Applications for student loan forgiveness are no longer being accepted, the Biden administration has announced.
According to the Associated Press, The Biden administration has announced that it no longer accepts student loan forgiveness applications. They’ve reportedly moved forward with the decision after a second federal court shut the program down.
“Courts have issued orders blocking our student debt relief program. As a result, at this time, we are not accepting applications. We are seeking to overturn those orders,” the Education Department said on its federal student aid website. The Education Department added that it would hold onto applications filled out by those who’ve already applied.
In August, President Joe Biden announced plans to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt to fulfill a campaign pledge. To receive loan forgiveness, applicants would be required to have incomes below $125,000 or households earning less than $250,000. The White House estimated that more than 40 million people could be eligible.
The AP reported approximately 26 million people have applied, and 16 million applications have been approved. However, due to court rulings, none of it has been sent out. As such, the Department of Education would “quickly process their relief once we prevail in court,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman in Texas reportedly ruled that Biden “overstepped” his authority by creating the debt relief program without congressional approval.
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone. Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government,” Judge Pittman wrote. His ruling arrived after the 8th U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals temporarily halted the program while considering if they should enforce a permanent ban. A half-dozen Republican-led states reportedly brought the case.
The administration has since appealed the ruling, and payments are set to resume, as interest will start to accrue again in January for those who were approved.