As Prepared For Delivery:
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining today’s call on new actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to continue to improve the student loan program.
From Day One, President Biden has been focused on providing much-needed relief to student loan borrowers.
The Biden-Harris Administration has approved $117 billion in targeted relief for more than 3.4 million borrowers.
How have we accomplished this?
First, we’ve fixed historical inaccuracies in the income-driven repayment system. More than 800,000 borrowers earned forgiveness—but weren’t getting credit for it. Now, we’ve forgiven $39 billion through our fixes to the IDR program.
Second, we’ve massively grown the impact of our Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. At the end of the previous Administration, only 7,000 borrowers had been approved for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. We were determined to grow that number.
So, we got to work: updating systems, increasing outreach, engaging with borrowers and other stakeholders, and making the application easier to use. Well, by the time the White House and ED finished our work over the following six months, we didn’t just hit our goals. No—we exceeded them. By far. Since Oct. 2021, ED has approved more than $45 billion in PSLF for over 660,000 borrowers.
Third, we’ve engaged in other targeted loan forgiveness. For example, we approved $10.5 billion for 491,000 borrowers who have a total and permanent disability. And we relieved another $1.2 billion for 1.3 million borrowers who were cheated by their schools, saw their schools suddenly close, or were covered by related court settlements.
Of course, we’re also focused on making college more affordable in the first place. For example, over the last two years, President Biden increased the maximum Pell grant by $900—the largest increase to Pell Grants in a decade. This is a tremendous track record. And we’re not finished yet.
Today, I am so proud to join Secretary Cardona in announcing new actions we’re taking to strengthen the income-driven repayment program.
We’re launching our updated income-driven repayment application tool on StudentAid.gov.
We’re also announcing a new campaign to support borrowers so they can take full advantage of the benefits we’re providing.
Secretary Cardona will describe these actions in greater detail.
These steps will help millions of borrowers get student debt relief that they need—and, frankly, that they’re owed.
With that, I will turn it over to my friend, Secretary Cardona. Secretary Cardona, thank you for your tremendous and tireless leadership on student debt and so many other critical issues affecting students across America. We are so fortunate to have you as a champion of our students.