Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly 5.5 Million Borrowers Are Enrolled in the SAVE Plan

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly 5.5 Million Borrowers Are Enrolled in the SAVE Plan

SAVE plan data shows 2.9 million borrowers have $0 payments, enrollees are in every congressional district
November 8, 2023

The Biden-Harris Administration released data today showing that nearly 5.5 million borrowers are now enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan, including 2.9 million who have $0 payments. All other borrowers enrolled in SAVE are saving an estimated $102 a month ($1,224 a year) compared to what they would have paid on the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plan. Overall, enrollment in SAVE has grown by 60% since it replaced the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Plan this summer. The data, released by the U.S. Department of Education (Department), are based upon enrollment as of October 15, 2023.

“Under President Biden, the Department created the SAVE Plan so that young people and working families can climb the economic ladder without unaffordable student loan debt weighing them down,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I’m thrilled to see that in less than three months, nearly 5.5 million Americans in every community across the country are taking advantage of the SAVE Plan’s many benefits, from lower monthly payments to protection from runaway student loan interest. The Biden-Harris Administration will not rest in its efforts to fix the broken student loan system and make paying for college more affordable.”

The updated SAVE enrollment figure includes 1.8 million borrowers new to an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan and 364,000 who switched to SAVE from a different IDR plan since September 2023. Overall, borrowers are repaying $300 billion in federal student loans on the plan, about one-quarter of all Direct Loans in repayment, deferment, or forbearance.

The SAVE Plan is providing significant savings for borrowers compared to the previous REPAYE plan. The majority of SAVE enrollees today have $0 payments, while borrowers who still owe a payment are saving an estimated $102 a month ($1,224 a year). These savings are providing real relief to borrowers and their families, especially those who are disproportionately impacted by student debt, like borrowers of color and low-income borrowers. Borrowers are also seeing separate savings from not being charged unpaid monthly interest. These benefits are particularly critical as Department data show that 75% of SAVE borrowers also received Pell Grants, which are awarded to low-income college students.

Under the SAVE Plan, single borrowers who earn less than $32,800 per year or those in a family of four making less than $67,000 have a $0 payment. The SAVE Plan also ensures that a borrower’s balance will never grow due to unpaid interest as long as they are making their monthly payments. The improved IDR application allows borrowers to have their income securely accessed through the Internal Revenue Service, so they do not need to re-certify their incomes or reapply for IDR plans each year. Savings for borrowers will increase again when the Department implements further payment reductions for undergraduate loans next year, as well as earlier loan forgiveness for smaller loans.

Today, the Department is also releasing data on the number of borrowers enrolled in SAVE by state and congressional district. California and Texas each have more than 450,000 borrowers enrolled in SAVE, while congressional districts in Missouri, Ohio, and Michigan have the highest identified enrollment. Data also show that there are borrowers enrolled in SAVE in each congressional district. The data can be found here.

The SAVE Plan builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to reduce the burden of student debt on America’s families. The Biden-Harris Administration has already approved $127 billion in targeted relief for nearly 3.6 million borrowers. The Administration is currently in the process of proposing revisions to regulations that would make more borrowers eligible for loan forgiveness. It also recently finalized regulations that help create the strongest accountability system ever for colleges that leave students with unaffordable debts.

“The SAVE Plan will significantly cut monthly bills for most borrowers, reduce loan default, and ensure that students loans don’t need to come before life necessities,” said Under Secretary James Kvaal. “With nearly 5.5 million people enrolled after only two months, it’s clear how much borrowers need a plan like SAVE. President Biden and our Administration remain committed to giving borrowers breathing room on their monthly payments and ensuring student loans aren’t a barrier to opportunity.”