President Biden’s sweeping plan to forgive student loan debt for millions of Americans is stuck in the courts (we cover those legal troubles in more detail here). For borrowers, the most visible consequence of these legal blows thus far is that applications for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan are not currently being accepted. Before this week, the pandemic pause on student loans was set to end on Dec. 31, which would have left millions of Americans unsure about how they would resume their payments.
This week, those millions have something to be thankful for: The Biden administration announced it will extend the payment pause on federal student loans. Here’s where student loan forgiveness stands right now and what that means for you.
Where student loan forgiveness stands right now
On Tuesday, the White House tweeted that “the Administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments to allow for the Supreme Court to rule in the case on the student debt relief program.”
The extension is in response to federal appeals courts blocking the forgiveness plan on the grounds that Biden’s plan was an overreach of power. The Education Department says on its federal student aid website that they will keep fighting for this plan, meaning the student loan forgiveness is likely to end up before the Supreme Court.
In the meantime, “it isn’t fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers eligible for relief to resume their student debt payments while the courts consider the lawsuit,” according to President Joe Biden in a video posted to Twitter Tuesday.
What this means for you
This payment freeze is not indefinite. The White House’s tweet states that the pause will end when the debt forgiveness plan is able to move out of the courts. However, if the program’s legal challenges are not resolved by the end of June, the payment freeze will end on June 30, 2023.
Whether in June or beforehand, payments will resume 60 days after the pause ends and the administration is allowed to implement its forgiveness plan.
It’s worth noting that this is the eighth time the Education Department has extended the pandemic pause on student loans. For now, while student loan forgiveness stays stuck in the courts, it doesn’t hurt to get your repayment plan in order.