A federal court has momentarily blocked the Biden Administration’s student debt forgiveness program.
The block while temporary prevents the government from acting on the principal aspect of the program which is forgiving debt. This block is not an actual decision on the legality of the program itself but rather an order to not act on the program until a legal decision can be made.
The suit was bought by seven conservative-leaning states. Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina. In an earlier hearing, a judge declared that those states didn’t show sufficient harm to have enough standing to file suit.
The online application for loan forgiveness recently went live and started accepting submissions. According to the White House, eligible borrowers are still free to apply for forgiveness:
“Tonight’s temporary order does not prevent borrowers from applying for student debt relief at studentaid.gov – and we encourage eligible borrowers to join the nearly 22 million Americans whose information the Department of Education already has. It also does not prevent us from reviewing these applications and preparing them for transmission to loan servicers” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement.
The student loan forgiveness program forgives up to $10,000 in federal student loans for most eligible borrowers and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. The student loan forgiveness plan was meant to fulfill a campaign promise made by Joe Biden but has been challenged in court by conservatives who claim it is unfair to the taxpayers.
This case is just one of several legal challenges aiming to block the program.