Kamala Harris photo

FACT SHEET: Vice President Kamala Harris, Administration Officials Launch "SAVE Day of Action" to Highlight Cross-Sector Actions to Boost Enrollment in the SAVE Plan

March 27, 2024

Vice President Harris highlights: "President Biden and I know that far too many people in our nation are struggling with student loan debt. That is why we have forgiven nearly $144 billion for almost four million Americans while also creating the SAVE Plan so that millions of people can cut their payments in half or entirely," said Vice President Harris. "On SAVE Day of Action, I am urging people across the nation to visit StudentAid.Gov/Save to apply as the President and I continue fighting to address the burden of student debt and lower costs throughout the country."

From Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken action to fix the broken student loan system and provide debt relief to as many borrowers as possible. Last fall, President Biden launched the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan, a key pillar of these efforts and the most affordable repayment plan in history. More than 7.7 million Federal student loan borrowers are enrolled in the SAVE Plan. This includes 4.5 million borrowers who have a monthly payment of $0 and over 1 million additional borrowers have a monthly payment less than $100. Under SAVE, a single borrower who makes roughly $16 or less an hour will not have to make any payments. To date, more than 150,000 borrowers have also had their loans cancelled under the SAVE Plan.

Today, the White House will launch a SAVE Day of Action to promote the SAVE Plan and increase enrollment over the coming months and leading into Summer 2024, beginning with a kick-off event led by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden, Director of the Office of Public Engagement Stephen Benjamin, and other senior administration officials at the White House. This event builds on the launch of the SAVE on Student Debt campaign last fall. For the SAVE Day of Action, Vice President Harris released a video highlighting the impact of the SAVE Plan and how it can benefit millions of Americans by keeping more money in their pockets, especially among those most struggling under the burden of student loan debt – low and middle-income earners, women, and borrowers of color.

As part of the SAVE Day of Action, more than 40 entities, including Federal agencies, private sector institutions, non-profit and member organizations, labor unions, philanthropic organizations, and benefits managers, are making commitments to promote the SAVE Plan to their employees, members, and customers. The commitments announced today – ranging from social media engagement to in-person events – could reach over 100 million Americans. These actions will help to ensure that those carrying student loan debt can find affordable repayment options and a pathway toward forgiveness.

Additionally, on this SAVE Day of Action, the Council of Economic Advisors is releasing a new report highlighting how the SAVE Plan will help low- and middle-income borrowers, those in public service, and community college graduates, among other borrowers. This report showcases how the SAVE Plan will drastically lower – and in many cases, eliminate – monthly payments for millions of Americans, prevent balance growth, and potentially shorten time to forgiveness.

SAVE Day of Action Enlists Commitments from Public, Private, and Other Sectors.

Businesses and business associations, unions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies have made commitments to amplify the SAVE Plan so millions of Americans can learn more about its benefits. Types of commitments include hosting in-person events or webinars to distribute information about SAVE; sending out push notifications, emails, or text messages to share information about SAVE; posting about SAVE on social media; and publishing a blog or op-ed about SAVE.

More than 10 businesses and business associations have committed to promoting the SAVE Plan to their employees, customers, and membership, from financial services companies and trade associations to employee benefits managers and firms focused on student debt and financial literacy. In addition, more than 15 public and other sector entities have committed to promoting SAVE to their membership and networks, including labor unions, nonprofit organizations, philanthropies, government agencies, and institutions of higher education.

Examples of commitments include:

