In June 2023, the Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. Below, please find some additional information and resources. The most up to date information on federal student loans can be found at the link below.
After the decision came out, I issued the following statement:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision will inflict devastating consequences on the tens of millions of Americans who are suffering under the crushing weight of student loan debt. In August 2022, President Biden sought to ease this burden by canceling $10,000 of student debt for most borrowers and up to $20,000 of debt for Pell Grant recipients — the vast majority of whom come from families making $40,000 or less. This relief would provide a lifeline for millions of working class Americans. Revoking the student loan forgiveness program is unconscionable and unacceptable.
Americans across the country are struggling to purchase a home, start a family, begin a small business and save for retirement because they are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. The extreme, right-wing Supreme Court decision puts an anchor around the aspirations of millions of young Americans. House Democrats will continue to work with President Biden and the administration to put people over politics, tackle the student loan debt crisis and grow the middle class.”LEADER JEFFRIES STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT DECISION IN BIDEN V. NEBRASKA, 6/30/23
Immediately following the decision, the Biden administration took the following steps for:
Debt Relief for As Many Borrowers as Possible, as Fast as Possible
President Biden and House Democrats remain committed to providing relief to low- and middle-income borrowers. For too many Americans, a ticket to the middle-class remains out of reach because of unmanageable student loan debt. COVID-19 exacerbated that challenge – risking tens of millions of borrowers’ financial security and futures because of the economic harms brought on by a once-in-a-century pandemic.
Today, the Department of Education initiated rulemaking aimed at opening an alternative path to debt relief for as many borrowers as possible, using the Secretary of Education’s authority under the Higher Education Act. The Department issued a notice, which is the first step in the process of issuing new regulations under this so-called “negotiated rulemaking” process. The notice announces a virtual public hearing on July 18th and solicits written comments from stakeholders on topics to consider.
Following the public hearing, the Department will finalize the issues to be addressed through rulemaking and begin the negotiated rulemaking sessions this fall. The Department will complete this rulemaking as quickly as possible.
Lowering Monthly Payments
The Biden-Harris Administration also finalized the most affordable repayment plan ever created, called the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan. This income-driven repayment plan will cut borrowers’ monthly payments in half, help the typical borrower save more than $1,000 per year on payments, allow many borrowers to make $0 monthly payments and ensure borrowers don’t see their balances grow from unpaid interest.
Specifically, the plan will:
- For undergraduate loans, cut in half the amount that borrowers have to pay each month from 10% to 5% of discretionary income.
- Raise the amount of income that is considered non-discretionary income and therefore is protected from repayment, guaranteeing that no borrower earning under 225% of the federal poverty level—about the annual equivalent of a $15 minimum wage for a single borrower—will have to make a monthly payment under this plan.
- Forgive loan balances after 10 years of payments, instead of 20 years, for borrowers with original loan balances of $12,000 or less. The Department estimates that this reform will allow nearly all community college borrowers to be debt-free within 10 years.
- Not charge borrowers with unpaid monthly interest, so that unlike other existing income-driven repayment plans, no borrower’s loan balance will grow as long as they make their monthly payments—even when that monthly payment is $0 because their income is low.
All student borrowers in repayment will be eligible to enroll in the SAVE plan. They will be able to enroll later this summer, before any monthly payments are due. Borrowers who sign up or are already signed up for the current Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE) plan will be automatically enrolled in SAVE once the new plan is implemented. To learn more about the new SAVE plan, visit the Department of Education’s website.
Ensuring Support for Borrowers Most at Risk
To protect the most vulnerable borrowers, the Department of Education is also creating a temporary “on-ramp” to protect borrowers from the harshest consequences of late, missed or partial payments for up to 12 months. While payments will be due and interest will accrue during this period, interest will not capitalize at the end of the on-ramp period. Additionally, borrowers will not be reported to credit bureaus, be considered in default or referred to collection agencies for late, missed or partial payments during the on-ramp period. Future monthly bills for borrowers not enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan will be automatically adjusted to reflect the accrued interest during those months.
Borrowers who can pay should do so, but this on-ramp period gives borrowers who cannot make payments right away the necessary time to adjust, enabling them to ultimately make their monthly payments and meet their financial obligations on their loans. Borrowers do not need to take any action to qualify for this on-ramp.