26 September 2023

UNITED STATES: Breakthrough in PS debt relief saga

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In a major development in the long-running Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) saga, the United States Department of Education has announced it has approved more than $US10 billion ($A14.5 billion) in debt relief for more than 175,000 borrowers in 10 months.

This follows changes the Department announced in October 2021 that transformed the program by altering certain rules to make it easier for Public Servants with Federal student loans to have their debts cancelled.

Announcing the measure, Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona said for far too long teachers, nurses, veterans, Government employees, and countless others found the PSLF to be nothing more than an empty promise.

Noting that before President Joe Biden took office only 7,000 borrowers had managed to qualify, Mr Cardona said the new figures showed the Administration’s efforts to cut red tape had been successful.

“We are committed to helping borrowers who choose to pursue careers in education, public health, social work, law enforcement, and other critical fields receive the benefits to which they’re entitled for leading lives of service,” Mr Cardona said.

“Borrowers in States across the country continue to benefit from the temporary changes to the PSLF program and more than one million borrowers have also received additional credit toward forgiveness, with the typical borrower receiving more than a year’s worth of progress.”

He said the Department was encouraging individuals to take action before the 31 October deadline.

“Federal student loan borrowers who are eligible can receive credit for payments that would otherwise not qualify for the program,” Mr Cardona said.

Most borrowers who work or worked for a non-profit, or Federal, State, Tribal or Local Government since 2007 and who were repaying their loans, are eligible.

Borrowers can also combine multiple sources of part-time employment to qualify and months in service do not have to be consecutive.

Washington, 25 August 2022

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