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FAQ: Student loan forgiveness is on hold. Now what?

(NewsNation)  — The future of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is headed to the Supreme Court, and the justices agreed to hear oral arguments as soon as February. But the hold on student loan cancellation means many borrowers are in a state of uncertainty before a decision is made.

“That is incredibly fast for this court,” NewsNation’s Joe Khalil said Friday on “Morning in America.”  “Remember they have to take up hundreds of cases every single term … it is an indication of how important this case is when it comes to how many people it’s going to impact.”

The plan has faced several legal challenges since it was rolled out this fall. Critics say Biden’s administration lacks the authority to wave student debt and that only Congress has the power to do so. Biden says those with outstanding student loan debt are now waiting in legal limbo.

Here’s what we know about the status of loan repayment and potential forgiveness:

When do payments start?

The student loan payment pause has been extended until either the U.S. Department of Education is allowed to move forward with Biden’s student debt relief program or the litigation of that program is resolved.

Payments will restart 60 days after whichever of those outcomes happens first, according to the Education Department’s website.

If the debt relief program hasn’t taken effect and the litigation is still unresolved by June 30, 2023, then payments will start again 60 days from that date. Borrowers will receive a notification from the Department of Education before their payments are expected to resume.

What about interest?

The relief suspended loan payments with 0% interest and stopped collections on defaulted loans.

Most borrowers’ will resume paying their loans at the same interest rate they were before the pause took effect. Exceptions include those who consolidated their loans during the pause, according to the Department of Education.

Borrowers can check their interest rate through their loan servicer.

Do I need to do anything by Jan. 1?

No. The extended pause will happen automatically.

As a result of ongoing litigation, the education department no longer is accepting applications for student loan forgiveness. It will hold on to applications that were received before the submission period closed.

Will I need to reapply for forgiveness if it’s implemented?

The most up-to-date information on the education department’s website says those seeking loan forgiveness would have until Dec. 31, 2023 to apply, although the department isn’t currently accepting applications.

If you’ve already applied for debt forgiveness, the education department will hold on to your application.

Because information about the relief program is still evolving, Biden has encouraged borrowers to sign up for notifications through the Department of Education’s website so they are alerted when updated information is available.

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