SAVE Plan Blocked: Impact on Your Student Loan Repayment

#1 Student loan lawyer

Updated on July 1, 2024

Quick Facts

A man in a denim jacket and green hoodie sits in front of a microphone with a serious expression. The background features bold text stating "Biden's Save Plan Blocked" against a split yellow and beige backdrop.
  • Federal judges have partially blocked the new SAVE Plan, halting new loan forgiveness.

  • Current SAVE Plan enrollees keep their existing benefits.

  • The planned reduction of payments to 5% of discretionary income is on hold.

  • You can still enroll in the SAVE Plan.

  • The one-time account adjustment is not affected by these rulings.


Recent court rulings in Missouri and Kansas have put parts of the Biden administration’s SAVE Plan on hold. This development affects millions of student loan borrowers, particularly those counting on expanded debt relief.

Current SAVE Plan benefits remain intact for existing enrollees. But the decision halts further loan forgiveness under this plan.

The rulings also prevent the implementation of more generous repayment terms scheduled for July 2024. We know this news may be disappointing, especially if you were counting on these future benefits for your financial planning. But keep in mind that many aspects of student loan relief remain unchanged. There are still options available to you.

In this article, we’ll break down what these rulings mean for your loans, clarify what aspects of student loan relief are and aren’t affected, and provide guidance on how to proceed. Our goal is to help you feel more informed and in control of your student loan situation despite the current uncertainty.

What Isn't Affected by the Ruling

This ruling specifically targets the SAVE plan. Other student loan relief programs remain intact:

How the SAVE Plan Block Affects Your Loans

If you’re enrolled in the SAVE Plan or were planning to enroll, you’re probably wondering what these court rulings mean for your student loans.

Here’s the breakdown:

There’s good news for current SAVE Plan enrollees: your existing benefits aren’t going anywhere. You’ll continue to receive the same terms you’ve been getting. The block doesn’t change your current situation.

But if you were counting on the future benefits of the SAVE Plan, you might need to adjust your expectations. The court rulings have stopped any new loan forgiveness under the plan. Additionally, the much-anticipated reduction in monthly payments from 10% to 5% of discretionary income for undergraduate loans, set to start in July 2024, is now on hold.

If you haven’t enrolled in SAVE yet, you can still do so. But be aware that you’ll only have access to the current benefits, not the expanded ones that were planned for the future.

For those of you who were banking on these future changes for your financial planning, it might be worth exploring other repayment options. While the SAVE Plan still benefits many borrowers, the blocked provisions might significantly impact your strategy.

Remember, this situation is still developing. There’s no immediate deadline for action. For now, stay informed about any new developments that could affect your repayment approach.

Understanding the Court Rulings

The recent block on the SAVE Plan stems from rulings by federal judges in Kansas and Missouri. While legal jargon can be confusing, the core issues are relatively straightforward.

The judges applied the “Major Questions Doctrine” to the SAVE Plan. In essence, they decided that the plan represents a significant enough change in federal policy to require clear congressional authorization. The judges found that the Higher Education Act, which the Biden administration used as the basis for the SAVE Plan, doesn’t provide this level of authorization.

In the Missouri case, the court also considered the potential financial impact on the state. The judge found that the loan forgiveness provisions of the SAVE Plan would likely reduce fees paid to the Missouri Higher Education Assistance Authority, thereby harming the state financially.

Note: These rulings don’t completely invalidate the SAVE Plan. Rather, they’ve put certain aspects of the plan on hold while the full cases are litigated. This means there’s still potential for changes as the legal process unfolds.

In short, these judges view the SAVE Plan as a significant change to student loan policy. While this doesn’t negate the benefits for those already enrolled, it does create uncertainty about the plan’s future expansion and the implementation of more generous terms.

What The Block Means Generally

The recent court rulings have created confusion about various aspects of the SAVE Plan. Here are some important details you should know:

Previously Canceled Debt:

  • $5.5 billion in debt already canceled for 414,000 borrowers appears safe.

  • Court rulings block future cancellations but don’t reverse past ones.

Loan Forgiveness Timeline:

  • Early forgiveness (after 10 years) for smaller loan balances is on hold.

  • 20 to 25-year forgiveness options should remain intact.

  • These longer-term options are similar to other income-driven repayment plans.

Income Thresholds:

  • SAVE Plan uses 225% of the federal poverty line as its income threshold.

  • More generous than other plans (which typically use 150%)

  • Example: In 2024, a single borrower earning less than $32,850 qualifies for $0 payment.

