The Biden Administration’s SAVE plan could cut undergraduate student loans in half as opposed to other income-driven repayment plans. The program was previously announced on June 30.
“Part of the president’s overall commitment is to improve the student loan system and reduce the burden of student loan debt on American families,” a senior Biden Administration official told CNN. “The SAVE plan is a big part of that. It is important at this moment as borrowers are getting ready to return to repayment.”
The website launch comes as payments for federal student loans will resume on Oct. 1 after a three-year pause because of the pandemic. The news also comes as the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s initiative to cancel up to $20,000 of student debt for borrowers. The SAVE plan is one of how the administration tries to help students with student loans.
The full website will launch this month. For now, borrowers can already enroll on the beta website. Those who sign up or are already signed up for the current Revised Pay as You Earn plan will automatically be enrolled in the SAVE plan once it is implemented. Applications take about 10 minutes to complete, and borrowers can use the Department of Education Loan Simulator to determine if SAVE is the best plan for them.
For undergraduate student loans, the SAVE plan will cut in half the amount that borrowers have to pay each month from 10% to 5% of discretionary income. The plan will also raise the amount of income that is considered non-discretionary income and will be protected from repayment. This means that borrowers earning about under a $15 minimum wage won’t have to make monthly payments.
For borrowers with original loan balances of $12,000 or less, the SAVE plan will forgive loans after 10 years of payments instead of 20 years. When it comes to unpaid monthly interest, borrowers will not be charged as long as they make their monthly payments. This includes monthly payments of $0 because of low income.
“President Biden and Vice President Harris will not let Republican elected officials succeed in denying hardworking Americans the relief they need,” the administration said in a press release.
According to CNN, the Department of Education recently announced that 804,000 borrowers will have their student debt wiped away after fixes made to existing income-driven repayment plans.
Changes to the SAVE plan are expected to roll out in July 2024, according to TIME. Borrowers will be automatically enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan if they are 75 days late on a payment. They will also receive credit toward forgiveness for some periods of deferment and forbearance as one of the upcoming changes.