Cost of Bidens student debt cancelation could reach $1.4 trillion, report finds


A new report estimates that President Joe Biden’s plans to cancel student debt for some borrowers could cost taxpayers up to $1.4 trillion, depending on how the plans are implemented.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated all Biden’s recent debt cancellation efforts would cost a combined $870 billion to $1.4 trillion.

“That’s more than all federal spending on higher education over the nation’s entire history,” according to a report from the group. “The vast majority of this debt cancellation was put in place through executive actions under President Biden.”

The group said about $620 billion of debt cancellation has already been implemented.

“Our numbers differ somewhat from our previous estimates, mainly because the President’s plan to cancel $10,000 to $20,000 of student debt per person was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court and the cost of his newest plan remains uncertain,” according to the report.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget noted its $870 billion to $1.4 trillion estimate was close in cost to all projected education appropriations over the next decade (about $935 billion from 2025-2034). It estimated the cost of offering universal pre-K and universal affordable child care would be $750 billion.

“As we’ve explained before, most of these student debt cancellation policies have not only been costly, but also inflationary, poorly targeted, counter to the mission of lowering college costs, and not financially justified,” according to the report. “Instead of continuing down this road, lawmakers should work together on reforms that actually fix the student loan program and address the cost and quality of higher education.”