By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
The U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday, October 6, announced an overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
Education Department officials said they would implement the overhaul over the next year and make the program live up to its promise.
According to a news release, the policy will result in 22,000 borrowers who have consolidated loans – including previously ineligible loans – being immediately eligible for $1.74 billion in forgiveness without the need for further action on their part.
Another 27,000 borrowers could potentially qualify for an additional $2.82 billion in forgiveness if they certify additional periods of employment.
In total, the Department estimates that over 550,000 borrowers who have previously consolidated will see an increase in qualifying payments with the average borrower receiving another two years of progress toward forgiveness.
Many more will also see progress as borrowers consolidate into the Direct Loan program and apply for PSLF, and as the Department rolls out other changes in the weeks and months ahead, officials stated.
“Borrowers who devote a decade of their lives to public service should be able to rely on the promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stated in the news release.
“The system has not delivered on that promise to date, but that is about to change for many borrowers who have served their communities and their country,” Cardona continued.
“Teachers, nurses, first responders, servicemembers, and so many public service workers have had our back especially amid the challenges of the pandemic. Today, the Biden Administration is showing that we have their backs, too.”