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The student loan forgiveness plan introduced by the Biden Administration in August was officially blocked by a federal judge in Texas. Applications for relief are put on hold until a final decision is made regarding whether forgiveness can move forward.

President Joe Biden had announced up to $20,000 of forgiveness for federal student loan borrowers. But from the very beginning, several lawsuits emerged to challenge the plan. It was unclear as to if any would succeed based on the lack of standing in many of the lawsuits.

In addition to the block in Texas, the Supreme Court, in response to an appeal from the Biden Administration, refused to lift an injunction on debt relief from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. For now, the plan remains in legal limbo.

Here’s what you need to know about the chances of student loan forgiveness moving forward:

Will student loan forgiveness eventually resume?

The Biden Administration had filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to reverse the block. However, the 5th Circuit Court refused to lift it. Along with the 5th Circuit ruling, the temporary stay implemented by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals is also still in effect, putting even more roadblocks in front of debt relief.

In response to the 8th Circuit, the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the Biden Administration, filed an emergency request to the Supreme Court to allow the program to proceed while the legality of the program is determined in court. Given the conservative majority of the Supreme Court, the judges did not rule in Biden’s favor. On Dec. 1, 2022, the Supreme Court allowed the 8th Circuit Court’s decision to remain in place. Additionally, the justices agreed to hear oral arguments and set the case for February, with a final decision regarding the legality of the program by June.

With the recent decision from the Supreme Court, student loan forgiveness will not happen before June 2023. If the court rules in Biden’s favor, then forgiveness will be allowed to proceed. But if the court rules the program is not legal, then student loan forgiveness will stay officially blocked permanently. The only way to reverse a decision by the Supreme Court would be through Congress. But given the House of Representatives is a conservative majority, it’s highly unlikely any legislation would make it to President Biden’s desk.

In response to the legal challenges in court, the Biden Administration announced an extension of the payment pause to at least 60 days after June 30, 2023.

How does this affect the payment pause?

Currently, payments on student loans have been paused since March 2020, and are set to expire at least 60 days after June 30, 2023. Since 2020, the pause has been extended several times by both former President Donald Trump and President Biden. Federal officials indicated the most recent pause would be the final one, but given the recent legal challenges, the Biden Administration extended it once more.

With the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case, and a decision to be made by June, payments will now resume 60 days after June 30, 2023.

Prior to the extension, the Biden Administration advocated for the Supreme Court to allow the program to move forward because the pause was set to end in December. If the pause resumed without some kind of forgiveness, the Biden Administration argued it could have dire consequences for millions of student loan borrowers.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in the recent filing, “Because borrowers who default on their student loans face severe financial consequences — including wage garnishment, long-term credit damage, and ineligibility for federal benefits — Congress specifically authorized the Secretary (of Education) to waive or modify any applicable statutory or regulatory provision as he deems necessary to ensure that borrowers affected by a national emergency are not worse off in relation to their student loans.”

Does this affect the new Income-Driven Repayment plans?

The block does not affect the new income-driven repayment (IDR) plans. Along with the student loan forgiveness announcement in August, the Biden Administration also announced an overhaul of its income-driven repayment plans. The new changes would benefit 30% of student loan borrowers who are currently enrolled in an IDR plan.

Here’s what the new plan entails:

  • Monthly payments are capped for borrowers at 5% of their discretionary income, instead of the current 10%. The White House estimates that this will lower the average annual student loan payment by more than $1,000 for current and future student loan borrowers.
  • Forgive balances after 10 years instead of 20 years for balances of $12,000 or less.
  • Non-discretionary income amount will be raised, ensuring that no borrower earning under 225% of the federal poverty level will make a monthly payment.

Check Out: Federal Student Loan Repayment Options

What can you do in the meantime?

You have a few options for your student loan payments, including:

  • Ask for a refund of prior payments. If you took advantage of the 0% interest rate and made payments since the pause was first enacted, you’re qualified to request a refund for those payments from your loan servicer. If you take this route, it’s best to hold onto that refund until a final decision regarding forgiveness has been reached. If forgiveness moves forward and is applied, you’ll be able to put your refund toward other financial goals.
  • Keep making payments. It’s a good idea to pay toward your balance monthly if you’re able. Any payments you make now during the pause will help pay down your principal. The 0% interest rate works in your favor even for just a few months. The more you put down, the more likely you’ll have a lower payment when the extension ends. If you’re unable to make payments, consider enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan.
  • Request deferment or forbearance. By demonstrating economic hardship, and meeting other qualifications, you could request deferment of your payments or forbearance from your loan servicer. Both options pause your payments for an allocated number of months.
  • Consider refinancing. If student loan forgiveness is ultimately blocked and your payments are too substantial, refinancing can be a great alternative to lowering your interest rate. And by choosing a shorter repayment term, you could potentially pay off your student loans faster.

If you decide refinancing is right for you, visit Credible to compare lenders and rates.

The student loan consolidation companies in the table below are Credible’s approved partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request rates from all of them by filling out a single form. Then, you can compare your available options side-by-side. Requesting rates is free, doesn’t affect your credit score, and your personal information is not shared with our partner lenders unless you see an option you like.

