The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases related to student loan forgiveness. While we won’t know the final decision from the court for several months, student loan borrowers across the country are waiting for clarity on their student loans.
With that in mind, here’s a quick recap of what was discussed at the Supreme Court for the two cases: Biden v. Nebraska and Dept. of Education v. Brown. Plus, we’ll share what borrowers need to do right now — despite anything the Supreme Court rules.
One Of The Biggest Questions: Standing
For both cases, one of the first lines of questions focused on the question of standing. Specifically, can the parties who are suing to stop student loan forgiveness even sue? A party has to show direct harm from an action in order to sue.
A lot of the argument focused on whether the state can sue on behalf of MOHELA, or should MOHELA be representing itself. Or even if there was specific damage themselves.
In the second case, there were also questions about standing, but the court asked a lot of questions about the procedures involved in the program.
Standing plays a major role — if the plaintiff’s can’t sue, the case will be ruled in the government’s favor.
Will The Supreme Court Care About Standing?
It’s important to remember that the court may simply ignore the standing issues to rule. Or, they could find some minimal standing to move forward to the actual student loan forgiveness policy.
One of the justices even made a hypothetical argument that maybe the court should re-assess their standing doctrine given that this is a major question case, and the issue with standing shouldn’t stand in the way.
For borrowers, it’s important to remember that the Supreme Court isn’t judging whether providing blanket student loan forgiveness is right or wrong — but rather, they are deciding if the way it’s being implemented is legal based on the existing laws in place.
As such, the Supreme Court may block the loan forgiveness program, or they could say that the program was implemented properly.
Remember, Congress could always pass student loan forgiveness programs. The question before the court is whether the President can do it via executive order based on the Heroes Act.
What Borrowers Can Do Right Now
There will be at least 60 days or so of waiting before the Supreme Court issues their opinion. In the meantime, borrowers, should be getting organized with their student loans.
Either loan forgiveness will happen, and borrowers will have to resume payments this fall (with their remaining balance), or loan forgiveness won’t happen, and borrowers will have to resume payments this fall.
In both scenarios, any borrowers with student loans will need to resume payments — so borrowers need to be ready. This means finding their loans, updating their information, and finding the best repayment plan for them.
Don’t let the government side-track your own personal financial planning.