The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear grinchy Republican states’ lawsuit against the Biden Administration’s student loan forgiveness in February. That means borrowers hoping for forgiveness will likely have to wait until June to see if a court full of Trump radicals seeking revenge against a fair and just society will approve President Biden’s student-debt plan.
But the ever crafty President Biden has found a way to turn that lemon into a little more lemonade for all student loan holders. Just before Thanksgiving, Biden’s Department of Education extended the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through next summer:
Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced an extension of the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections. The extension will alleviate uncertainty for borrowers as the Biden-Harris Administration asks the Supreme Court to review the lower-court orders that are preventing the Department from providing debt relief for tens of millions of Americans. Payments will resume 60 days after the Department is permitted to implement the program or the litigation is resolved, which will give the Supreme Court an opportunity to resolve the case during its current Term. If the program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 – payments will resume 60 days after that.
“Callous efforts to block student debt relief in the courts have caused tremendous financial uncertainty for millions of borrowers who cannot set their family budgets or even plan for the holidays without a clear picture of their student debt obligations, and it’s just plain wrong,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I want borrowers to know that the Biden-Harris Administration has their backs and we’re as committed as ever to fighting to deliver essential student debt relief to tens of millions of Americans. 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” [U.S. Department of Education, press release, 2022.11.22].
While we wait, we may take heart in noting that the Biden Administration has already forgiven nearly $48 billion in student debt for over 1.8 million borrowers, leading to a net decrease in total student loan debt from $1.59 trillion in Quarter 2 to $1.57 trillion in Q3.
Remember: less debt means more economic freedom for more Americans….