The Supreme Court announced Thursday that it would hear challenges to President Joe Biden's student debt relief program in early 2023, keeping the policy on hold until its legality can be determined.

The decision comes on the heels of a lower circuit ruling that declined to reverse one of the several concurrent lawsuits attempting to negate Biden's policy.

The Biden administration had previously petitioned the Supreme Court to allow the policy to move forward as legal challenges were heard, but the government will now have to wait until at least February for further clarification.

Prior to the barrage of lawsuits, the Department of Education approved nearly 16 million applications for debt forgiveness, which would erase loans up to $20,000 for applicants making less than $125,000 a year.

The Biden administration had planned to end the pause in federal student loan repayments at the end of 2022, but amid the mounting legal troubles surrounding his forgiveness policy, decided to extend the pause until no later than June 2023.

"I'm confident that our student debt relief plan is legal. But it's on hold because Republican officials want to block it," Biden said in a statement announcing the extension.

The estimated costs of Biden's forgiveness policy have varied.

The Department of Education released an estimate that it would cost an average of $30 billion a year over the next decade, with a total of $379 billion for the whole program. In September, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released an estimate that brought the policy's total to nearly $400 billion.