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What a Joe Biden presidency could mean for your money

Here's where President-elect Joe Biden stands on issues like taxes and health care.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gestures after speaking during election night at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, early on November 4, 2020.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

It is official: Former Vice President Joe Biden has won the presidential election, NBC News projects, having secured at least 273 Electoral College votes, above the the 270 necessary to claim victory. NBC News announced the win Saturday, with Pennsylvania as the tipping point state.

The stock market has been in flux these last few weeks in anticipation of the results. If you're nervous about your investments, remember the market tends to go up over time, including during nearly all presidential administrations.

In terms of how else Biden's election could affect your bottom line, here's where he stands on six key pocketbook issues.


Trump and Congress enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA) in 2017, which made changes to standard deductions, itemized deductions, and tax credits for dependents. The bill is believed to have disproportionately favored the wealthy.

Biden plans to repeal most of Trump's tax cuts. He's said he will raise the top tax rate back up to 39.6% but will "not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000." Biden has also said he'll raise the capital gains tax on anyone making more than $1 million per year in income.

Health care

More than 20 million people gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which, as vice president, Biden helped pass. The TCJA eliminated the act's health-care mandate, or the tax penalty for not having health insurance.

Biden plans to protect the ACA by bringing back the individual mandate. He also plans to add a public health insurance option similar to Medicare that individuals could opt into. He has pledged to lower health insurance premiums, introduce a premium tax credit for middle class families to help pay for coverage, end surprise billing, and lower drug prices.

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Student debt

There is $1.5 trillion worth of student debt in America, according to Brookings. Biden wants those making $25,000 or less per year to be exempt from paying their federal student loans until they begin earning more. Their loans wouldn't accrue any interest during this time. Everyone else would pay a monthly loan bill of 5% of their discretionary income over $25,000. (Trump had proposed 12.5%.)

Whether or not your income ever goes above the $25,000 cutoff, after 20 years, the remainder of the loans for people who have consistently made payments would be 100% forgiven.

He has also said he will forgive undergraduate federal student loan debt from public colleges and historically Black colleges and universities for those earning less than $125,000 per year.

Social Security

Biden wants to increase Social Security's special minimum benefit for low earners to 125% of the federal poverty line, which would bring it to $1,301 per month, increase survivor benefits by 20%, and provide a higher benefit to the oldest Americans. To pay for the changes, he wants to apply payroll taxes for those earning $400,000 and more.

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Public college tuition

Biden wants to make public colleges and universities free for all students whose family incomes are below $125,000. He has also suggested doubling the value of the federal Pell Grants to expand eligibility to more people and increase the value of the grants themselves.

Paid family leave

The president-elect will work to make 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave broadly available to people. He also wants to work to provide free universal prekindergarten programs for 3 and 4-year-olds and to implement a child-care tax credit.

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