Washington – More than 40 million Americans had their student loan debt reduced – and in many cases eliminated – under the long-awaited forgiveness plan announced by President Joe Biden on Wednesday, a historic but politically divisive step in the run-up to the midterm elections.

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Biden is erasing $10,000 in federal student loan debt for families with incomes below $125,000 or making less than $250,000. He is also eliminating an additional $10,000 for those who received federal Pell Grants to attend college.

It’s seen as an unprecedented effort to stem the tide of America’s fast-rising student debt, but it doesn’t address a broader problem — the high cost of college.

Republicans quickly denounced the plan as an insult to those who paid off their loans and those who didn’t go to college. Critics across the political spectrum also questioned whether Biden had the right to make the move, and legal challenges are virtually certain.

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