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The Deadline for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver is Oct 31

If you have student debt and, like most AFT members, work for a public or nonprofit employer - including public and nonprofit schools, healthcare facilities, institutions of higher education, and other government or 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers - you could have your entire student debt balance forgiven, but you MUST take action before Oct. 31, 2022.

The AFT settled a landmark court case last October that set in motion an official review for all borrowers denied Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Coinciding with this settlement, the U.S. Department of Education announced major improvements to the PSLF program through a temporary waiver—changes to PSLF rules that allow borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF—based in large part on complaints filed by borrower advocates like the AFT. But the waiver is just that—temporary—and it leaves borrowers in limbo as we wait for new regulations to take effect next July. 

Click here for more information on Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

So far, the waiver has been used by about 211,000 borrowers, who’ve claimed and received about $13 billion in forgiveness. Almost all borrowers who’ve received PSLF relief this year utilized the waiver.

But we estimate that fewer than 50 percent of borrowers eligible to receive relief have applied for and received it.

The PSLF waiver has been a critical step toward healing a broken student loan system that has pauperized a generation. It’s been a game-changer for public service workers, who were promised that if they stayed in public service for 10 years while they made their student loan payments, the rest of their student loans would be forgiven.

Many borrowers have reported that they don’t believe they can benefit from the waiver because they have been told time and again by loan servicers that they do not qualify for PSLF. Many of our members filed for and were denied relief. We know borrows received terrible misinformation during the former administration under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. That’s part of why we sued. If it’s unclear to you how the waiver could benefit you, you are not alone. And employers were also misled. Many of them do not know how to complete employer forms or process applications properly, and we continue to hear from members about these issues.

The Biden administration is holding servicers accountable and processing PSLF applications, but reversing the damage done by DeVos will take more than a year. More time is needed to untangle her mess. We are asking the Biden administration to extend the PSLF waiver—but we can’t count on it. 

The AFT has doubled down on our efforts, and we need you to spread the word to borrowers to apply for PSLF before Oct. 31.

We will keep fighting—it’s a critical part of the work we do to make life better for our members, our students and our communities. The progress we’ve made on student debt relief is a prime example of what it means to be a union member and why elections matter. 

via AFT

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