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What you need to know about the student loan forgiveness approval emails that went out Monday

The best thing borrowers can do now is sit tight and be prepared to make payments Jan. 1.

INDIANAPOLIS — Emails went out to borrowers Monday that said their student loan forgiveness application was approved but, even with that update, the actual forgiveness is still up in the air. 

Approval or not, borrowers' student loan debt is sticking around until the lawsuits blocking the forgiveness plan are sorted out.

As for what's being sorted out: whether or not the president has the power to forgive the debt. 

The White House said it's lawful because of the Heroes Act, which was created after 9/11 and says in part that a president can forgive loans during an emergency. 

President Joe Biden says, in this case, COVID-19 is the emergency. 

But a flurry of legal challenges disagree. 

As for where those lawsuits stand, one of the lawsuits got a ruling that student loan forgiveness is illegal. 

Almost 26 million people already have applied for the relief, with 16 million approved, but the Education Department stopped accepting and processing applications last week after the plan was ruled illegal. 

However, there's an appeal process and experts say the issue will likely go to the Supreme Court.

What can borrowers do now? 

Experts agree that borrowers should be prepared to make loan payments starting Jan. 1, 2023.

The Education Department warned the 18 million borrowers who were told their entire loan balance would be canceled are most at risk because even if payments restart, those borrowers might think they’re in the clear and ignore the bills.

If you requested a COVID-19 loan payment refund, don't touch that money yet.

Also, make sure you are signed up for student loan alerts.

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