PSLF Waiver Offers a Way to Get Closer to Loan Forgiveness
According to a tweet from Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Thursday, the change in policy announced on October 6, 2021, has already removed $715 million from the accounts of around 10,000 borrowers who were on PSLF.
Another 20,000 will be notified in the "coming weeks." Altogether, according to Cardona, 30,000 borrowers will see roughly $2 billion forgiven.
"This is fantastic news for those who will have their debts cancelled and demonstrates how the Biden administration has the power to make life better for all people with student debt," Mike Pierce, executive director at the Student Borrower Protection Center. "With payments currently set to restart in less than 90 days, there is much more work to be done for our public servants and all Americans with student loan debt."
Teachers, firemen, nurses, first responders, service members, and other public workers who have federally backed student loans can request for forgiveness after making 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan under the PSLF program, which was established by Congress in 2007.
As a result of the ED's policy change in October, 22,000 student loan borrowers with combined loans, who were previously ineligible to be counted toward loan forgiveness, were expected to become "immediately eligible" for $1.74 billion in forgiveness.
"For many of the borrowers we work with, the Department of Education's temporary waivers have been a life-changing event," says Betsy Mayotte, president of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors.
Mayotte claimed she has received hundreds of emails from debtors who "woke up this week to learn that their balance is finally zero" after battling for loan forgiveness for years, if not decades.
While the Department has automatically provided this relief to those who qualify, many other borrowers will need to take further measures in order to have their student loans cancelled under the Limited PSLF Waiver.
Borrowers receiving FFEL or Perkins loans must consolidate their loans through the government's Direct Consolidation program before completing PSLF Employment Certifications for earlier time periods. To qualify, direct loan borrowers who have not yet certified all of their former and current public service jobs must file all of their mandatory PSLF Employment Certification forms by October 31, 2022.
The PSLF restricted waiver is only valid until October 2022, and the required steps can take months to complete, therefore contact Edapt Student Services as soon as possible.