Student debt forgiveness update


Photo by Jessica Spivey

The Student Financial Services office is located on the third floor of Spellmann. Financial counselors can assist students with any questions they have.

Chassity Williams, Reporter

In early November, President Joe Biden’s student debt forgiveness was blocked.

Just to recap, Biden’s original plan was to extend the Student Loan Repayment Pause to Dec. 31, 2022.

The plan would extend the pause on payments and interest for students with federal loans. Students did not have to do anything to make the pause happen, it would happen automatically.

The next part of the plan was Biden announced that current and past students could cancel up to $10,000 in student federal loan debt if their income did not pass $125,000 or $250,000 for married couples or heads of households. Then Pell Grant recipients could cancel up to $20,000 of their debt.

This plan was announced in August and about three months later, the Department of Education stopped taking applications for relief. This happened because the forgiveness plan is facing several lawsuits.

Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina wanted the plan blocked because it threatened their future tax revenues. A federal judge dismissed these arguments, but they appealed the decision.

The plan was then given a separate lawsuit from a federal judge in Texas who said that the plan is unlawful. The suit is led by two borrowers, former students who took out federal loans for college, who are partially or fully ineligible for debt forgiveness.

Students started to get letters in late November saying they were going to receive debt relief, but what was also in the letter was the news about the lawsuits.

This is a statement from a letter an active student received:

“Unfortunately, a number of lawsuits have been filed challenging the program, which has blocked our ability to discharge your debt at present.”

Many students are confused about what is going to happen next and if there is anything they can do.

Aisha Rains, a counselor in the Student Financial Services at Lindenwood University, said that the students that already applied do not have to do it again. The Department of Education will hold those applications.

To always stay up to date about what is happening with loan relief, students can sign up for

“If you are getting ready to go into repayment, log into your account at to find your loan servicer and make sure they have your current contact information,” Rains said.

These sudden lawsuits have caused a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for many students.

Rains mentioned the Student Loan Debt Relief program affected students who are currently repaying their loans more than students who have not yet.

A common question being asked by students is if they can still apply.

“Currently the applications are paused pending the outcome of the court cases,” Rains said.

The Student Loan Payment Pause has been extended until the US Department of Education is permitted to start the debt relief program or the litigation is resolved.

Payments will restart 60 days after the litigation is resolved, or 60 days after June 30, 2023, if not resolved by this date. Students will be notified before the payments resume.