  • Exact calculations vary based on family size and location.

Financial Impact:

  • Blocked provisions would have significantly reduced monthly payments for millions.

  • Plan to reduce payments from 10% to 5% of discretionary income is on hold.

  • This would have effectively halved payments for many undergraduate loan borrowers.

  • Paused loan forgiveness affects hundreds of thousands of borrowers on track for cancellation.

Enrollment Status:

  • Current SAVE Plan enrollees keep their existing benefits.

  • New enrollments are still possible, but only with current benefits.

  • Future improvements to the plan are on hold pending legal outcomes.

What This Means for Your Repayment Strategy

With the SAVE Plan partially blocked, you might wonder how to adjust your student loan repayment strategy.

Here’s what you need to consider:

If you’re already enrolled in SAVE

Your current benefits are secure. Continue making your payments as usual. The rulings don’t affect the terms you’re already benefiting from. But be aware that any future improvements to the plan are on hold for now.

If you were planning to enroll in SAVE

You can still enroll, but you’ll only have access to the current benefits. The blocked provisions, including the planned reduction to 5% of discretionary income, won’t be available. Weigh whether the current terms still make SAVE the best option for your situation.

If you were counting on the July 2024 changes

The more generous terms that were set to begin in July are now on hold. This includes the reduction in payments from 10% to 5% of discretionary income for undergraduate loans. You may need to revisit your budget and long-term financial plans.

Future Outlook and Implications of the SAVE Plan Block

The recent court rulings blocking parts of the SAVE Plan have created a complex and uncertain landscape for student loan borrowers. While this isn’t the end of the road for student debt relief efforts, it does signal a period of potential change and adaptation.

In the immediate future, the Biden administration is likely to appeal these rulings. This legal process could last months or even years, potentially reaching the Supreme Court. During this time, the Department of Education may need to revise parts of the SAVE Plan to comply with court orders, possibly finding alternative ways to achieve similar benefits within the new legal framework.

The political implications of these developments are significant. Student loan relief is shaping up to be a key issue in the 2024 election, potentially energizing voters, especially younger demographics. Candidates may propose various approaches to address the student debt crisis, and the election outcome could significantly influence the future of student loan relief programs.

Congressional action presents another avenue for change, albeit an uncertain one. While the current political climate makes immediate legislative action unlikely, future shifts in Congress could potentially lead to new legislation addressing student loan relief. This could include explicit authorization for the SAVE Plan or similar programs, directly addressing the judges’ concerns about lack of clear congressional authority.

In response to these challenges, policymakers are likely to explore alternative approaches to student debt relief. The Biden administration has already been working on a ‘Plan B’, which, while potentially facing its own legal hurdles, might provide new options for borrowers. Other new programs or modifications to existing ones may also emerge, aiming to provide relief while addressing the legal concerns raised in these rulings.

Note: The current rulings aren’t necessarily the final word on the SAVE Plan. The legal process could yield developments more favorable to student loan relief efforts. But this also means a period of uncertainty for borrowers.

Key Takeaways for Borrowers

  • Despite the fluid situation, there’s no need for immediate drastic action.

  • Continue making your payments as usual and stay enrolled in your current plan if it’s beneficial.

  • Stay informed about new developments, as any major changes will likely come with clear communication and transition periods.

  • The landscape of student loan relief is evolving, with the potential for challenges and new opportunities in the coming months and years.

Bottom Line

The partial blocking of the SAVE Plan has created uncertainty for student loan borrowers, but it’s not cause for panic. We understand this situation may be frustrating and anxiety-inducing for many of you. Remember, you’re not alone in navigating these changes.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • If you’re already enrolled in SAVE, your current benefits remain intact.

  • For those considering enrollment, the plan still offers advantages despite the hold on future improvements.

  • Avoid making hasty decisions about your repayment strategy.

  • Stay informed about new developments, as this situation is still evolving.

The legal challenges to the SAVE Plan underscore the complex and evolving nature of student loan policies. While the situation may seem frustrating, the best thing you can do is to stay informed. As the legal process unfolds and the political landscape shifts, new opportunities for student loan relief may emerge.

We encourage you to:

  1. Regularly check for official updates

  2. Stay subscribed to our newsletter for the latest guidance

  3. Use the Loan Simulator on to understand your options

  4. Consider consulting a student loan expert for personalized advice

Remember, this is an ongoing situation, and further changes are likely. We’re committed to keeping you updated and providing guidance as new information becomes available.

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