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Joe Biden And Bernie Sanders Unite For Student Loan Forgiveness, Free College

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have united to tackle your student loans.

Here’s what you need to know.

Student Loans

Former Vice President Joe Biden released comprehensive policy proposals yesterday, including for student loan debt, for which he incorporated some recommendations from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from the presidential campaign trail. Biden addresses a host of issues ranging from tuition-free college to student loan forgiveness.

Here are some key highlights:

Cancel Student Loan Debt

  • Sanders has proposed to cancel all $1.6 trillion of student loan debt, including both federal and private student loans.
  • Biden does not support wide-scale student loan debt cancellation.
  • However, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Biden proposed a Covid-19 student loan forgiveness plan to cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for each borrower.
  • Biden would forgive all undergraduate tuition from two- and four-year public colleges and universities.
  • Biden also would forgive all undergraduate tuition for borrowers who earn $125,000 or less per year and who graduate from a private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI’s).

Tuition-free college

  • During the 2020 presidential primaries, Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led the fight for tuition-free college.
  • Biden calls for tuition-free two-year and four-year public colleges and universities for those who earn up to $125,000 in annual income.
  • Biden would double the maximum Pell Grant award.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

  • Biden would forgive $10,000 a year in student loan debt for up to 5 years.
  • That’s a total of $50,000 of student loan forgiveness for public servants under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. This program has faced challenges in recent years, and rejected over 147,000 borrowers. The U.S. Department of Education recently announced a game changer for student loan forgiveness through an easier way to complete employer certification.
  • The plan applies to those who meet the requirements of the Public Service, including those who work for qualifying public service and non-profit employers.
  • Teachers also can qualify to receive up to $50,000 of student loan forgiveness.
  • Enrollment in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program would be automatic, and any student loan forgiveness would be tax-free.
  • Notably, Biden’s plan would limit the amount of student loan forgiveness under this program, which currently forgives all your remaining federal student loans after 120 qualifying student loan payments.

Student Loan Repayment

  • Like President Donald Trump, Biden wants to simplify student loan repayment.
  • Biden’s plan call for borrowers who earn less than $25,000 annually to pay no interest on their federal student loans nor will they owe any payments.
  • Biden would cap total payments on federal student loans at 5% of discretionary income for borrowers who earn more than $25,000 per year.
  • After 20 years of on-time payments, borrowers would receive automatic student loan forgiveness.

Student Loans: Bankruptcy

  • While a U.S. senator, Biden opposes forgiving student loans in bankruptcy.
  • Biden now supports allowing borrowers to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy.

Social Security

  • No garnishment of Social Security benefits to pay federal student loans

How to pay off student loans

While Biden’s plans are only proposals today, you still need a game plan for pay off student loans. Start with these four options, all of which have no fees:


Resources: Student Loans

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5 student loan changes for 2020

Second stimulus checks: your questions answered

What Trump and Biden think about your student loans

Second stimulus checks: your questions answered

Trump wants at least $2 trillion for next stimulus

5 ways to get student loan forgiveness

Navient settles lawsuit — what it means for your student loans

Student loan refinancing rates are incredibly cheap

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