More than 26 million apply for student loan forgiveness

Nearly 26 million Americans have applied for aid under the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan, the White House announced Thursday.

The administration said that 16 million applications will be approved by the end of the week. The application for debt collection was opened three weeks ago. Under the plan, eligible Americans can receive a gift of up to $10,000, while Pell Grant recipients can receive a gift of $20,000. The administration expects more than 40 million people to take advantage of the plan.

But the administration cannot start paying off student loans. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted an emergency stay request from six Republican-led states that sued to block the administration’s plan.

Both sides in the lawsuit filed motions for a restraining order, but the court has yet to issue a ruling. The administration is fighting several other lawsuits against the plan, but none have been successful so far.

“If Republican officials have their way, the monthly costs of tens of millions of Americans will skyrocket when student loan payments resume next year,” White House officials said in a news release released Thursday.

President Biden spoke again about student debt relief during an event Thursday in New Mexico, criticizing Republican efforts to stop his plan and encouraging borrowers to apply. A sign with the application URL was displayed behind Biden.

“I’m never going to apologize for helping middle-class families as they recover from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic,” he said.

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