You applied for federal student loan relief. Will you get it? And when?

About 16 million Americans have already had their applications for federal student loan debt relief approved, and could see up to $10,000 in student loan debt discharged next week.

Of course, that depends on a federal appeals court judge, who put a temporary hold on the program while weighing whether to allow a lawsuit to move forward.

Several other similar lawsuits have already been dismissed, and this one has also been dismissed once before.

If the case moves forward in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, the temporary hold figures to become a preliminary injunction. But if the case is dismissed again, the federal government will begin discharging the debt. The impact could show up in account statements as soon as Nov. 15.

Late last week, President Joe Biden told an audience of students in New Mexico that 26 million Americans had applied for the loan forgiveness program, which forgives up to $10,000 for anyone making under $125,000. That number increases to $20,000 if they were also a Pell Grant recipient.

Lawsuits have focused on whether the government is overstepping its authority by canceling so much debt. The Biden Administration has argued a 2003 law, known as the HEROES Act, provides the administration all the authority it needs.

If the program is allowed to move forward, applicants would have until Dec. 31, 2023, to apply.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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