to qualify. Four other states – Florida, Georgia, New York, and Ohio – each have more than 1 million borrowers meeting the same criteria.
Wyoming again has the fewest borrowers in this category at 31,400, followed by Vermont at 37,100 and North Dakota at 49,600.
Below is a state-by-state breakdown of how many borrowers in each state are expected to receive student loan forgiveness, according to the White House:
StateEstimated Number of Eligible Borrowers (rounded to the nearest hundred)Estimated Number of Eligible Pell Borrowers (rounded to the nearest hundred)Alabama588,000404,900Alaska60,50037,300Arizona810,800554,900Arkansas365,600269,000California3,549,3002,340,600Colorado698,100419,000Connecticut454,200238,200Washington, D.C.105,60060,300Delaware116,90068,000Florida2,427,6001,716,300Georgia1,506,1001,039,100Hawaii111,50065,700Idaho201,400144,900Illinois1,486,600863,600Indiana856,400555,500Iowa408,700248,900Kansas360,900225,500Kentucky563,300394,000Louisiana608,100435,200Maine175,000105,300Maryland747,100419,400Massachusetts813,000401,200Michigan1,316,000849,300Minnesota729,700416,300Mississippi417,200316,400Missouri777,300502,200Montana120,40078,600Nebraska232,100136,000New Hampshire175,10085,300New Jersey1,082,900590,300New Mexico215,900159,000New York2,258,8001,320,100Nevada315,800216,900North Carolina1,190,500785,500North Dakota82,00049,600Ohio1,677,8001,085,700Oklahoma454,300321,600Oregon499,000332,100Pennsylvania1,717,300988,800Rhode Island133,90075,300South Carolina681,100458,400South Dakota109,10065,100Tennessee795,300542,000Texas3,323,2002,306,700Utah282,700206,300Virginia965,100566,500Vermont72,20037,100Washington697,600423,800West Virginia213,100145,000Wisconsin685,100412,700Wyoming49,60031,400Courtesy the White House
In many of the states receiving the most relief – California, Georgia, and Florida, especially – the average student loan debt held by residents is higher, according to the latest data from the Department of Education. The opposite is true for the states with fewer borrowers expected to benefit – North Dakota and Wyoming have some of the lowest average debts in the country.
This isn’t exactly the case in Texas. While millions of borrowers in the Lone Star State are expected to benefit from Biden’s student debt relief, Texans have one of the lowest average debt burdens in the country at roughly $33,000, a level similar to that of North Dakota and Wyoming.
While 8 million borrowers are expected to qualify for automatic federal student loan forgiveness, the majority of eligible borrowers will need to wait until early October to apply for debt relief, according to the Department of Education. Here’s what you can do while waiting for more details to be announced.
Exact details about how the federal debt forgiveness will be administered haven’t been released yet. Some borrowers may also receive an automatic refund for payments they’ve made on their loans since March 2020.