According to a SCOTUSblog report, the U.S. Supreme Court will review the legality of the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan during an oral argument in February. Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan would cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for eligible student borrowers, however, the plan has since been brought to a standstill due to several lower court rulings. The Supreme Court report comes almost two weeks after the Department of Education extended the student loan payment moratorium from its Dec. 31 expiration date to June 2023.
The Biden administration unveiled the federal student loan debt program in August, stating it would cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for anyone making less than $125,000 or for households making less than $250,000 a year. Pell Grant recipients, who receive aid based on financial need, would get an additional $10,000 in debt relief. It expected around $32 billion in federal student debt to be canceled for more than 1.6 million Americans during through administration’s student loan forgiveness actions.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement: “We’re extending the payment pause because it would be deeply unfair to ask borrowers to pay a debt that they wouldn’t have to pay, were it not for the baseless lawsuits brought by Republican officials and special interests.” The Department of Education wrote in a statement that the pause will extend 60 days after the Biden administration is allowed to implement its student loan forgiveness plan or legal challenges are resolved. Officials said the 60-day period will give the Supreme Court an opportunity to resolve the case during its current term. If the Department of Education can’t proceed with its policy and the legal challenges are still in play by June 30, 2023, student loan payments will resume 60 days after that date.
Editorial credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com