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Biden’s Student Loan Plan: What Are Republicans Blocking

President Biden and Vice President Harris have taken unprecedented steps to fix the broken student loan system, make college more affordable, and bring the promise of higher education in reach for more Americans through student debt relief. He has long believed that college should be a ticket to the middle class, not a burden that weighs on families. That’s why from day one, his Administration has fought for targeted student loan forgiveness. 

To date, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved $132 billion in debt cancellation for over 3.6 million borrowers, including for:

  • Borrowers who are eligible for forgiveness through income-driven repayment by fixing historical inaccuracies in the count of payments that qualify toward forgiveness;
  • Teachers, nurses, members of the military, and other public servants through Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs;
  • Borrowers with a total and permanent disability; and
  • Borrowers who were cheated by their schools, saw their institutions precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements. 
  • To see if you are one of the 3.6 million eligible to benefit from President Biden’s executive orders, see below resources.

What’s more, beginning February 2024, borrowers enrolled in SAVE who originally borrowed $12,000 or less and have been in repayment for 10 years will get their remaining student debt canceled immediately – other borrowers will have their monthly payments cut in half or zeroed out and get loans canceled after 10 years of payments. 6.9 million borrowers are already enrolled in the SAVE plan and 3.9 million have a $0 monthly payment.

In addition, the Biden administration attempted to provide student debt relief for more than 40 million Americans. However, this action was blocked by Republican elected officials and special interests who sued all the way to the Supreme Court. While the court sided with Republican officials, Joe Biden is not giving up the fight and is pursuing an alternative path to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible. 

Fixing the broken student loan system is one of the many reasons President Biden is running for reelection. Vote Biden-Harris and let’s finish the job on student loans.

 Looking to see if you qualify for student loan relief?

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What actions have President Biden and Vice President Harris taken to forgive student loans?

To date, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved $132 billion in student debt cancellation for over 3.6 million borrowers, including:

  • Borrowers who are eligible for forgiveness through income-driven repayment by fixing historical inaccuracies in the count of payments that qualify toward forgiveness;
  • Teachers, nurses, members of the military, and other public servants through Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs;
  • Borrowers with a total and permanent disability; and
  • Borrowers who were cheated by their schools, saw their institutions precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements. 

Additionally, Starting February 2024, borrowers enrolled in SAVE who originally borrowed $12,000 or less and have been in repayment for 10 years will get their remaining student debt canceled immediately – other borrowers will have their monthly payments cut in half or zeroed out and get loans canceled after 10 years of payments. 6.9 million borrowers are already enrolled in the SAVE plan and 3.9 million have a $0 monthly payment.

How can I check if I’m eligible for student loan forgiveness today?

You can use this Official Department of Education Link to find out if you are one of the 3.6 million people eligible under the latest executive orders from the Biden-Harris Administration. Some of the reasons for eligibility include, but are not limited to:

  • Working as a teacher in an elementary school, secondary school, child care center, or educational service agency.
  • Working for the government including military service along with state, local, or tribal government. 
  • Working for a nonprofit entity.
  • Working as a nurse, doctor or other medical professional
  • Your school has closed or misled you
  • Many more reasons…..

Also you should know that the Biden-⁠Harris Administration recently launched the SAVE Plan, which is the most affordable student loan repayment plan ever to lower monthly payments for millions of borrowers. The Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan is the newest income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. Like other IDR plans, the SAVE Plan calculates your monthly payment amount based on your income and family size. In addition, the SAVE Plan has unique benefits that will lower payments for many borrowers.

Starting February 2024, borrowers enrolled in SAVE who originally borrowed $12,000 or less and have been in repayment for 10 years will get their remaining student debt canceled immediately – other borrowers will have their monthly payments cut in half or zeroed out and get loans canceled after 10 years of payments. 6.9 million borrowers are already enrolled in the SAVE plan and 3.9 million have a $0 monthly payment. Please visit https://studentaid.gov/SAVE to learn more and apply.

Why has the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s forgiveness plan?

Last year, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced a major proposal for student debt relief of up to $20,000 for Americans earning less than $125,000 per year who had Pell Grants in college, and up to $10,000 for all other borrowers below that income threshold. The Biden administration was on the verge of providing more than 40 million Americans with real relief from their student debt.  The money was literally about to go out the door, but Republican elected officials and special interests stepped up and sued to stop it. Republican leaders went to court to block millions of Americans from getting relief, including many of their own constituents.

And the Supreme Court, including all three of Donald Trump’s appointees, sided with them, snatching thousands of dollars in student debt relief from the hands of millions of Americans whose lives would have been changed by President Biden’s efforts. President Biden believes that this Supreme Court decision was a mistake and will not stop fighting to deliver borrowers the relief they need. Including a new approach grounded in a different law: the Higher Education Act.

How are President Biden and Vice President Harris lowering the price of college?

Joe Biden believes that if America is going to set the pace around the globe once more — on research and development, innovation and discovery, equity and opportunity, and creating good-paying jobs with dignity — it is imperative that we put an affordable, high-quality education after high school within reach of every American student. Reducing the price of college will also reduce the need for future student loans and break the cycle of debt. That is why Joe Biden has:

  • Invested $39 billion in colleges and universities, including more than $25 billion to historically Black colleges and universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions, which they are using to support students at risk of dropping out.
  • Signed the largest increase to the maximum Pell Grant in over a decade, helping more than 6.8 million Americans pay for college.
  • Called on Congress to expand free community college for students enrolled in high-quality programs that lead to a four-year degree or good-paying jobs.
  • Called on Congress to provide two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a participating four-year Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Tribally-Controlled College or University (TCCU), or Minority-Serving Institution (MSI).
Will President Biden and Vice President Harris forgive more student loan debt?

President Biden and Vice President Harris will continue working to lower the price of college and provide debt relief. 

They believe that the Supreme Court decision blocking up to $20,000 of student debt relief per borrower was a mistake and will not stop fighting to deliver people the relief they need, particularly those who need relief most. 

The Biden-Harris administration is pursuing an alternative path to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible. President Biden and Vice President Harris have also called on Congress to make college more affordable, including by increasing Pell Grants, expanding free community college, and subsidizing two years of education at HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs.

This is in stark contrast to Republican presidential candidates who only care about helping the super-rich and corporations, have promised to oppose any efforts to lessen the burden of student debt, and in some instances, roll back what President Biden and Vice President Harris have already done to help ease the burden on students and families.