The world of student loans continues to explode in new, interesting, and potentially hugely positive ways during the Coronavirus pandemic. This month, the Education Department announced changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program that could help hundreds of thousands qualify for student loan debt relief much sooner than they had ever hoped. Here is a breakdown of what's been announced, what the changes mean, and what the impact could be.
It's a government program that was established under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 with the purpose of giving support to professionals who work full-time in public service and have federal student loans.
Originally, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program forgave the remaining balance on your Direct loans after you met certain requirements.
Until now, borrowers had to meet four requirements to qualify:
According to changes announced on October 6, 2021, borrowers will now get a time-limited waiver, relaxing several of these rules retroactively which will lead to student loan debt relief for many more.
This is what the Department of Education had to say about the spirit of the program: “The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is an important—but largely unmet—promise to provide debt relief to support the teachers, nurses, firefighters, and others serving their communities through hard work that is essential to our country’s success… the Department of Education is announcing a set of actions that, over the coming months, will restore the promise of PSLF.”
Head to StudentAid.gov/PSLFWaiver to find out if you can benefit from these changes.
Please note, if you're eligible, you must apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program before October 31, 2022 if you haven't yet.
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