  • Candidly, reaching over 1 million workers today, has enabled student loan borrowers to discover and learn how to apply for the SAVE program via its digital experience.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce is sharing information on SAVE with members and working with employers to find other opportunities to educate employees on how to manage student loan and other debt.
  • Credit Karma will review information regarding their members with student loans and leverage their app and notification channels to highlight savings opportunities through Federal programs, including the SAVE Plan and will make connections to enrollment experiences easier.
  • Hart House, with an estimated social media reach of over 200 million people, will publish content on their social media channels about the benefits of the SAVE Plan.
  • Pearson will incorporate information about the SAVE Plan on its Benefits website and share with all new and existing US employees.
  • The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association will host a virtual town hall on April 1 about the SAVE Plan where the audience will hear from AFT and NEA member borrowers who have personally had their debt forgiven or significantly reduced through SAVE. Additionally, NEA and AFT will each respectively host student debt clinics for their members on March 27 and March 28 focusing on SAVE and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
  • The Service Employees International Union is sharing information on SAVE through webinars, blogs and social media with its more than 2 million members.
  • Civic Nation will convene its network of 100+ partners to host in-person student debt clinics across the country. These clinics will provide hands-on support to help borrowers enroll in the SAVE Plan and understand repayment and forgiveness options, putting money back in their pockets. To date, the SAVE on Student Debt coalition has hosted over 120 events to educate and enroll borrowers in the SAVE Plan.
  • The Kresge Foundation is committing an additional $200,000 to support the SAVE on Student Debt Campaign and sharing a webinar with other foundations, staff, and grantees on the SAVE Plan to help raise awareness.
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children is sharing information on SAVE in their weekly newsletter and highlighting the program with key partners, including its nearly 60,000 individual members of the early childhood community and 52 affiliates.

Federal Agency Action

Fifteen federal agencies have committed to promoting SAVE to their employees, including the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs. Examples of commitments include:

  • The U.S. Department of Education will co-host a public webinar series for borrowers the week of April 22nd, which will highlight the benefits of the SAVE Plan.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published a blog about the SAVE Plan and will send information on SAVE to over 14 million newsletter subscribers.

The SAVE Plan helps student loan borrowers by:

  • Protecting more income from payments. The SAVE Plan bases monthly payments on income and family size. Compared to earlier income-driven repayment plans, SAVE increases the amount of income exempted from payment calculations, from 150% to 225% of the federal poverty line.
  • Cutting monthly payments in half. Starting in July, monthly payments on undergraduate loans will be cut in half from 10% to 5% of discretionary income.
  • Providing forgiveness faster. Borrowers enrolled in the SAVE Plan who originally took out $12,000 or less in student loans can reach forgiveness after being in repayment for as few as 10 years. For each additional $1,000 above this amount, an extra year of payments is added to this timeline, with a maximum period of 20 years for undergraduate loans and 25 years for graduate loans. Just last month, the Administration announced $1.2 billion in student debt relief for almost 153,000 low-balance borrowers enrolled in SAVE who qualified for forgiveness.
  • Stopping balances from growing. Unlike other IDR plans, borrowers on the SAVE Plan who make timely payments will never see their balances increase if their payment does not cover all the interest accumulating each month.
  • Excluding Spousal Income. The SAVE Plan further reduces costs for borrowers by allowing those who are married and file taxes separately to exclude their spouse's income from any monthly payment calculations.

While SAVE helps most borrowers, those who will benefit especially include:

  • Borrowers with Lower Incomes. Those with incomes less than $32,800 per year, or $67,500 for a family of four, will qualify for a $0 monthly payment. Currently more than half of all SAVE enrollees have $0 payments.
  • Community College Borrowers. Due to the early forgiveness granted to those borrowing $12,000 or less on the SAVE Plan, an estimated 85% of future community college borrowers will be debt-free within 10 years.
  • Public Service Workers. Borrowers eligible to enroll in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program must be enrolled in an IDR Plan such as the SAVE Plan. Teachers, nurses, firefighters – and other public servants, can enroll in SAVE to benefit from lower monthly payments and will never see their balance increase while working toward forgiveness.

Commitments Have Been Made By (among others):

  • American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Fintech Council
  • Association of Community College Trustees
  • Candidly
  • Commonwealth
  • Community Service Society of New York
  • Credit Karma
  • Hart House
  • Kresge Foundation
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • National Education Association
  • National Treasury Employees Union
  • Nazareth University
  • NextGen America
  • Office of Personnel Management
  • Office of the Washington Student Loan Advocate
  • Oregon Department of Justice
  • Pearson
  • Rise
  • Savi and My Way to Repay Campaign
  • Square
  • Service Employees International Union
  • Small Business Administration
  • Social Security Administration
  • Student Debt Crisis Center
  • Sunny Day Fund
  • The Kresge Foundation

Kamala Harris, FACT SHEET: Vice President Kamala Harris, Administration Officials Launch "SAVE Day of Action" to Highlight Cross-Sector Actions to Boost Enrollment in the SAVE Plan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/371015

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