Is Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan Legal?

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Biden Student loan

The news of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan delighted more than 40 million students who carry student loans. For those who qualify, the government will erase up to $10,000 in student loan debt and up to $20,000 in debt for Pell Grant recipients. Unfortunately, after around half of those individuals filed for student loan forgiveness and were virtually accepted, the program’s application process was suspended owing to legal objections from groups contending that student loan forgiveness is illegal.

After hearing arguments on Biden student loan forgiveness, the U.S. Supreme Court will likely issue a ruling by June, when student loan payments are due to begin. You may wonder what this implies if you have student loans. It automatically qualified for one-time student debt forgiveness during the brief period when applications were accepted. By the end of June 2023, the Supreme Court is anticipated to rule on Biden’s student loan forgiveness plans

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What is Biden Loan Forgiveness Plan?

During the pandemic, the Biden administration revealed its student loan forgiveness program. Millions of borrowers were expected to benefit from debt relief by having up to $10,000 of their student loan debt and up to $20,000 of their Pell Grant debt forgiven. Borrowers needed to have an individual income below $125,000 or $250,000 if they were married and filing jointly in order to be eligible for student debt reduction.

Application process:

The Education Department estimates that 8 million borrowers who have already given the Department information about their income will be immediately eligible for student debt relief. According to the Education Department, a formal application for Biden student loans will be made accessible by early October. In order to qualify for loan forgiveness, borrowers must submit an application. The Department is anticipated to give the relief within 4 to 6 weeks of receiving the application.

Who is eligible for loan forgiveness for students?

You must have federal student loans and make less than $125,000 yearly to be eligible for forgiveness. A debt cancellation of up to $10,000 may be available to borrowers who fulfill that profile. If you also received a Pell Grant throughout your studies, you might be qualified to receive forgiveness of up to $20,000 in debt. Do you doubt your eligibility? You may find out if you are eligible for student loan forgiveness with the Forbes Advisor calculator.

Which sorts of student loans are acceptable?

Almost all federal student loans are eligible for forgiveness, including direct subsidized or unsubsidized, graduate, and parent PLUS loans. If your loans qualify for the federal student loan payment suspension, you may be eligible for this forgiveness option.

On the other hand, the majority of Federal Family Education Loans and Perkins Loans owned by private lenders are not eligible for forgiveness. All other borrowers in this category are ineligible for forgiveness but should be if they applied for a direct consolidation loan before September 29, 2022.

What has changed about student loan forgiveness and the Supreme Court?

The court is considering two lawsuits challenging the discharge of student loans. According to the plan’s detractors, the Biden administration needed more authority to enact a $500 billion reform to student loan regulations. Additionally, they contend that forgiving student loans will hurt some states, a significant student loan servicer, and result in an unfair advantage for some individuals over others.

According to the Biden administration, the COVID-19 program called for debt relief for millions of student loan debtors, and the Heroes Act grants the authority to erase student loans. Attorneys representing the Biden administration point out that 90% of those who would be eligible for student loan forgiveness earn less than $75,000 per year, and many of them have experienced severe financial loss and suffering as a result of the pandemic.

What about Payments on Student Loans?

Student loan payments are suspended in the meantime. Federal student loan payments were initially scheduled to restart at the start of 2023. Still, because the Supreme Court decided to hear the case, the Department of Education decided to postpone those payments until at least June 30, 2023. It is still being determined what that will or won’t entail for resuming student loan payments if the Supreme Court ultimately rules in favor of the Biden administration and permits student loan relief to proceed.

When will the Supreme Court rule on the cancellation of student loans?

Student loan payments have been suspended until at least June because the Supreme Court often issues rulings toward the close of its session. In this instance, a conclusion about the validity of student loan forgiveness will likely be reached by the end of June. Biden student loan pause will take time for the justices to decide whether to sustain or invalidate Biden’s student loan forgiveness scheme, even though the Supreme Court just heard arguments addressing student loan forgiveness. 

Is Biden’s plan legal?

Despite the pledge to forgive some student debt, Biden felt their ability to do so by executive action needed to be more transparent. Instead, they preferred congressional legislation on debt relief. Harvard Law School wrote in 2020 that the president has the authority to direct the secretary of education to create, cancel, or alter debt due under federal student loan programs.

The Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 gives the secretary of education extensive authority to alleviate the hardship that federal student loan recipients may suffer due to national emergencies. They served as the basis for the Biden administration’s justification for debt cancellation. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the statute was passed.

Wrapping it up:

From the above mentioned, the majority of student loan holders will only be able to rest easy, even if Biden’s plan prevails in court. Before the end of 2023, you must apply to be eligible for student debt cancellation if you are not one of the 8 million people on whom the Department of Education currently has income information. You should get your student debt relief within four to six weeks of submitting this application.

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