153K People Got a Pleasant Email From Biden Today

The recipients will see their $1.2B in student debt forgiven
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2024 9:50 AM CST
153K People Got a Welcome Email From Biden Today
President Biden arrives at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Some 153,000 people got an email from President Biden on Wednesday, and regardless of their politics, it's likely one they were thrilled to get. The Department of Education says the email informs those borrowers that their student loan debt will be forgiven—some $1.2 billion in total. What you need to know:

  • Who: The borrowers impacted had all enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan, borrowed $12,000 or less, and have made payments for at least a decade. As Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona put it, "If you've been paying for a decade, you've done your part, and you deserve relief."
  • The process: It's pretty simple. Those who fall under this round of forgiveness don't have to do anything. Their loan forgiveness will automatically be processed within days.
  • The SAVE plan: It's an income-based repayment plan, where monthly payments are calibrated to the borrower's income and family size. Anyone enrolled in the SAVE plan—and there are 7.5 million of them—will see their loans forgiven after 20 or 25 years. This shorter period applies to those with smaller balances. CBS News notes that more than half of those people in the plan currently pay $0 a month.

  • More background on SAVE: It's fairly new. After the Supreme Court axed the administration's plan to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars in federal student loan debt, the Biden administration rolled out SAVE last summer, with NPR reporting at the time that it replaced the Revised Pay As You Earn plan. SAVE's specifics are much more favorable to borrowers, with NPR reporting that under the old plan, borrowers repaid $10,956 for every $10,000 they borrowed, while they will repay just $6,121 under SAVE.
  • The GOP view: As NPR reports, Republicans aren't thrilled with SAVE, which they believe the administration didn't have the authority to set up. Read this NPR interview with Cardona for the administration's view on those and other criticisms.
  • The Biden administration tally: NBC News reports the total student loan debt forgiven under the Biden administration now amounts to nearly $138 billion, impacting almost 3.9 million borrowers.
(More student loans stories.)

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