Biden’s student debt forgiveness waits on Supreme Court—here’s when borrowers may have to start paying again

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to greenlight President Joe Biden’s sweeping student debt forgiveness plan. Instead, the court said it will hear full oral arguments from both sides of the issue in February on an expedited basis.

It will then issue a final ruling, per its official procedures, likely in June, at the end of the current term. 

In November, the Biden administration issued another extension of the federal student loan payment pause in light of the legal challenges delaying debt forgiveness. The extension means the pause will tentatively end also in June, at the end of the month, depending on when the courts reach a final decision on forgiveness.

“Payments will resume 60 days after the Department is permitted to implement the program or the litigation is resolved,” the Department of Education said in a press release.

If the court decision arrives before June 30, payments will resume on that day. If not, borrowers will have another 60 days before payments turn back on, moving the deadline to the end of August. 

As it stands, you’d be wise to prepare to restart payments in July or work with your loan servicer to arrange accommodations for financial hardship.

Your actual payment due date will depend on your loan servicer, which will inform you with a statement no sooner than 21 days before payment is due, according to the Federal Student Aid website. The current order does not give any additional breathing room in the event the Supreme Court rules against the Biden administration.

The administration has not revealed a back-up plan if the Supreme Court does not allow debt forgiveness to proceed.

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