What’s up with student loan forgiveness? This is the latest news, including an extension of the payment break


When the Biden administration announced its student loan forgiveness plan in August, it was an unprecedented move to help borrowers reduce $1.6 trillion in debt. However, the amnesty scheme now faces several legal challenges and has left borrowers wondering what comes next.

In the past two months, student loan forgiveness has been the target of two high-profile lawsuits. As a result of these lawsuits, the Department of Education is no longer accepting pardon requests and the program has been suspended until the courts decide. Meanwhile, the Biden administration responded by re-extending the student loan payment moratorium.

Below we provide an overview of what you need to know about these lawsuits and what borrowers can expect in the coming months.

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What happens to student loan forgiveness?

First, there are two notable lawsuits that borrowers should be aware of. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of six Republican-led states: Missouri, South Carolina, Nebraska, Arkansas and Kansas. A three-judge panel blocked the pardon on November 14.

This order remains in effect until further notice from this Court or the Supreme Court of the United States,” the judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit wrote.

In other words, the program remains on hold until this court or any other court makes a final decision on the case.

These six states claim they will lose tax revenue as a result of the exemption. The judges noted that this may be the case in Missouri. The state has a program, known as the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, that disburses and maintains federal student loans. If the pardon is instituted, Missouri could lose tax revenue because it has fewer bills to maintain.

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The Justice Department has appealed the decision and asked the Supreme Court to overturn the order.

The order came just days after a Texas district court judge struck down the program on Nov. 10. The case was brought by two plaintiffs who did not qualify for the full amount of the waiver.

These prosecutors allege that the Biden administration should have allowed the public to provide input on the program before the program was passed. The lawsuit is backed by the Job Creators Network Foundation, an advocacy group founded by Home Depot co-founder and Republican donor Bernie Marcus.

Judge Mark Pittman ruled that the education secretary overstepped his authority by introducing the pardon. The Biden administration argues that the education secretary can eliminate borrowers’ student balances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Borrowers shouldn’t panic, at least not right now,” says higher education expert and author Mark Kantrowitz How to apply for more financial support for the university. ,The effect of these two cases is that the pardon will be postponed for the time being, until the legal proceedings are completed.”

When do my student loan payments start?

While student loan forgiveness status remains up in the air, The Biden administration has extended the moratorium on student loan payments until the Supreme Court rules.

If the waiver is implemented or the process is resolved, borrowers will have 60 days before their payments can resume. If not, the moratorium will be in effect until June 30, 2023, and borrowers will have 60 days before their payments resume.

The payment freeze was previously set to expire on December 31, 2022, in what the U.S. Department of Education called a “final extension.”

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The payment freeze was first introduced by the Trump administration in March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the freeze has been extended seven times. Borrowers can skip student loan payments without worrying about interest accruing on their balance.

On November 19, some of the pardon applicants received a confirmation email from the Ministry of Education.

“We have reviewed your application and determined that you are eligible for debt relief under the plan. We have sent this approval to your loan manager. You do not need to take any further action,” the Ministry of Education emailed.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona tweeted that day: “Starting today, applicants and others seeking assistance through the Biden-Harris administration’s student loan plan will receive updates. Don’t worry if you don’t receive an email today.” Don’t – more emails are coming in.”

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Can I still apply for student loan forgiveness?

Shortly after the program ended, the Department of Education stopped accepting applications on its website.

“Courts have issued orders blocking our student loan relief program. As a result, we are not accepting applications at this time. We’re trying to reverse those orders. If you have already applied, we will block your application Website of the education department.

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If you haven’t applied for a pardon yet, you may still be eligible to apply even though you can’t apply now. Before closing applications, the Department of Education claimed that borrowers had until December 31, 2023 to apply.

You can sign up for email updates about the application here:

According to the White House, 26 million borrowers have applied for forgiveness and 16 million have been approved.

Individuals earning less than $125,000 and families earning less than $250,000 are eligible for an exemption of up to $20,000. The amount of relief you get depends on whether or not you received a Pell Grant, a federal grant for low-income individuals.

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It may take time for borrowers’ student loan forgiveness to be reflected in their bills, as the two lawsuits have stalled in court. And if you qualify for an exemption but haven’t yet applied, the application may open in the future. For now, borrowers can start saving and prepare for full repayment if the forgiveness doesn’t end.

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Editor’s note: The opinions, analysis, assessments or recommendations expressed in this article are those of select editors only and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.




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