Federal appeals court temporarily blocks student loan forgiveness

A federal appeals court Friday temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s recently announced student loan forgiveness plan.

Six Republican-led states motioned in September to block the program, saying it is an overreach of Biden’s executive powers. It is unclear how the decision will affect the 22 million borrowers who have applied for aid.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said borrowers should still apply for debt relief as the court order does not prevent applications or the review process.

“We will continue to move full speed ahead in our preparations in compliance with this order,” she said in a statement. “And the administration will continue to fight Republican officials suing to block our efforts to provide relief to working families.”

The plan would forgive $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals or households making less than $125,000 annually.

Initially, payments were not expected to be disbursed until Oct. 23. Now, it is unclear whether they will go into effect by Jan. 1, when the pandemic-caused freeze on loan payments expires.

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said the Biden administration is “moving full speed ahead” to process debt relief applications regardless of the temporary decision.

“President Biden and this administration are committed to fighting for the millions of hardworking students and borrowers across the country,” he said.

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