This article was updated on 11/4/2022 at 10:48am ET.
The Biden administration announced on Thursday that the Department of Education will have approved 16 million applications for student loan forgiveness by the end of this week.
That doesn’t mean the money will automatically be sent to their student loan accounts. The program is still on hold due to legal challenges from conservative states.
The news comes after Biden announced last week that applications can expect student loan forgiveness payments to start hitting qualified borrower’s student loan accounts in the next couple of weeks.
Although the administration is facing a legal challenge, which has put the payments temporarily on pause, Biden says he’s confident they can move forward with the program.
“We’re going to win that case. I think in the next two weeks you’re going to see those checks going out,” Biden told Nexstar’s Washington Correspondent Reshad Hudson.
The applications for student loan debt relief opened up on October 19th. The process is relatively short, and doesn’t require any documents. You just need to provide your name, social security number, date of birth, email, and phone number.
Applications were set to close next December, but it’s unclear if any court-based delays could impact the application window.
In August, the White House announced its decision to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan relief for non-pell grant recipients and $20,000 in student loan relief for pell-grant recipients making under $125,000 individually or $250,000 as a household.
The move was met with support from progressives, although many questioned whether it would be enough to tackle the 1.6 trillion dollars of federal student loan debt owed by borrowers.
Black Americans and Black women, in particular, shoulder a disproportionate share of the student loan debt burden.
On average Black women carry $38,000 in federal student loan debt, which is more than any other group, according to the Education Trust.
So no matter what happens in court, the average Black woman is still likely to carry a significant student debt burden.
Still, some relief is likely better than nothing. And as the Biden administration continues to battle it out against conservative states, all eyes will surely be fixated on the results.
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