A U.S. District Court judge in Texas struck down President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, leaving many borrowers wondering what to do next. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman called it an “unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power.”
Now that Biden’s loan forgiveness plan has been ruled unconstitutional, here’s what borrowers need to know.
Is the Biden administration appealing the ruling? Yes, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted Thursday that the Biden administration has filed an appeal on the ruling through the Department of Justice.
“For the 26 million borrowers who’ve given @usedgov the necessary information to be considered for debt relief — 16 million of whom have already been approved for relief — the Department will hold onto their info, so it can quickly process their relief once we prevail in court,” Jean-Pierre tweeted.
A St. Louis federal appeals court agreed to keep the plan on hold on Monday, Nov. 15 while the appeal is underway.
“If the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is asked to block Pittman’s ruling pending appeal, the losing side could then turn to the Supreme Court,” AP News said.
What should borrowers do next?
Biden administration officials had urged people to continue to submit applications to the website despite the ruling.
However, as of this Monday, the Federal Student Aid website displays a message saying it is no longer accepting applications as it attempts to overturn the ruling.
“If you’ve already applied, we’ll hold your application. Subscribe and check back here for updates,” the message says.
Several financial planning experts have offered advice to borrowers, who may be in limbo because of the ruling.
Deva Panambur, founder of Sarsi LLC, told NJ Advance Media that borrowers should be prepared for “surprises like the current legal challenge to the Student Loan Forgiveness Plan.” The adjunct professor at Montclair State University, who teaches students about personal finance, also advised to create a financial plan based on available opportunities rather than expected changes in public policy and rules.
“Specific to student loans, borrowers who need relief should consider existing programs, such as the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plan, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and other available plans, if they are eligible for them,” Panambur added.
Jeanne Kane, a certified financial planner who manages JFL Total Wealth Management, told NJ Advance Media that students should know in advance how much they will owe, assuming the student loan pause ends. She says to call student loan servicers now before the lines get busy in December and to “set up automatic bill pay” with a bank.
Dawn Brown, a managing director and wealth advisor with Peapack Private Wealth Management, says borrowers should review their budgets based on their monthly income.
“Review your previous loan repayment amount to try and estimate how much will be due to pay in January,” Brown told NJ Advance Media. “Add the loan payment to fixed [monthly] costs and reduce discretionary spending to accommodate loan payments.”
Q. Donald Trump announced his candidacy for 2024, hoping to save a “failed nation” that is plagued by “festering rot and corruption.” So what happens next for his party? And who will be the first Republican with the temerity to challenge him for the nomination?
Mike: This announcement landed with a collective yawn. In 2015, Trump entered relatively late and took the field by storm with brash controversial statements. He had charisma, owned the media and took over debate stages. But almost eight years later, the routine is old and tired. Even his supporters are bored with it. Directly to your question, he is not strong enough now to alter the plans of other potential candidates, most of whom will wait until well into 2023 to decide and announce.
Julie: This announcement was the least surprising political event of 2022 but I still would not count Trump out. If six or ten other candidates get into the race and split up the anti-Trump vote, he can still emerge as the Republican nominee because of the lock he has on a significant number of Republican primary voters. The only question is how quickly all the people trashing him now will get down to Mar-A-Lago to kiss the ring once that happens.
Construction of a planned barbed-wired fence along Finland’s long border with Russia will start early next year, Finnish border guard officials said Friday, amid concerns in the Nordic country over the changing security environment in Europe.
The initial 1.8-mile stretch of the fence will be erected at a crossing point in the eastern town of Imatra by next summer. It will eventually extend to a maximum of 124 miles.
Finland’s 832-mile border with Russia is the longest of any European Union member.
In October, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said there was consensus among lawmakers to build a fence to cover parts of border with Russia in a project that is estimated to cost $393 million and scheduled to be completed by 2026.
According to Marin, the fence’s main purpose would be to help border guards monitor and prevent possible large-scale illegal migration.
Her government hasn’t publicly cited Russia’s war in Ukraine or Finland’s decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a reason to build a fence. But Helsinki is concerned over developments both in Russia and Ukraine, as well Moscow’s threats of retaliation as Finland joins the military alliance.
Politicians and experts have said it is not sensible — or even possible — to erect a fence along the entire length of Finland’s long eastern frontier that runs mainly through thick forests. In some places the Finnish-Russian border is marked only by wooden posts with low fences meant to stop stray cattle.