A total of about $16.3 billion in debt will be forgiven in New York State under the new student loan relief program announced by President Joe Biden.

More than 2 million New Yorkers will receive student loan relief under President Joe Biden’s new program, though the government still has to hire thousands of workers to help run it, Senator (D-NY) Chuck Schumer announced.

“They need to hire new people, train them and not make people wait three hours for a phone call,” the senator said Sunday. “The federal government already has the dollars. We have spoken with the Department of Education (DOE). They are willing to give loan processors more money to hire more people.”

Student loan providers should be able to hire staff in the coming weeks to prepare for the spike in calls that could come in the fall, the senator predicted.

Biden announced Thursday that his administration would forgive $10,000 to borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year individually or $250,000 as a family. Federal Pell Grant recipients earning less than $125,000 will be eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $20,000.

A total debt of about $16.3 billion will be canceled in New York state alone , according to Schumer’s office. New Yorkers currently have a combined federal debt of $93.9 billion.

It is estimated that with this relief a little more than a million borrowers in New York will see all their debts clean, according to Schumer’s office. Critics of the program, including some Democrats, have called it “monumentally unfair” to those who have already paid off their loans , chose less expensive colleges to avoid racking up huge bills, or opted not to pursue higher education , the New York Post commented .

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