Student Loan Forgiveness: Timeline of Events Leading Up To the Supreme Court Review

Fernando Llano / AP
Fernando Llano / AP

The road to student loan forgiveness is 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 will finally hear cases in February.

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Here’s a timeline of the events leading up to it.

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 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.

“Student Loan Debt Relief Is Blocked. 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.” NOTICE

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.