20210322_Student_Debt_IBT Value of outstanding student loans in the United States (in billion U.S. dollars) Photo: Statista/IBT

The value of outstanding student loans in the United States has now reached $1.7 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. That sum is owed by 45 million borrowers and it is the country's second-highest consumer debt category after mortgage debt. Calls to abolish student loan debt have been growing among Democrats and the Biden administration has just canceled $1 billion.

That applies to 72,000 student loan borrowers who previously had some loans canceled or who had attended a school engaging in deceptive or illegal practices. This is not the first move Biden has made to help ease the country's $1.7 trillion debt burden. In January, he signed an executive order extending a payment pause on federal student loans until October due to the pandemic and he also urged Congress to cancel another $10,000 of federal debt in his pandemic relief package.