Following a second federal court denial, student loan forgiveness applications are no longer being accepted.
According to the Associated Press, the Education Department says on its federal student aid website, “courts have issued orders blocking our student debt relief program. As a result, at this time, we are not accepting applications. We are seeking to overturn those orders.”
So far, roughly 26 million people have filed applications for student debt forgiveness, with 16 million of those approved. Despite the approval, the court ruling a shutdown prevented any of the relief from taking place.
President Joe Biden announced his plan in August to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt. The qualifications: income below $125,000 or households earning less than $250,000.
U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman in Texas said Biden overstepped his authority by creating the student debt relief program without the approval of congress.
Biden’s administration has appealed Pittman’s shutdown.
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone. Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government,” Pittman said.
Previously, the debt relief program was temporarily blocked by a St. Louis 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
People with student loan debt have not been required to make payments during the pandemic. But payments are set to resume, and interest will begin to accrue again, in January.
Though people with student loan debt have not been mandated to make payments during the pandemic, that will change this upcoming January when payments resume and interest on the loans ensue.