Feds Simplify Paperwork for Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Feds Simplify Paperwork for Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Washington D.C.

The U.S. Department of Education is streamlining the process for teachers and other public employees to apply for student loan forgiveness.  The change appears to be in response to a 2018 government watchdog report that found nearly 99 percent of people who applied for loan forgiveness under the “Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness” program were rejected—most were denied due to paperwork errors.  The new process purportedly simplifies the amount of paperwork an applicant needs to go through in the loan forgiveness process and will hopefully reduce confusion.  The goal of the nation’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is to expunge student debt for certain public-service workers—including teachers—after the borrower makes 120 monthly payments toward their loan over the course of ten years or longer.   It was determined however the department was approving so few applications, federal lawmakers stepped in and created a temporary expanded program to give some workers a second opportunity to apply for loan forgiveness—Congress approved $700 million for the program’s expansion.  Unfortunately, the expansion plan also fell short due to the program’s cumbersome paperwork requirements.  The Extended PSLF program was confusing to borrowers who—when applying for the expanded program—were required by the department to complete an application for the basic program even though they were not eligible.  Under the new process applicants now fill out a single application form—it is the same for either the PSLF program or the Expanded PSLF program. To learn more about these programs visit https://studentaid.gov/data-center/student/loan-forgiveness/pslf-data.

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