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Biden administration narrows eligibility for student debt cancellation

“I feel like I went through the all the stages of grief over this yesterday,” said Betsy Mayotte, president of the Institute of Student Loan Advisors, a nonprofit that offers free loan advice and dispute resolution. “It’s unfair.”

She said she thinks the department felt it had to sacrifice those borrowers to save the overall program in the face of legal challenges, but that doesn’t make it feel any less unfair to those affected by the change. She, like others, had been advising some borrowers that it might not make sense to consolidate loans right away, she said. With interest rates higher than in recent years, and a deadline for consolidation that was not imminent, it didn’t seem urgent to take action.

Mayotte said she has heard from many borrowers who are extremely upset. “The last 24 hours have been some of the worst of my career,” she said. “They’re angry. They’re crying … literally crying. They feel duped. They feel taken advantage of.”