Biden Announces New SAVE Plan For Student Loan Forgiveness

( – In a significant announcement on Friday, President Biden unveiled a plan that will lead to the cancellation of remaining debts for a specific group of student loan borrowers enrolled in the Saving on Valuable Education (SAVE) plan. This move, however, has faced criticism from Republicans who argue that it places an additional financial burden on taxpayers.

The SAVE plan targets borrowers who took out less than $12,000 in loans and have been in repayment for a decade, as outlined in a statement from President Biden. Notably, SAVE operates as an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, determining payments based on a borrower’s income and family size, rather than the conventional loan balance.

While the administration did not provide specific figures on how many individuals would be impacted by this initiative, it emphasized that the action would particularly benefit community college borrowers, low-income individuals, and those facing challenges in repaying their loans. The overarching goal of the plan is to alleviate the financial strain on borrowers and enable them to pursue their aspirations without the burden of student loan debt.

Approximately 3.6 million student loan borrowers have already experienced relief under the SAVE plan, which was initially introduced last year following the Supreme Court’s rejection of the White House’s ambitious $430 billion student loan debt cancellation proposal. In a surprising development, President Biden advanced the implementation of the latest phase of the SAVE plan from July to February, noting that 6.9 million borrowers are already enrolled in the program.

President Biden expressed the urgency of the action, stating, “It’s part of our ongoing efforts to act as quickly as possible to give more borrowers breathing room.” This sentiment echoes the administration’s commitment to finding alternative paths for student debt relief in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision.

However, not everyone welcomed the announcement with open arms. House Education Committee Chair Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina, criticized the move as an election stunt. Foxx accused President Biden of desperation to secure votes, describing the Department of Education’s involvement as exacerbating an already challenging student debt situation.

According to the Penn Wharton budget model, the SAVE plan is expected to incur a net cost of $475 billion over the 10-year budget window, raising concerns about its long-term financial implications. Despite these reservations, Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, praised the announcement. Schumer sees it as a positive development for borrowers and students aspiring to pursue higher education.

Another phase of the SAVE plan is set to take effect in July. This upcoming phase will result in a reduction of payments on some undergraduate loans by half. Qualifying borrowers with undergraduate loans will see their payments decrease from 10% to 5% of their discretionary income.

Additionally, those with both undergraduate and graduate loans will pay a weighted average between 5% and 10%, determined by the original principal balances of their loans, according to information provided by the White House. This multifaceted approach aims to address the diverse financial situations of student loan borrowers and make higher education more accessible.