Nearly Half a Million Arizonans Qualify for Student Debt Relief. Here’s Why They Haven’t Gotten It Yet

Nearly Half a Million Arizonans Qualify for Student Debt Relief. Here’s Why They Haven’t Gotten It Yet

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By Araceli Cruz

February 2, 2023

Last fall, Republicans filed several lawsuits against the Biden Administration seeking to block his initiative to help people struggling to pay their student debt—which means, for now, almost 500,000 Arizonans are out of luck. 

RELATED: Biden’s New Student Loan Repayment Plan Would Help Millions of Working and Middle-Class Americans 

The Biden Administration announced today the number of people in each state who applied for student debt relief or were automatically eligible for relief. Nationwide, the US Department of Education has “fully approved” more than 16 million people for federal student loan forgiveness and sent their applications to loan servicers. 

In Arizona, 496,000 people applied or were automatically eligible for relief. Of that 496,000, 314,000 were fully-approved applications sent to loan servicers for discharge. 

But not one Arizonan is getting the aid they need—not yet, anyway. 

Biden’s aim to help

In August, President Biden announced his administration’s plan to provide up to $20,000 in debt relief for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year. The administration’s program aimed to protect borrowers at risk of delinquency or default due to hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic when the payment pause ends.

RELATED: Biden Administration Makes It Easier to Discharge Student Loan Debt Through Bankruptcy

Republicans aim to stop it

Attorneys for six Republican-led states, including former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, asked a federal appeals court to reconsider their effort to block the Biden administration’s program. However, the state’s new Democratic attorney general, Kris Mayes, has withdrawn Arizona’s lawsuit.

What’s next?

Next month, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. A decision should be reached around June. 

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  • Araceli Cruz

    Araceli is Copper Courier's social media manager. Her past work has been published in The Guardian, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Mic, The Cut, Zora, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and others.

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