LenderVariable rates from (APR)Fixed rates from (APR)


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
4.32%+ 4.4%+
  • Fixed APR: 4.4%+
  • Variable APR: 4.32%+
  • Min. credit score: 690
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $400,000
  • Loan terms (years): 5, 7, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options: Military deferment, forbearance
  • Fees: Late fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Must have a credit score of at least 720, a minimum income of $60,000, and must be a resident of Texas
  • Customer service: Email, phone
  • Soft credit check: Does not disclose
  • Cosigner release: No
  • Loan servicer: Firstmark Services
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance: $100,000 - $149,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance: $200,000 - $400,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing: Does not disclose


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
5.09%+1 5.39%+1
  • Fixed APR: 5.39%+1
  • Variable APR: 5.09%+1
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $750,000
  • Loan terms (years): 5, 7, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options: Immediate repayment, academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees: Late fee
  • Discounts: Autopay, loyalty
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loans
  • Customer service: Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Cosigner release: After 24 to 36 months
  • Loan servicer: Firstmark Services
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance: $100,000 to $149,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance: Less than $150,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing: Yes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
4.44%+2 4.99%+2
  • Fixed APR: 4.99%+2
  • Variable APR: 4.44%+2
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $300,000
  • Loan terms (years): 5, 7, 10, 12, 15
  • Repayment options: Military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees: Late fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: All states except for ME
  • Customer service: Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Cosigner release: After 24 to 36 months
  • Loan servicer: College Ave Servicing LLC
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance: $100,000 to $149,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance: Less than $300,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing: Yes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
7.41%+5 7.41%+5
  • Fixed APR: 7.41%+5
  • Variable APR: 7.05%+5
  • Min. credit score: 700
  • Loan amount: $7,500 to $200,000
  • Loan terms (years): 5, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options: Immediate repayment, academic deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and submit two personal references
  • Customer service: Email, phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Cosigner release: After 36 months
  • Loan servicer: Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R)
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance: $150,000 to $249,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance: $150,000 to $199,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing : Yes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
3.99%+3 4.83%+3
  • Fixed APR: 4.83%+3
  • Variable APR: 3.99%+3
  • Min. credit score: 680
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $250,000
  • Loan terms (years): 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20
  • Repayment options: Forbearance
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have at least $15,000 in student loan debt, and have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved school
  • Customer service: Email, phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Cosigner release: No
  • Loan servicer: Mohela
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance: $250,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance: $250,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing: Yes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
5.12%+4 5.61%+4
  • Fixed APR: 5.61%+4
  • Variable APR: 5.12%+4
  • Min. credit score: 670
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $250,000
  • Loan terms (years): 5, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options: Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance
  • Fees: Late fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Customer service: Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Cosigner release: Yes
  • Max undergraduate loan balance: $250,000
  • Max graduate loan balance: $250,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS refinancing: Yes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
4.38%+ 4.49%+
  • Fixed APR: 4.49%+
  • Variable APR: 4.38%+
  • Min. credit score: 700
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $300,000
  • Loan terms (years): 5, 7, 10, 15
  • Max. undergraduate Loan Balance: $125,000
  • Time to Fund: 10 to 30 days
  • Repayment options: Immediate repayment, forbearance
  • Fees: Late fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have already graduated with at least an associate degree from an eligible institution
  • Customer service: Email, phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Cosigner release: After 12 months
  • Loan servicer: LendKey Technologies Inc.
  • Max. graduate Loan Balance: $175,000
  • Credible Review: LendKey Student Loans review
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing: No


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
N/A 5.1%+
  • Fixed APR: 5.1%+
  • Variable APR: N/A
  • Min. credit score: 670
  • Loan amount: $10,000 up to the total amount
  • Loan terms (years): 7, 10, 15
  • Repayment options: Military deferment, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loans
  • Customer service: Email, phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Cosigner release: No
  • Loan servicer: AES
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance: No maximum
  • Max. Gradaute Loan Balance: No maximum
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing: Yes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
N/A 5.49%+
  • Fixed APR: 5.49%+
  • Variable APR: N/A
  • Min. credit score: 670
  • Loan amount: $7,500 to $300,000
  • Loan terms (years): 5, 8, 12, 15
  • Repayment options: Does not disclose
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen and have and at least $7,500 in student loans
  • Customer service: Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Cosigner release: After 12 months
  • Loan servicer: PenFed
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance: $300,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance: $300,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing: Yes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
N/A 5.29%+
  • Fixed APR: 5.29%+
  • Variable APR: N/A
  • Min. credit score: 680
  • Loan amount: $7,500 to $250,000
  • Loan terms (years): 5, 10, 15
  • Repayment options: Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states; must also have at least $7,500 in student loans and a minimum income of $40,000
  • Customer service: Email, phone
  • Soft credit check: Does not disclose
  • Cosigner release: No
  • Loan servicer: Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance: $150,000 - $249,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance: $200,000 - $249,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing: Yes
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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 5EDvestinU Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 7ISL Education Lending Disclosures

Learn More: What to Know About the CARES Act and Student Loans

About the author
Jared Hughes
Jared Hughes

Jared Hughes is a Student Loans Editor and Credible authority on student loans and personal finance.

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