If You Have Student Loans, Mark These Dates on Your Calendar

For borrowers banking on student debt forgiveness, 2022 started with hope and ended with uncertainty. This year is expected to provide some clarity.

After President Joe Biden announced his sweeping debt relief package, more than half of eligible borrowers applied for forgiveness of up to $20,000 before the Department of Education was forced to halt the process amid a wave of legal challenges.

Biden’s plan is now headed for a showdown at the Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on the its legality by June. In the meantime, a pandemic-era pause in payments has been extended yet again, with a significant share of Americans’ $1.8 trillion federal student debt burden hanging in the balance.

Here are the key dates borrowers should mark on their calendars for 2023:

Feb. 28: Supreme Court Oral Arguments

The Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track its review of two challenges to Biden’s plan: one from six Republican-led states that say the president lacked authority to issue the sweeping program, and a second from two borrowers who contend they are being unfairly excluded from the full scope of the plan.

The justices said they will hear back-to-back oral arguments on Feb. 28.

First Half of 2023: Fresh Start

The approximately 7.5 million borrowers who have defaulted on their loans regained some benefits — including access to federal student aid, ongoing relief from collections and eligibility for other government loans — through the Fresh Start program, which will continue for one year after the pandemic payment pause ends.