SoFi Bank, a private student loan lender, says it has lost $300 to $400 million in total revenues because of the three-year pause on federal student loan payments, and it wants that pause to end.
In a lawsuit filed in the federal district court for the District of Columbia, the bank argues that the latest extension of the pause violated federal law, and that a federal judge should order, at minimum, the Education Department to restart payments for those who are not eligible for student loan forgiveness.
SoFi Bank CEO Anthony Noto has criticized the pause and broad-based debt relief.
The administration extended the pause for an eighth time in order to allow time for litigation challenging the one-time debt-relief plan to be resolved. The lawsuit argues that exceeds the authority of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003, which has been used by both the Trump and Biden administration to pause payments.
The bank says the payment pause directly harmed its student loan refinancing business by eliminating the primary benefits of switching a federal loan to a private one. Its business dropped sharply in the early months of the pandemic, according to the lawsuit. The bank estimates it lost about $150 to $200 million in profits in the last three years.
“Every day that the eighth extension of the loan moratorium remains in place, it causes significant, irreparable harm to SoFi,” the lawsuit states. “SoFi projects that if the eighth extension continues in effect through August 2023, it will result in $40 to $45 million in total lost revenues and approximately $25 to $30 million in total lost profits.”