Biden administration overhauls Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that it would overhaul the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to include more eligible workers. The changes over the next year would put more than 550,000 public service workers closer to loan forgiveness.
“Borrowers who devote a decade of their lives to public service should be able to rely on the promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, in a news release. “Teachers, nurses, first responders, servicemembers, and so many public service workers have had our back especially amid the challenges of the pandemic. Today, the Biden Administration is showing that we have their backs, too.”
The department will temporarily allow all payments borrowers made on federal student loans to count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, regardless of the loan program or payment.
To qualify, borrowers must make 120 on-time monthly payments for 10 years to have the remaining balance canceled. They must also work for the government or qualifying nonprofit organizations, and be enrolled in specific repayment plans.
Although the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program has been around since 2007, it has been criticized for allowing too few borrowers to receive forgiveness. And too many do not receive credit for years of payments they made because of complicated eligibility rules.