By Karen Stokes
The U.S. Department of Education announced on Tuesday that more than 4 million student loan borrowers enrolled in the Biden-Harris Administration’s new Saving on A Valuable Education (SAVE) income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. This includes those who were transitioned from the previous Revised-Pay-As-You-Earn (REPAYE) plan.
Additionally, the Department has received more than 1.6 million IDR applications through StudentAid.gov since July 30, and nearly one million of those applications are for the SAVE Plan, the most affordable IDR plan ever.
“Millions of borrowers are already benefiting from enrollment in the SAVE plan and I’m thrilled to see so many Americans submitting applications every day so that they, too, can take advantage of the most affordable student loan repayment plan in history,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
According to recent data, the SAVE program boasts an enrollment of 70,100 Wisconsin borrowers.
Under the SAVE Plan, individuals earning less than $15 per hour as a single borrower won’t be required to make any payments. Those with incomes above this amount would save from over $1,000 in annual payments compared to other IDR plans.
The SAVE Plan also ensures that borrowers never see their balance grow due to unpaid interest as long as they keep up with their payments. The new IDR application allows borrowers to have their income accessed securely from the Internal Revenue Service so they do not need to recertify their income or re-apply for IDR plans every year.
“The new application is easy and quick. Most people only need about 10 minutes to complete it,” said Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray. “Borrowers can get their monthly payment calculated in real time, and they can choose to have their IDR application recertified automatically each year.”
SAVE and IDR plan applicants will view their new payment amount before applying, which will be visible on their servicer’s website with their first bill. If necessary, servicers can grant forbearance for application processing. To track their application status, borrowers can check their account dashboard on StudentAid.gov. They can also utilize the Loan Simulator to assess payments under various plans and select the best repayment option for their goals.
The Department has initiated a nationwide outreach campaign called “SAVE on Student Debt” in collaboration with leading grassroots organizations. “SAVE on Student Debt” is leveraging strategic partnerships across public, private, and nonprofit sectors to make sure borrowers know the support available to them as they return to repayment and can they take full advantage of the SAVE Plan and other available benefits and debt forgiveness programs.
The Biden-Harris Administration has already approved more than $117 billion in targeted relief for 3.4 million student loan borrowers, including:
• $39 billion for 804,000 borrowers through fixing historical inaccuracies in the IDR payment count system for borrowers who earned forgiveness;
• $45.7 billion for 662,000 public servants through improvements to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF);
• $10.5 billion for 491,000 borrowers who have a total and permanent disability; and
• $22 billion for nearly 1.3 million borrowers who were cheated by their schools, saw their schools precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements.
The Biden-Harris Administration is dedicated to making college more affordable, removing barriers posed by student debt, and aims to double Pell Grants while making community college free. They’re also working on regulations to ensure accountability for institutions and provide students with transparent information for informed choices.
Borrowers can access additional resources and tools to discover the best repayment plan for their current situation by visiting StudentAid.gov/restart.
You can find further information about SAVE at StudentAid.gov/save.