Updated Nov 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Student debt relief applications pulled from Dept. of Education website

President Biden speaks in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17, 2022. Photo: Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Education removed the application for Biden's student debt relief program from its website.

Driving the news: "Courts have issued orders blocking our student debt relief program," the application website reads. "As a result, at this time, we are not accepting applications. We are seeking to overturn those orders."

  • The move comes after a federal judge in Texas struck down the debt relief program Thursday.
  • The Biden administration said later Thursday that it's appealing the ruling of the Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman.
The student loan debt relief application page is seen on Nov. 11, 2022.

Details: The judge declared the program illegal after a lawsuit alleged the administration violated federal procedures by denying borrowers an opportunity to provide public comment before launching the plan.

  • Meanwhile, a federal appeals court also temporarily blocked the debt relief program in a suit brought on by six Republican states.

Yes, but: the Supreme Court has already turned down two other requests to block the program amid a growing number of legal challenges against the plan.

The Biden administration did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

What should borrowers do?

Nothing, for now. The Education Department said they'll hold the applications of borrowers who have already applied.

  • More than 26 million borrowers who have already applied, and 16 million have already been approved for relief.

Where things stand: The challenges to the program likely mean any approved relief is on hold while the legal battles play out in court.

Of note: The moratorium on student loan payments ends in December.

  • Payments on federal student loans -- which have been paused since the Trump administration's initial announcement in March 2020 -- are set to resume in January 2023.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

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