By Winston Berkman-Breen | November 8, 2021
On the heels of receiving nearly 50,000 comments from borrowers about their experience being denied Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) due to bureaucratic red tape and loan servicer misconduct, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on October 6 announced a historic overhaul to PSLF. The changes to PSLF will address many of these documented issues with the program and finally deliver on the promise of loan relief to hundreds of thousands of teachers, nurses, members of the armed forces, and other public service workers.
As monumental a victory as the Department’s waiver announcement is, the work is not done. There is significant action required to ensure that every borrower who qualifies for this expanded relief receives it.
To that end, the SBPC is launching a resource center on its website for borrowers to provide them with clear and accurate information, source pain points and barriers that they experience, and direct those who need it to additional assistance.
At the same time, we will continue to work with the same coalition that fought for this opportunity, as well as with new partners, to coordinate outreach to borrowers, call states and employers to action on behalf of their residents and employees, and monitor the Department and loan servicing industry to ensure that the same failings that broke the PSLF program in the past do not disrupt the opportunity at hand.
If you are a borrower looking for information about the PSLF waiver period and what it means for you, visit our resource center, which will be refreshed regularly, and sign up for more to receive updates from us.
If you are an advocacy organization, public service employer, or state or local government and would like to partner with us in education and outreach events or to engage with the Department to maximize your constituents’ benefit from this program, contact us for more information.
Winston Berkman-Breen is the Deputy Director of Advocacy & Policy Counsel at the Student Borrower Protection Center. Prior to joining the SBPC, Winston was the Director of Consumer Advocacy and Student Loan Advocate at the New York State Department of Financial Services.