The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is a federal student loan relief program established in 2007 and was designed for the purpose of encouraging individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public sector jobs. Participation in the program generally requires that the borrower have a federal Direct Loan, be employed by a qualified employer on a full-time basis and make 120 qualifying loan payments under a qualifying repayment plan. Upon meeting these requirements, the borrower’s loans are to be forgiven. However, since the program’s inception, there has been ongoing criticism of its cumbersome pre-requisites, which have resulted in the forgiveness of loans for less than 1% of borrowers who believed they had satisfied all of the program requirements.
On October 6, the Department of Education announced plans to implement an overhaul to PSLF through temporary changes that expire October 31, 2022. The Department estimates that it’s policy changes will result in:
- 22,000 borrowers being immediately eligible for $1.74 billion in loan forgiveness without any further action on their part, except perhaps consolidation;
- Another 27,000 borrowers who could potentially qualify for an addition $2.82 billion in forgiveness if they simply certify additional years of employment in public service; and
- Over 550,000 borrowers who will see an increase in the number of qualifying payments, with the average borrower receiving an additional two years of credit towards forgiveness.
The national union has partnered with the Student Borrower’s Protection Center (SBPC) to develop webinars and materials to educate our members and help navigate the process to be able to take advantage of the temporary changes. Leaders and facilitators of AFSCME Student Debt Clinics are invited to participate in an information session to learn about the temporary changes to the PSLF program and discuss how we can best communicate these changes with our members.
The information session will be held via Zoom on Friday, December 10 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT. Please click on the link to register and feel free to share with others within our union who share an interest in promoting loan forgiveness for our members: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItc-uhrzgrGNTxADoXuB9Y2_kyhG0NVtr3. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing instructions on how to join the session.
If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Pollard, Executive Assistant to the President at firstname.lastname@example.org.