President Joe Biden says his administration is laying out a new path for student loan debt relief which will help as many Americans as possible but will "take longer" to implement than his original forgiveness program, which was blocked by a Supreme Court decision today.
Biden made the announcement as he delivered remarks at the White House on Friday.
He said the steps include a new path toward providing student debt relief "to as many borrowers as possible, as quickly as possible." Biden said the approach will be consistent with today's ruling because it will rely on a different law, the Higher Education Act of 1965.
It will allow Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, who stood alongside Biden, to "compromise, waive or release loans under certain circumstances," the president said.
A long road ahead: Biden said his new path is legally sound, and the best option for his administration. He said his team will move as quickly as possible to put it into place.
"We're not going to waste any time on this," Biden said. "We're getting moving on it. It's going to take longer, but we're getting at it right away."
Key context: Progressive lawmakers have in the past pushed Biden to use the Higher Education Act as an avenue for student loan forgiveness, but it's unclear whether this new approach could have the same breadth and scope as the current plan.
"On-ramp" for resuming payments: Biden said his administration will also create a temporary 12-month "on-ramp repayment program," aimed at helping borrowers who will need to make difficult decisions when payments resume in October.
Rather than letting people slide into deeper financial trouble when they miss payments on the front end, Biden said the on-ramp will temporarily remove the threat of default or having a borrower's credit damaged for years to come.
"This is not the same as the student loan pause," Biden said. "Monthly payments will be due," bills will go out and interest will start accruing.
"If you can pay your monthly bills, you should," the president continued. But if you can't, the on-ramp will help prevent financial ruin.
The Department of Education won't refer borrowers with missed payments to credit agencies for 12 months "to give them a chance to get back up and running," Biden said.
The president also announced that his administration will reduce the level of income-driven repayments from 10% to 5% of a borrower's disposable income. (Through this program, borrowers pay a fixed rate determined by their income for a set period of time, and are forgiven any remaining balance at the end of that period.)
CNN's Sam Fossum contributed to this report.