The U.S. Department of Education (Department) today kicked off its “SAVE on Student Debt” Week of Action with events across the country from the Department and 100 participating organizations who have a combined reach of more than 18 million Americans. These events will support borrowers returning to repayment by providing information about available resources from the Department, including encouraging them to take full advantage of the Biden-Harris Administration’s new Saving on A Valuable Education (SAVE) income-driven repayment (IDR) plan and other debt relief programs. The Department launched the “SAVE on Student Debt” campaign last month, a public-private partnership with national grassroots organizations to get the word out to groups across the country about the SAVE plan.
"Thanks to President Biden's leadership, more than 4 million borrowers are already benefitting from more affordable student loan payments under the SAVE plan, but we know there are so many more individuals and working families who stand to gain," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "The Biden-Harris Administration is determined to get the word out about SAVE, and that’s why we’re thrilled to have 100 national organizations and grassroots groups joining us for this SAVE on Student Debt Week of Action. Our partners in the SAVE on Student Debt campaign will amplify Federal Student Aid's outreach and communications to borrowers by working in communities across the country to encourage enrollment in the SAVE plan, which not only offers lower monthly student loan payments, but also protects borrowers from runaway interest and ever-growing balances.
The SAVE plan is the most affordable repayment plan ever created. Under SAVE, a single borrower who makes less than about $15 an hour will not have to make any payments, and borrowers earning above that amount would save more than $1,000 a year on their payments compared to the repayment plan that SAVE replaced. Borrowers with families will save even more. The SAVE plan also ensures that borrowers never see their balance grow due to unpaid interest as long as they keep up with their payments.
The campaign will engage organizations across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to help millions of eligible borrowers take full advantage of the benefits provided by the SAVE plan. During the Week of Action, participating organizations will scale up communications to their members, borrowers and the public at a critical moment as federal student loan begins accruing and borrowers are considering their options for repayment in October. To see a full list of participating organizations or sign up in support, check out saveonstudentdebt.org/weekofaction.
Some of the activities planned for the week of action include:
Federal and State Agency Outreach
- Federal Student Aid will host one of many webinars for borrowers as repayment resume. The webinar will include information about the new SAVE plan, the Fresh Start option to help borrowers get out of default, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and steps borrowers can take to prepare for repayment. Borrowers can sign up to attend at Repayment101.eventbrite.com.
- The Department’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs will host bipartisan trainings for constituent services staff in congressional offices to make sure they can provide their constituents with information they need to manage their loans.
- The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) is hosting a workshop for state legislators on the SAVE plan and supporting borrowers as repayment resumes. The event is co-hosted with the Campaign for California Borrowers’ Rights and the Student Debt Crisis Center.
- The Washington State Student Loan Advocate will be supporting borrowers with resources and tips as repayment resumes, including holding webinars to share more detailed about PSLF and other regulatory changes.
Organizations hosting borrower education events
- The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) will continue their weekly series of student debt clinics for members that provide information about Public Student Loan Forgiveness, IDR plans like SAVE, and other student loan resources available from the Department. They will also conduct targeted outreach via email and text to portions of their membership who have identified as student loan borrowers to inform them of SAVE and other repayment and regulatory changes they may benefit from.
- Civic Nation will host a relational organizing training to empower individuals to share information on the SAVE plan with their friends, family, and communities.
- The NAACP is incorporating the SAVE plan into their broader educational webinar series, where members will better understand their student loans. The NAACP is also organizing outreach training in 47 state conferences this fall for both youth and adult members. These sessions will provide access to resources related to the SAVE plan and offer insights into members' pathways to access various forms of student debt relief.
- The National Education Association (NEA) will continue to provide information to members about Public Student Loan Forgiveness, IDR plans like SAVE, and other student loan resources available from the Department. They will also host an online student debt clinic for their members and the public.
- The National Urban League (NUL) is sharing information on social media, in newsletters, and other relevant engagements. NUL and UnidosUS are additionally co-hosting a webinar that will cover upcoming changes for student loan borrowers so that affiliates can conduct further borrower outreach.
- Rise will reach out to its community of 250,000 students, alumni and supporters across more than 100 campuses, hosting phonebanks and textbanks to share how the SAVE plan will directly impact borrowers and their communities.
- The Student Debt Crisis Center (SDCC) will host an “office hours” webinar for borrowers to learn about student loan programs and drop in with questions. Their ambassador network is launching during the Week of Action and will host their first meeting to provide resources and inform ambassadors about how to educate borrowers in their communities. Later in the month, SDCC will mobilize young leaders to take action on their college campuses.
- UnidosUS will host a virtual roundtable for Latino families and mobilize its national network of affiliates, allies, and supporters via a targeted social media campaign to raise awareness in the Latino community about the SAVE plan and othermstudent loan resources.
- Young Invincibles will host a roundtable in Texas with borrowers and FSA Chief Operating Officer Rich Cordray and will train Texas-based organizations in effective borrower outreach on SAVE and other student loan repayment options.
Organizations sharing information with their networks
- The American Council on Education (ACE) will continue to send their member college presidents materials for distribution to students, parents, and alumni about resources available to student loan borrowers, including the benefits of the SAVE plan. ACE member colleges and universities educate two out of every three students in all accredited, degree-granting U.S. institutions.
- The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) will share resources on student loan repayment to be distributed by financial aid officers at nearly 3,000 colleges and universities across the United States. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every 10 undergraduates in the United States.
- The National Association of Student Loan Lawyers (NASLL) will ask each of their attorney members to notify their clients and post on social media.
- The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) will share resources with their members, detailing how employers and HR offices can support employees in accessing SAVE and other relevant student loan programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
- United Way will share information with more than 1,000 local affiliates. Additionally, they will distribute materials to their 211 network call centers, to share with borrowers who call in for support accessing public benefits.
The Department and its servicers have reached out directly to nearly 30 million borrowers to invite them to use the new IDR application to apply for the SAVE plan. This outreach is part of the Department's robust campaign to provide information and resources to borrowers to support them. The Department has also been in direct touch with 43 million borrowers and will continue to coordinate with servicers and outside partners to provide additional high-quality communications with specific, actionable information directly to borrowers to make sure every borrower has the information they need to make the best repayment decision for themselves. In addition, the Department has instituted a 12-month on-ramp to protect borrowers from the harshest consequences of missed, partial, or late payments.
The SAVE plan builds on the work the Biden-Harris Administration has already done to improve the student loan program and make higher education more affordable. The Biden-Harris Administration has already approved more than $117 billion in targeted relief for 3.4 million student loan borrowers, including:
- $39 billion for 804,000 borrowers through fixing historical inaccuracies in the IDR payment count system for borrowers who earned forgiveness;
- $45.7 billion for 662,000 public servants through improvements to Public Service Loan Forgiveness;
- $10.5 billion for 491,000 borrowers who have a total and permanent disability; and
- $22 billion for nearly 1.3 million borrowers who were cheated by their schools, saw their schools precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements.
The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to making college more affordable and ensuring student debt is not a roadblock to attaining a college degree or credential, or planning for the future. The Administration has made the largest increase to Pell Grants in a decade and has charted a course to double the maximum Pell Grant and make community college free to enhance college affordability and reduce unnecessary student debt. The Administration is also holding institutions accountable for unaffordable debts and recently proposed regulations that would set standards for earnings and debt outcomes for career programs while enhancing transparency for all programs to give students the information they need to make informed choices.
Borrowers can view more resources and tools that help them find the right repayment plan for their current circumstances at StudentAid.gov/restart. More information about SAVE is available at StudentAid.gov/save.