On Monday, a group of more than 100 Senate and House Democrats called on U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to extend the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver to July 1, 2023, Inside Higher Ed reported.
The temporary expansion of federal loan forgiveness for public service workers is currently set to expire on October 31. The waiver allows borrowers to retroactively receive credit toward loan forgiveness even if they had the wrong type of federal loan or were enrolled in an ineligible repayment plan, reported Politico.
Since the program was announced last October, more than 211,000 borrowers have been approved for nearly $13 billion worth of loan forgiveness under the temporary program, according to federal data.
"To date, the waiver has been overwhelmingly successful in reducing barriers for borrowers to receive PSLF relief, as the waiver accounts for almost all (91%) of the borrowers who have received forgiveness through the PSLF program through July 31, 2022," the lawmakers noted in a letter to Sec. Cardona. "The limited waiver is also a lifeline for Federal Family Education Loan borrowers who—for the first time—have seen their payments acknowledged in the PSLF program."
However, data indicates that there are many more public servants who are eligible for PSLF that have yet to utilize the waiver. The Student Borrower Protection Center estimated that only 15 percent of the nine million eligible employees have filed paperwork to track their qualifying payments under PSLF, according to the letter.
The Democrats' letter urges the administration to extend the deadline to give more military service members, federal employees, and other public services workers a chance to participate in the program, Politico reported.
"As more than 20 state attorneys general have pointed out, '[g]iven the essential benefits provided by the limited PSLF waiver, and the fact that fundamental problems with the PSLF program will immediately return (likely in an exacerbated form) upon the waiver's end, we have grave concerns about the plans to end the waiver . . . before the Department's new PSLF regulations take effect,'" the letter states.
Inside Higher Ed
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