Remarks by President Biden on the Saving on a Valuable Education Plan | Culver City, CA

Folks, I’m happy to have been able to forgive these loans because when we realize and relieve Americans of their student debt, they’re free to chase their dreams.

And, Doc, you’ve got one of your dreams: your baby girl. And a — and by the way, an awful lot of people with student debt are putting off whether they can have a child, whether they can — a whole range of basic, basic, fundamental issues.

And, Mayor Bass, thank you for your partnership and, more importantly for me, your friendship.

And I want to thank the Culver City Mayor. Where are you, Mayor?


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Laughter.) Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It’s great to — and it’s great to be joined by members of Congress: Alex in the Senate and Sydney in the House. I really appreciate you being here. It’s a busman’s holiday for you guys to come hear another public official speak, but thank you.

And I know our great Vice President sends her love to all her California friends. She constantly — all I hear about is California, you know? (Laughter.) No, I’m glad to be here. When I was vice president, all I heard about was Chicago, you know? (Laughter.) But I’m making — trying to make sure they hear about Delaware, but it ain’t working yet. (Laughter.)

Look, Kamala and I ran to lead this country. We made a commitment to fix our broken student loan system. That was one of the things we both talked about in the beginning. Because while a college degree is still a ticket to a better life, that ticket is too expensive. And too many Americans are still saddled with unsustainable debt in exchange for a college degree.

So, there was a student loan program to be able to afford a college degree, but a lot of people didn’t take advantage of it. What — and I wanted to make sure they did.

The ability to repay, though, has become so burdensome, a lot of people can’t even repay. And they try. They — they don’t miss payments. They work like the devil every month to pay their bills. But even if they pay their loans, their debt increases. It doesn’t diminish because of interest rates.

And I thought I’d — make a lot more sense to relieve student debt for families and it would grow our economy.

Well, there’s a — were existing programs in the law. To fix and adjust the programs, we had — we had to change them to make people actually — make them available for — make people eligible. And that’s what I’ve done when the Supreme Court said I couldn’t go ahead and relieve all the debt.

It helps everyone, not just the people whose debt is relieved. But when people with student debt are re- — student debt relieved, they buy homes, they start businesses, they contribute. They engage in the community in ways they weren’t able to before. That actually grows the economy. It grows the economy.

That’s why my — my administration is taking significant action to provide student debt relief to so many borrows — borrowers that — many of whom didn’t know they were — they were able to get relief, and do it as quickly and as — as possible.

Look, early in my term, I announced a major plan to provide millions of working families with debt relief for their college student debt. Tens of millions of people in debt were literally about to be canceled — their debts. But my MAGA Republican friends in the Congress, elected officials, and special interests stepped in and sued us. And the Supreme Court blocked it. They blocked it.

But that didn’t stop me. I announced we were going to pursue alternative paths for student debt relief for as many borrowers as possible. And that’s the effort that’s been underway the last two years.

I fixed what’s called the “SAVE Plan.” It existed, but I fixed it to make it the most affordable repayment plan ever.

Before I took office, student borrowers had to pay 10 percent of their discretionary income on a monthly basis. If they made less than — if they didn’t have enough to do that, they were able to not have to pay that month, but the interest continued. A lot of people don’t have the means to do that, though.

Under my SAVE Plan, we’re cutting in half to 5 percent the undergraduate borrowers — what undergraduate borrowers have to pay after their living expenses are accounted for.

That means no one with an undergraduate loan, whether it’s a community college or a four-year college, will have to pay more than 5 percent of their discretionary income to repay those loans starting in July. And that’s income after you pay the ne- — for necessities like food and housing.

Already 7.5 million Americans have enrolled in this so-called SAVE Plan. And there’s more than 4 million of those borrowers had their monthly payments drop to zero if they’re living paycheck to paycheck, below a certain level.

This plan is the most generous repayment program ever, and today we’re doing it even faster and quicker than ever before.

I’m proud to announce our SAVE plan. We are immediately canceling the debt loans for over 150,000 borrowers nearly six months ahead of schedule.

Starting today, we are canceling student debt for borrowers who are enrolled in the SAVE Plan and have been paying student loans for as little as 10 years. If they took less than tw- — if they borrowed less than $2,000, it’s forgiven — they — $12,000, excuse me, it’s for- — the loan is forgiven.

This action will be a huge help to graduates of community college and borrowers with smaller loans, putting them back on track faster for debt forgiveness than ever before.

And this builds on other progress I’ve made in canceling student debt for close to 4 million Americans through various actions.

For example, we fixed what was called the Public Service Loan program — Loan Forgiveness program, which was designed to make sure that school teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, social workers, public servants get their student loans forgiven if they make payments for 10 years in a row and the 10 years of public service at the same time.

When I took office, there were 7,000 public servants who had taken advantage of this program and had them forgiven, but thanks to the reforms we made in the program, now there are nearly 800,000 have had their debts forgiven — 800,000. (Applause.)

Look, let me close with this. This is — kind of relief can be life-changing for individuals and for their families. And it’s good for the economy as a whole.

By freeing millions of Americans from the crushing debt of student loan programs, it means they can finally get on with their lives instead of getting — their lives being put on hold. They can think about buying a house, starting a home, starting a family, having a family future that they can enjoy, or saving for the family’s future — saving and being able to put away a little bit of money.

I’m proud to have been able to give borrowers, like so many of you, the relief you earned. I promise you I’m never going to stop fighting for hardworking American families.

So, if you qualify, you’ll be hearing from me shortly. Thousands of people per month are eligible — about 25,000 a month are eli- — or every two months — it will be paid at a 50,000 basis — but are eligible for relief, and they’ll be getting a letter from me letting them know they’re qualified. And when they get that letter, your debt is going to be forgiven.






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