WASHINGTON — There’s a pretty good chance you or someone you love has questions about federal student loans right now.

Will forgiveness really happen? Will my student loan payments start in January as planned?

WHITE HOUSE PLAN UPDATE

It’s no secret that studying is expensive.

In fact, $29,719 is the total amount borrowed on average by college graduates who took out loans last year.

President Biden had plans to erase some of that debt with a recent executive order.

His plan would give ten thousand dollars to most Americans who earn less than $125,000 a year.

Pell Grant recipients are awarded up to twenty thousand dollars.

However, President Biden’s actual elimination of student debt did not go as smoothly as he would have liked.

In fact, the entire program is now suspended, creating questions for millions of Americans.

First, you need to know that six states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina — have filed suit to block the pardon.

In court documents, the leaders of those states argue that the president cannot do that.

So far they have convinced the courts of their right.

Missouri, for example, argued that the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, which services many federal loans, would lose money if the bailout happened, which would indirectly affect state tax revenues.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the pardon “poses a threat of financial harm to the state of Missouri.”

The current 8th Circuit Court decision, as well as separate legal challenges, that’s why when you go to Studentaid.gov now you get an urgent message that you can’t apologize.

As for what happens next, the Biden administration is appealing to the US Supreme Court.

Lawyers representing the White House will argue that President Biden can legally issue a pardon.

Lawyers are first fighting to get the injunction lifted. They are likely to argue soon for the justices to fully take up the case.

THE CONFUSION OF CHRONICLES

Needless to say, all of this will take time, possibly months, which puts more emphasis on the calendar.

Remember that federal student loan payments will begin on January 1 for the first time since March 2020.

President Biden has said that there will be no more extensions.

However, that has become less certain in the past few days, with the possibility that the payments could be delayed again while the legal debate continues.

Many student advocacy groups are actively lobbying for another delay.

So, for now, the reality is that federal student loan payments as well as forgiveness remain in limbo.

Congress estimates that debt cancellation will cost taxpayers about $400 billion.

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