Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Changed By U.S. Department of Education

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it had made changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This federal program forgives student loans of those who work for the federal government after they meet certain criteria. The program has been criticized in the past for its difficulties.

Finally, the department has taken note and made changes that could benefit an estimated 550,000 borrowers. The changes that have been made could automatically help around 22,000 borrowers almost immediately. In an agency memo, the Education department also said that it would not only “restore the promise” but also that federal workers would receive relief in the next few months.

Earlier borrowers had to meet certain criteria to avail the loan forgiveness that included the following:

They had to have a job in the public sector.
They had to pay 120 on-time payments of their student loans.
They had to take part in a qualified repayment plan.
They had to have a specific loan called federal Direct Loans.

The Education Department has given borrowers a time-limited waiver. This means that several rules have been relaxed retroactively. Some previous disqualified loan payments would now be considered in the path to forgiveness of the loan.

Although the public service loan problem was implemented from 2007 when the then President George W. Bush signed it into law, it has faced a huge number of hurdles from its inception. These problems were exacerbated during the Trump administration.

The Biden administration has been more proactive with the recent move. However, over 200 organizations, several lawmakers and advocacy groups are asking the administration to make the program simpler and easier, so that all those who have worked in the public sector for ten years or more, can benefit from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.


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