Federal student loans are a major financial issue for so many Americans. That’s why our Law practice is so focused on tracking student loan relief bills.
The latest move from the Department of Education is a positive one. The Department of Education has offered a public service loan forgiveness expansion.
Some borrowers had trouble obtaining student loan forgiveness under the PSLF program, despite putting in their ten years at qualifying non-profit and public organizations. For one thing, many of them had the wrong sort of loan: only Direct loans were covered.
A Temporary Update to PSLF Student Loan Payment Counts
To offer relief to these borrowers, the Department of Education will, until October 31, 2022, count periods of repayment that otherwise would not have qualified for PSLF. These include:
- Payments made on FFEL loans.
- Payments made on Perkins loans.
- Payments made on plans other than the income-driven repayment plan.
- Payments not made in-full or on-time.
These non-qualifying payments must have been made while the borrower was working in qualifying employment.
Over 70,000 borrowers have already taken advantage of the initiative, resulting in $5 billion in total student loan forgiveness.
Who Qualifies for the PSLF Initiative?
Borrowers who have spent ten years working in qualifying public service or non-profit organizations but who did not previously qualify under PSLF are likely to be eligible for the program, as long as they are willing to consolidate their FFEL and Perkins loans under the federal Direct consolidation loan service.
If you have not already certified your public service employment you must do so. You will need to fill out an appropriate PSLF certification form for every public service employer. It can take 30 to 60 days to complete these steps and get them processed with lenders.
You should be aware that some lenders are already trying to stop the process with misinformation, erroneous processing, and long hold times. This behavior is illegal, so if you’re already working with a bankruptcy attorney or plan to do so in the near future, let your attorney know. We may be able to urge them along. You have the right to file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if your borrower is attempting to mislead you or fails to process your paperwork correctly. You can also register a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
This is a temporary offer, not a law that’s been enacted. It goes away in October. Waiting can cost you thousands of dollars. Getting your PSLF loan forgiveness could save you hundreds every month. Over one million borrowers qualify under this temporary program, so if you think you’re one of them, get started on fulfilling the requirements right away.
Not sure if you qualify? Use the PSLF help tool to get guidance, or speak to our office to set up a free consultation.