The wait will soon be over for millions of student loan borrowers: The US Supreme Court will publish its decision on the Biden administration’s debt relief program on Friday morning.
During oral arguments in February, the court’s conservative majority expressed skepticism about the administration’s authority to offer blanket forgiveness to about 45 million people with outstanding federal loans, about 3.8 million of them in California. But the liberal judges on the court suggested that the lawsuits against the program should be thrown out because the plaintiffs had not been harmed by it.
The high court indicated Thursday that it would issue its final rulings on Friday, starting at 7 am PT. In addition to the debt forgiveness lawsuits, the court has yet to rule on a web designer’s challenge to a Colorado anti-discrimination law that requires her to design sites even if they express views that violate her religious beliefs; in this case, websites that celebrate same-sex marriages.
If past practice is any guide, the student loan judgment should be issued by 8 a.m. Instead of publishing all the opinions of the day at once, judges issue them one at a time, giving the author of the judgment and any dissenting the opportunity to read aloud. a summary of what they have written.
As soon as the opinion is announced, it will be available on the Court’s Opinions page of the Supreme Court’s website.
According to the Education Data Initiative, nearly 10% of California residents have student loan debt. In all, Californians owe $142 billion, or an average of $37,084 per borrower.
The administration’s program would erase $10,000 in federal student loan debt for each borrower earning less than $125,000 (or, for couples filing jointly, less than $250,000 per household). The program would forgive an additional $10,000 in debt for qualified borrowers who had received Pell Grants, a form of financial aid for low-income students.
Regardless of what happens on Friday, borrowers with outstanding balances will need to resume their monthly payments in October. The Department of Education’s financial aid site, studentaid.gov, informs borrowers that interest will begin accruing on their loans on September 1 and that payments will be due again next month.
The Education Department says it will send borrowers a statement at least three weeks in advance, telling them when their payments are due and how much they owe. So, if you haven’t already, you should confirm your contact information on the Federal Student Aid website, studentaid.gov.
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