SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley were in Springfield Tuesday evening encouraging students to sign up for the Biden Administration’s student debt cancellation plan. However, that plan is currently on hold after a ruling from an appeals court.

Senator Warren called this a ‘life-changing opportunity’ for the middle class across the nation and here in Massachusetts.

Ekaterina of West Springfield is like the millions of other Americans who have student loan debt and is hoping to qualify for the forgiveness program, “It was really exciting when I first found out about this, it’s amazing for people who did borrow, a lot of people are eligible to apply and a lot of loan can be forgiven.”

“We got to get everybody signed up because this is a way to change America,” said Warren.

Twenty-two million borrowers have so far applied for the relief program following the White House’s launch of the application for student loan debt cancellation. Here in Massachusetts, over 813,000 Massachusetts borrowers stand to benefit from the program.

“We know that this debt has been choking at the promise of our families, of our Commonwealth and of our country,” said Pressley.

Palmer Yurica of Conway says she still has worries about paying off the rest of her loans, “What do the people with over $50,000 worth of debt, which my combined grad and undergrad is well above that quite frankly, what do we do now that, you know, if $10,000 is knocked off, it’s not going to affect our lives really hardly at all.”

Qualifying borrowers have until December 31st of 2023 to fill out the online form. The program provides eligible borrowers with full or partial discharge of loans up to $20,000 to Federal Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 to non-Pell Grant recipients.

People who qualify are individuals who made less than $125,000 in 2021 or 2020 or families that made less than $250,000 in 2021 or 2020. According to the White House, over 813,000 Massachusetts borrowers stand to benefit, including over 400,000 Pell Grant recipients.

Last Friday, a federal appeals court issued an administrative stay temporarily blocking the Biden Administration’s plan to cancel billions of dollars in federal student loans. The White House, however, is still encouraging borrowers to continue to apply for relief as the order does not prevent applications or the review of the applications.

Federal student loan payments are expected to restart on January 1st of next year.