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SCOTUS hears arguments in cases over student loan debt

student loan savings
Posted at 6:17 AM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 07:27:25-05

The Supreme Court has heard arguments in cases challenging President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for some.

The Supreme Court listened to both sides of the argument Tuesday.

The Heroes Act, which was used during the pandemic, paused student loan payments without penalties. The new plan, proposed in August, goes further. The Biden plan goes further by canceling some debt entirely.

We asked students on Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi campus, how much in student loans do you think you have?

“Like right now, around $4,000,” Erica Dimas, who’s a sophomore at TAMUCC, said.

“Roughly maybe the last time I checked, it was around 6k; it might be more now,” Dakota Rusher, who’s also a sophomore at TAMUCC, said.

Both Erica Dimas and Dakota Rusher are sophomores at TAMUCC and, just like millions of Americans, have had to take out loans to pay for college.

The Biden administration said more than 40 million Americans are eligible for relief, and 26 million have already applied.

It argues the plan falls under a 2003 law, the Heroes Act, which provides student loan relief when there's a "national emergency.” The administration and advocates said the COVID pandemic applies.

“It kind of sucks having to take out loans, especially if we don’t know how interest works and how those kind of things works,” Rusher said.

Mary Jo Terry with Yrefy, a company that refinances defaulted private student loans, said if you had qualified for Pell grants in college, you could get $20,000 in forgiveness.

“And if you didn’t qualify for Pell grants, and you got regular federal loans, then you are eligible for 10,000,” said Terry.

“I hope it does happen soon because you know, people are still struggling to make their payments now. And it could be really a stress relief for others,” Dimas said.

Terry said it’s very important to make sure you keep up to date on your payments and communicate with your loan provider.

“Because at some point, these loans are going to go into repayment, and you’d finely want to make sure you can afford that monthly payment. And if not, let’s take action early. We do not want to see anybody in default,” said Terry.

The National COVID emergency is expected to end in May. But, the administration said economic consequences will go on past then for people who fell behind. The court is expected to rule by late June.

Terry also said to be patient; you don’t have to pay anything on your loans right now, and there’s no interest accruing.

Just be sure you sign up for the loan forgiveness application, and we have a link here.

For transparency, Corderro McMurry is an adjunct professor at TAMUCC.