Borrowers react to Supreme Court scrapping student debt relief plan

The plan would have forgiven up to $20,000 for eligible borrowers
Published: Jun. 30, 2023 at 5:02 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2023 at 5:05 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It has been years since people with student loans have been required to make a payment.

Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a $400 billion plan to forgive up to $20,000 of outstanding loans held by borrowers.

More than 900,000 student loan borrowers across Kentucky and Indiana will not see any relief now that the Supreme Court has scrapped the Biden program.

Borrowers said they were disappointed.

“It was devastating, it was absolutely devastating,” Nurse Practitioner Leigh Schnell said.

Schnell went back to school to get her advanced nursing degree. She graduated in December and is now on the kidney transplant team. She said debt relief would have been helpful.

“It was a really great plan for all the people who have student loans and people who went to school thinking they would be able to make the money, but then inflation happened, groceries are costing double,” Schnell said.

The court ruled 6-3 the Biden administration overstepped its authority, saying it needed to go to Congress or go through the federal rule-making process to create a debt forgiveness program.

Dental students outside UofL dental school said it always felt like a long shot.

“I applied just in case because if it did go through that’s some off my bill, but I didn’t really think it would go through,” student doctor Becca Counts said.

Collectively, these three students said they owe a half million right now with a couple of years of schooling left to go.

“I’m 24, and I’ve already got $250,000 in debt, so it’s definitely daunting,” student doctor Devon Pratt said. “I’m trying to apply for scholarships and stuff but if you weren’t able to get them it’s definitely a problem.”

They’re still happy to become dentists. Schnell said she’ll make do. However, her education isn’t paying off as she expected.

“So I was a nurse before I was a nurse practitioner and the raise that I got becoming a nurse practitioner is essentially just to pay loans,” Schnell said.

The Biden administration also agreed to restart student loan payments as part of the debt ceiling deal.

Student loan interest starts on September 1 and payments begin in October.