As Prepared For Delivery:
Good afternoon, everyone.
President Biden believes that college should be a ticket to the middle class—not a burden that weighs down families for decades.
That’s why from Day One, he has been working to make college more affordable, fix the broken student loan system, and deliver relief to student loan borrowers.
No President in history has cancelled more student loan debt than Joe Biden.
To date, he has cancelled a total of $127 billion in student loan debt for nearly 3.6 million Americans.
The President has delivered this relief to hardworking Americans by working to fix the student loan system.
When President Biden came into office, hundreds of thousands of borrowers weren’t accurately getting credit for student loan payments made under Income-Driven Repayment plans.
Others had their loans placed into forbearance by loan servicers, oftentimes in violation of Department of Education rules.
The Biden-Harris Administration fixed these historical inaccuracies.
Now, as a result, more than 855,000 borrowers have had their student debt cancelled.
The Administration has also dramatically expanded the impact of our Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. PSLF provides a pathway to debt relief for borrowers who dedicate their careers to public service at the federal, state, and local levels.
At the end of the previous Administration, only 7,000 borrowers had been approved for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
President Biden was determined to grow that number and ensure that borrowers who go into public service get the debt relief they’re entitled to under the law.
So, the Administration got to work: updating systems, increasing outreach, engaging with borrowers and other stakeholders, and making the application easier to use.
Today, that number is now at 715,000 public servants.
Beyond that, the President has forgiven debt for more than 500,000 borrowers with a total and permanent disability. He’s also forgiven debt for more than 1.3 million borrowers who were cheated by their schools, saw their institutions precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements.
Furthermore, we’ve taken historic action to make college more affordable.
President Biden increased the maximum Pell grant by $900, which is the largest increase to Pell Grants in a decade.
And we’ve launched the most affordable income-driven repayment plan in history—SAVE.
Through the SAVE Plan, which will be in full effect on July 1, 2024, millions of borrowers will have their monthly payments cut to zero dollars. Others will save nearly $1,000 per year.
This plan is a game-changer for millions of Americans. Too many have put off having children, buying their first home, or even starting a business because they can’t get out from under their student loans.
This is flat-out wrong. SAVE is a key tool to help borrowers.
And we’re not finished yet.
Today, I am so proud to join Secretary Cardona in announcing another important milestone in this tremendous track record: We have enrolled 5.5 million borrowers, and counting, into SAVE.
Of that group, 2.9 million are borrowers with low incomes who have payments that are zero dollars a month.
What’s more, today, the Department of Education is releasing SAVE enrollment data by Congressional District, as Secretary Cardona will detail.
I’d like to thank our many partners in Congress for your tireless efforts to get the word out and invite more partnerships to increase enrollment in the SAVE plan.
With that, I will turn it over to my friend, Secretary Cardona. Mr. Secretary, thank you for your tremendous leadership on student debt, college affordability, and so many other critical issues affecting students across America.