The road to student loan forgiveness has been a long and winding one since President Joe Biden announced the much-anticipated administration’s program on Aug. 24, 2022. Following several lawsuits and injunctions, the Supreme Court began to hear arguments concerning Biden’s student loan plan on Feb. 28.
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As GOBankingRates previously reported, the first day of Supreme Court hearings on the matter of student loan forgiveness offered several pieces of information worth analysis. It was revealed that the Biden administration seeks to have the cases against its plan dismissed under the argument that they hold no legal standing. However, conservative justices did not appear to be particularly swayed by this line of reasoning. It was speculated by some, including University of Texas law professor Steve Vladek, that Justice Barrett may be persuaded to rule in favor of the Biden administration on this score. As of yet, however, a fifth justice required to support a lack of standing argument has not emerged.
To provide context, here’s a timeline of the events leading up to this review.
Aug. 24, 2022: The administration announced the plan, under which up to $10,000 in federal student debt relief may be offered to borrowers whose income in 2020 or 2021 was less than $125,000 (or $250,000 for households). For Pell Grant recipients, that amount increases to up to $20,000 in student loan cancellation. If you are a dependent student, your eligibility is based on your parental income. Most federal loans are eligible, including undergraduate and graduate direct loans, parent PLUS and grad PLUS loans, consolidation loans. Federal family education loan (FFEL) program loans held by ED, Perkins loans held by ED, and defaulted loans, according to studentaid.gov. Learn more here.
Sept. 29, 2022: Six Republican-led states — Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina — filed a lawsuit against Biden’s program, alleging that “Biden violated federal law, the constitutional principle of separation of powers and the Administrative Procedure Act when he skirted congressional authority to implement this policy.”
Oct. 18, 2022: Student loan forgiveness application website launches after 8 million Americans take part in beta test. Here’s what was announced.
Oct. 21, 2022: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit issued an injunction pausing the program while it was reviewing the lawsuit filed by six states. Learn more here.
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Nov. 10, 2022: A federal judge in Texas struck down the program on Nov. 10, saying that the law “does not provide the executive branch clear congressional authorization to create a $400 billion student loan forgiveness program,” according to court documents. Learn more here.
Nov. 14, 2022: A federal appeals court issued a nationwide injunction on Nov. 14 temporarily barring President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief program. Learn more here.
Nov. 18, 2022: The administration turned to the Supreme Court to vacate the nationwide injunction put in place on Nov. 14 by a federal appeals court, temporarily barring President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief program. Learn more here.
Nov. 22 and 23, 2022: About 9 million Americans received erroneous emails in November saying that their application for the Biden administration’s student debt relief program had been approved. Find out what happened here.
Nov. 22, 2022: The administration announced that the student loan pause, which was set to end Dec. 31, 2022, will be extended to the end of June 2023, as it awaits the Supreme Court’s review of its student debt relief program, the White House announced on Nov. 22. Get further details here.
Nov. 30, 2022: A federal court declined to reverse a ruling blocking Biden’s student debt relief program on Nov. 30. The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit unanimously rejected the administration’s request to reverse a Texas judge’s ruling that is blocking the student debt relief program, according to court filings. Learn more here.
Dec. 1, 2022: The Supreme Court said it would hear President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program in February, a move the administration called “welcomed.” But meanwhile, the program is paused, leaving millions of borrowers waiting for a decision. Learn more here.
Dec. 12, 2022: The Supreme Court announced it will hear arguments — also in February — in a second case regarding the student debt relief program. Learn more here.
Dec. 13, 2022: Letters correcting mistaken student loan relief approval were sent. Find out what they said here.
Jan. 4, 2023: the Biden administration officially filed a legal brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in which they defended the plan to provide relief to 45 million American student loan borrowers. Learn more here.
Jan. 5, 2023: The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an 86-page brief with the Supreme Court on Jan. 4 regarding President Joe Biden’s halted student loan forgiveness program, arguing that the Education Secretary’s “actions fall comfortably within the law” and that his plan “is both reasonable and reasonably explained.” Learn more here.
Jan. 12, 2023: Dozens of organizations and individuals — including civil rights groups, labor unions, legal experts and state governments — filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court. Get the details here.
Jan. 20, 2023: Arizona’s new Democratic attorney general Kris Mayes dismissed the lawsuit. Find out more here.
Feb. 3, 2023: 128 House Republicans and 43 Republican Senators petition the Supreme Court to stop the student loan forgiveness program. Learn why here.
March 20, 2023: Forgiveness for IDR and PSLF Loans was quietly postponed a year because of insufficient funding. Read more here.
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