Around 30,000 people with student loans will be awarded a collective $2 billion under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program in the coming weeks.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) is structured to help those who have large student debt but work in low-paying government fields, such as teaching and law enforcement. The program was passed in 2007 by former president George W. Bush and Congress, but has seen challenges as people struggled to navigate it.
For a borrower to qualify for the program, they must make on-time monthly payments for 120 months, or ten years. They also must work for the government or select nonprofit organizations. In addition, the borrower must have borrowed from a federal government loan and, in most cases, must have been on a specific loan repayment schedule, usually one where they didn’t exceed a certain percentage of their income each month.
The Department of Education announced that 30,000 people would be receiving loan forgiveness during this first round. Already 10,000 have seen their balance cleared and the remaining 20,000 will see their balances cleared in the coming weeks.
Nevertheless, over 43 million people are still in debt, with an average of $39,351 still owed. The Federal Student Loan Portfolio has an outstanding balance of $1.59 trillion. President Joe Biden campaigned on the idea of cancelling $10,000 for each borrower, a promise that has yet to be fulfilled.
ARTICLE: RITA VOGT
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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