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[…] America’s economic recovery was faster and stronger than any other advanced nation in the world. Now it’s time to address the burden of student debt in the same way working closely with the Secretary of Education and he’s got the hard job, you know secretary Cardona. Here’s what my administration is gonna do: Provide more breathing room for people so, they have less burdened by student debt; and quite frankly, to fix the system itself, which we came in and we both acknowledged as broken.
There are three (3) key factors we’re gonna do:
1. First. We made incredible progress advancing America’s economic recovery. We’ve wound down pandemic relief programs, like the ones on unemployment insurance and small businesses. It’s time we do the same thing for student loans. Student loan payments pause is gonna end; it’s gonna end on December 31st, 2022, and it’s gonna end at that time. It’s time for the payments to resume.
2. Second. In my campaign for president I made a commitment: To provide student debt relief and I’m honoring that commitment today. Using the authority that the Congress granted to the Department of Education, we will forgive $10,000 in outstanding federal student loans. In addition, students who come from low income families, which allow them to qualify to receive a Pell Grant, will have their debt reduced $20,000. Both of these targeted actions are for families who need it the most. Working and middle class people were hit especially hard during the pandemic making under $125,000 a year. If you make more than that you don’t qualify. No high income individual, or high income household on the top of 5% of income will benefit from this action. In fact about 90% of the eligible beneficiaries make under $75,000 per family. Here’s what that means: If you make under $125,000 you get $10,000 knocked off your student debt. If you make under $125,000 a year and you received a Pell Grant, you get an additional $10,000 knocked off that total, for a total of $20,000 relief. 95% of the borrowers can benefit from these actions that’s 43 million people of the 43 million over 60% of Pell Grant recipients that’s 27 million people who will get $20,000 in debt. Nearly 45% can have their student debt fully cancelled; that’s 20 million people who are gonna start getting on with their lives. All this means people can start finally crawl out from under that mountain of debt to get on top of the rent and the utilities, to finally think about buying a home, or starting a family, or starting a business. By the way; when this happens, the whole economy is better off in the coming weeks. The Department of Education will layout, in detail, a short and simple form to apply for this relief along with information when this application process opens. By resuming student loan payments at the same time as we provide targeted relief, we’re taking an economically responsible course, and there’s a consequence: about $50 billion a year will start coming back into the treasury because the resumption of debt. Independent experts agree that these actions, taken together, will provide real benefits for families without meaningful effect on inflation. Let’s be clear: I hear it all the time: “how do we pay for it?” We pay for it by what we’ve done: Last year we cut the deficit by more than $350 billion. This year we’re on track to cut it by more than 1.7 trillion by the end of this fiscal year. The single largest deficit reduction in a single year in the history of America. And the Inflation Reduction Act cut up by another $300 billion over the next decade because we will be paying less for prescription drugs on Medicare; and over a trillion dollars for the next two decades.
The point is this: There’s plenty of deficit reduction to pay for the programs. I will never apologize for helping working Americans, middle class; especially not to the same folks who voted for a $2 trillion tax cut and mainly benefited the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations that slowed the economy and didn’t do hell lots for an economic growth and even wasn’t paid for, and racked up this enormous deficit. Just as we’ve never apologized when the federal government forgave almost every single cent of over $700 billion in loans to hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the America during the pandemic. No one complained that those loans caused inflation. A lot of these folks in small businesses are working in middle class families that needed help, it was the right thing to do. So, the outrage over helping working people with student loans, I think is just simply wrong, dead wrong.
3. Third, we’re fixing the student loan program system itself. We’ve talked about this all time. This is really important: we’re proposing to make what’s called an “income driven repayment plan” simple and fair, and here’s how: No with an undergraduate home today or in the future whether for Community College or a four year college will have to pay more than 5% of their discretionary income to repay their loan. That’s income after you pay the necessities like housing, food and the like. What you currently pay is 10%. We’re cutting that in half to 5% and after you pay your loan for 20 years, your obligation will be fulfilled if it hadn’t already been fulfilled, meaning, you won’t have to pay anymore. And borrowers whose original balance was less than $12,000, many of whom are Community College students, would be done paying just after 10 years. These changes will save more than $1000 a year on average from the borrower. It’s a game changer. We’re also fixing what’s called “public service loan forgiveness program”. Now, this program forgives student loans to encourage those students who had those loans if they go into public service. Think of the millions who are public school teachers, local police officers, workers at local charities, members of the military and the National Guard, and so many more. Think of the folks who work for federal, state, local ,tribal governments keeping essential services going and responding to natural disasters. All those firefighters and cops. The program is designed so that if you serve in one of these jobs and will be able to list those and you be able to accurately assess whether you do, and make your loan payments for 10 years, even if it’s not consecutive years, your remaining balance will be completely forgiven. It’s a great idea, but the programs is a mess, so inefficient, and complicated that too many people just give up.
Think of a service member that defers their student loan payment while they’re deployed. The system is so restrictive that they’re active duty service didn’t count as public service, and the loan isn’t forgiven as promised. It’s outrageous. Well, the man on my left is gonna fix it. The Department of Education has recently proposed changes that will make this program work better, and over the long term much better. And now the department issues emergency temporary changes to retroactively credit public service, so, it counts and loans are forgiven. Since I’ve been in office more than a 175,000 teachers, nurses, police officers, have been able to get over $10 billion in loan forgiveness so far through this program. But this opportunity expires on October 31st 2022, so, my message to all servants, all public servants, all those who are the ones that are volunteering with student debt is to go to www.pslf.gov before October 31st to see if you qualify for public service student loan forgiveness.
This is another game changer. And one more big change we are making to the system is: we’re holding colleges accountable for jacking up costs without delivering value to students. We all have heard of those schools that reach students with the promise of big paychecks when they graduate however they end ripped-off and left with mountains of debt. It’s easy to do anything about this fraud but my administration is taking it off, for example, the Department of Education works with private education associations to accredit colleges and universities so they can receive federal aid. Well, last week the Department of Education fired a College accreditor that allowed colleges like ITT and Corinthian to defraud borrowers. It combines with our emergency actions that public service forgiveness program and other action taken, we’ve been able to cancel more than $32 billion of student debt for 1.6 billion borrowers, including those defrauded by these bad acting schools. Our goal is to shine a light in the worst actors so students can avoid these debt traps. […]
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