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Legal losses keep coming for Biden's student loan relief plan

President Joe Biden answers questions with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in October as they leave an event about the student debt relief portal.
Susan Walsh
/
AP
President Joe Biden answers questions with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in October as they leave an event about the student debt relief portal.

Another appeals court rejected President Biden's student loan relief on Wednesday, marking the latest legal setback in his effort to forgive up to $20,000 in debt.

At the 5th Circuit Court, the U.S. Education Department had requested a reversal in one of several parallel lawsuits seeking to block the president's plan, in this instance a case out of Texas. The Biden administration has said ultimately they'll ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on the legality of the plan.

Before the legal troubles, the Education Department approved about 16 million applications, those borrowers will see that debt discharged if and when the program overcomes the legal hurdles.

Federal loan payments have been on pause more or less since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, and the administration plans to keep it that way as the legal challenges to student loan relief play out. If the plan is allowed to go forward, or if the courts put a final stop to it, payments will resume 60 days later; if not, bills start coming due after June 30, 2023.
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Elissa Nadworny reports on all things college for NPR, following big stories like unprecedented enrollment declines, college affordability, the student debt crisis and workforce training. During the 2020-2021 academic year, she traveled to dozens of campuses to document what it was like to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Her work has won several awards including a 2020 Gracie Award for a story about student parents in college, a 2018 James Beard Award for a story about the Chinese-American population in the Mississippi Delta and a 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in innovation.