As Prepared For Delivery:

Good morning, everyone! Thanks so much for joining us here at the White House for today’s SAVE Day of Action.

From Day One, President Biden and Vice President Harris have been focused on bringing down the costs of college.

And alleviating the burden of crushing student debt for tens of millions of Americans.

They have taken the boldest actions of any Administration in history to address these challenges.

Because they know that higher education is a pathway to the middle class—and they also know student debt should not be a barrier to opportunity.

Already, the President has cancelled more student debt, for more borrowers, than any President before him. That’s over $140 billion for almost 4 million people who have received relief under this Administration.

And the President is also transforming the system.  He’s launched the most affordable student loan repayment plan in American history: the SAVE plan.

SAVE is an income-driven repayment plan that will reduce monthly payments for borrowers more than ever before.

SAVE calculates monthly payments on undergraduate loans based on 5% of a borrower’s income—down from 10% from similar plans starting in July.

SAVE waives unpaid interest—ensuring balances don’t balloon over time because of runaway interest.

SAVE increases the amount of income protected from SAVE payments.

And SAVE shortens time to loan forgiveness for low balance borrowers.   

Behind these facts are the experiences of individuals whose lives were transformed by this relief.

Take the case of Maria Morales.[1]

Maria grew up in California, the child of immigrants. Her first language was Spanish. She credits an elementary school teacher with helping her catch up.

Maria wanted to pay that gift forward. Last year, she graduated from college with dreams of becoming a teacher.

Maria joined her union. She worked during school. She even took a year off to work during school. But still, she graduated with a lot of student debt.

So, she enrolled in the SAVE Plan after graduating college. Her monthly payments are $0.

And, eventually, all of her loans will be forgiven.

Maria said, “This is all thanks to having a President who supports and champions working people, not one who tries to keep us down.”

Maria’s experience shows what so many other Americans are learning about the benefits of SAVE.

The SAVE Plan can be especially valuable for those struggling most with debt: low- and middle-income earners, borrowers of color, and women. It gives them some more breathing room. Breathing room to pay their bills, buy a home or a car, and even save for their own children’s education.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it is especially important to note that nearly two-thirds of all U.S. student loan debt is held by women, and disproportionately by women of color.

More than 7.7 million Federal student loan borrowers are enrolled in the SAVE Plan.

Of that group, 4.5 million borrowers have zero monthly payments.

And over 1 million additional borrowers have a monthly payment less than $100. That’s the same amount most people pay for their phone bill.

And that brings us today.  I’m thrilled to announce an exciting new campaign to increase enrollment in this life-changing program.

Today, during our SAVE Day of Action, we are announcing commitments to promote SAVE from more than 40 organizations, including businesses, unions, non-profits, benefits managers, and federal agencies.

For example, Credit Karma will leverage their app to highlight savings opportunities for loan borrowers who use their services. They’ll make connections to enrollment experiences easier.  

You’ll hear today from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the value of SAVE for employers.

The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association will host a virtual town hall next week about the SAVE Plan, which I’m excited to join.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is sharing information about SAVE with 14 million veterans and their families. 

These actions will help to ensure that those carrying student loan debt can find affordable repayment options and a pathway toward forgiveness.

To share more on this incredible effort, it is my honor to turn over the floor to my friend, Secretary Cardona, who has championed the needs of millions of borrowers in his leadership of the Department of Education. And whose leadership has been integral to the success of the SAVE program so far.



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