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9 Million People Were Told By Mistake Their Student Loan Forgiveness Was Approved

A follow-up email admitting the mistake blamed "vendor error."

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Nine million people who had applied for student debt forgiveness received an email in November telling them their application was approved. Unfortunately, another message arrived this week, admitting the approval email was sent in error.

Stefani Reynolds | Getty Images

Thanks to litigation over the program, federal courts have blocked debt forgiveness. The millions who were sent the inaccurate approval email do have some reason to hope — their applications, for now, are simply in limbo and haven't been rejected or approved.

"Due to a vendor error," the new message read in part, "you recently received an email with a subject line indicating your application for the one-time Student Loan Debt Relief Plan had been approved. The subject line was inaccurate. The body of the previous email was accurate."

CNN reports that Accenture Services, the vendor in question, blamed human error for the wrong subject line.

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on whether the student loan forgiveness program is legal in February 2023, with an opinion likely to follow in June. Should the Court render a favorable verdict for the government, millions who qualify for the program could see from $10,000 to $20,000 of their federal student debt canceled.

Meanwhile, President Biden's pandemic payment pause, originally set to expire at the end of this year, will remain in effect for two months following the Supreme Court hearing, ending in early summer 2023. If the student loan forgiveness program is revived, up to 40 million Americans will be eligible.

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