The Education Department is sending out emails to update applicants on student loan forgiveness, even as the proposal remains mired in court hearings.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the department began sending emails out Saturday and would continue to send the out to applicants in the coming days, The Hill reported. The emails are being sent to applicants whose forgiveness has been approved, pending court hearings.
“We remain confident in our legal authority to carry out the Student Loan Debt Relief program @POTUS & I announced in August,” Cardona tweeted. “Borrowers, remember, we will not stop fighting for you.”
President Biden’s plan would forgive up to $20,000 in student loans for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for other federal borrowers. Originally, the Department of Education said applicants should apply by Nov. 15 for their information to be processed before payments were set to re-start Jan. 1, 2023.
The federal website is no longer accepting applications, however.
“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,” a message on the site noted.
Previously submitted application are being held until further updates and the legal challenges are resolved, the noted added.
The email sent to applicants mentions the challenges but calls them “meritless.”
“We have sent this approval on to your loan servicer. You do not need to take any further action,” an email reviewed by Axios said. “Unfortunately, a number of lawsuits have been filed challenging the program, which have blocked our ability to discharge your debt at present. We believe strongly that the lawsuits are meritless, and the Department of Justice has appealed on our behalf.
“Your application is complete and approved, and we will discharge your approved debt if and when we prevail in court.”