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The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was created to provide public service workers with student loan debt relief in exchange for a decade of service in their communities. Unfortunately, since its inception, the program has been mishandled and undermined by the Department of Education and the student loan industry. As a result, millions of public service workers have been cheated out of their right to loan forgiveness guaranteed under federal law.
The SBPC is working with partners to expose mismanagement and abuse in the PSLF program and to advocate for reforms to better protect borrowers working in public service.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Campaign:
For the first time, the federal government is asking borrowers to share their PSLF stories. This is our chance to make the case directly to President Biden and Secretary Cardona that the program is broken and that only sweeping action to deliver debt relief can right a decade of wrongs. Public service workers have done their part. Now it is time to keep the promise of PSLF.
In an effort to continue investigating ongoing breakdowns denying borrowers access to PSLF, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the SBPC uncovered thousands of pages of documents from the company the Department of Education contracts with to manage PSLF: PHEAA.
Supporting Public Service Workers:
The SBPC released a new estimate that over 9 million public service workers with federal student loans are eligible for debt cancellation through PSLF, and a coalition of labor unions representing more than 7.5 million workers joined with SBPC to launch a national campaign to reach public service workers.
The SBPC and a coalition of the nation’s largest unions representing millions of public service workers sent letters to large student loan companies demanding immediate action to ensure successful implementation of ED’s recent overhaul of PSLF.
In a letter to PHEAA, the SBPC warns the company that providing incorrect, misleading information to borrowers related to the recent overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program violates federal and state consumer financial protections.
A new memo provides a clear roadmap the Department of Education can use to remove unnecessary constraints for PSLF qualification, hold borrowers blameless for well-documented industry abuses and failures, and change ED’s own policies and procedures for overseeing the program.
New evidence uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act request indicates that without bold and swift action by the Secretary of Education and President Biden, PSLF is likely to fail the vast majority of borrowers working in public service over the long term.
This report examines the challenges that borrowers with Federal Family Education Loans face when seeking to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
The SBPC and AFT expose millions of student loan servicing errors in the PSLF program. The investigation found loans owed by at least 1.3 million borrowers had servicing errors due to the mismanagement of student loan servicing company Affiliated Computer Systems.
The SBPC and AFT expose new instances of mismanagement and abuse in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
PSLF in the News:
The changes will come in two phases — a long-term renovation to make the program easier to navigate, achieved through the federal process known as rule-making, and a temporary move using the department’s executive authority to retroactively relax the program’s rules to immediately help thousands of affected borrowers.
Thousands of teachers have been rejected for federal student loan forgiveness because they could not get the government to approve their work as public service, a key requirement for the long-troubled program, according to new data.
There are about 1.3 million people pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a program that cancels federal student debt after 10 years of on-time payments for people who take public-sector jobs. But just 1 in 5 of those borrowers are on track to secure relief by 2026, according to an analysis released Thursday by the SBPC.
Finlaw, and every other student loan borrower who has made their loan payments while working in public service for a decade, should have the entirety of their student debt canceled as Congress promised.
A new report suggests that Straw is not alone in her experience. Since 2012, the Department of Education has told borrowers more than 50,000 times that their employer is ineligible for PSLF.
Now NPR has learned that the nation’s most powerful consumer watchdog, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, launched an effort to fix problems but the Trump administration blocked it from trying to help.
The forgiveness program is just one part of a fundamentally broken student loan servicing system, as the Department of Education’s own inspector general pointed out last week.