Student loan borrowers all over the country rejoiced when President Biden’s student relief program officially rolled out on October 14. Applicants stood to get up to $20,000 wiped from their loan balance. Those who were qualified earn less than $125,000 in either 2020 or 2021 and married couples or heads of households who made less than $250,000 annually.
To date, nearly 26 million have applied.
But progress has been at a standstill since October 21 while a federal appeals court considers a legal challenge brought by six GOP-led states.
The Washington Post reported that there are several active lawsuits seeking to block Biden’s debt relief plan. Representatives from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina allege that the president has “overstepped his authority and threatened the revenue of state entities that profit from federal student loans.”
CNN reported the next step include waiting on a decision from the appeals court to grant a preliminary injunction requested by the states. If the judgement swings in the states’ favor, the student loan forgiveness program halted while litigative deliberation continues and the court hears from both sides of the aisle. If the injunction doesn’t go through, debt cancellation checks may begin rolling out while appeal continues to go through processing.
“We’re going to win that case,” Biden told NewsNation as reported by the Washington Post when asked about the case during an interview. “I think in the next two weeks you’re going to see those checks going out.”
This may have left people scratching their heads in confusion since widespread news has broken about the lawsuits.
However, experts say borrowers should apply by November 15 despite ongoing litigation.
“The urgency is simple: the administration wants to forgive as much debt as possible as quickly as possible,” said Robert Farrington, the founder of The College Investor, an online resource for student loans. “It’s really hard to put the cat back in the bag. Once forgiveness actually starts on loans, it would be very hard for anyone to stop it.”
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