Spotlight on Student Loans:
Tell Your PSLF Story
Working toward improving Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Back in June, the Department of Education convened hearings to address a number of issues in higher ed. Topics generally circulated around the issues of college affordability, borrowers’ ability to pay back student loans, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Many testified, including Navigate—as part of a coalition of PSLF advocates—that the current system is precariously flawed: too often marred by servicer errors and fraud.
President Biden campaigned on addressing the broken PSLF system and Education Secretary Cardona appears to be making it a priority with these hearings, but policy reform is so much more than just promises and hearings; it needs your voice, too.
Add your voice to the PSLF conversation
Following the hearings in June, the Dept. of Ed. made a request for comments, an opportunity for borrowers pursuing PSLF to join the process. To amplify your voices, the Student Borrower Protection Center has partnered with a number of state and national organizations to collect borrower stories and send them on to Washington.
This opportunity to share your student borrower journey with lawmakers is a chance to influence the future of PSLF, potentially improving outcomes for not only those who are currently paying student loans, but future generations of college goers.
Some of our clients have already weighed in, sharing their PSLF experiences, worries, and hopes. Dr. Elena wrote about the importance it has for her loan repayment plans. She also worries about the nurses, social workers and cafeteria workers at her hospital—plus people in the community she cares for—they are relying on PSLF to secure their financial future. She wants the Biden Administration to know that the uncertainty surrounding PSLF is unbelievably stressful, especially given that only 2% of people that apply have gotten forgiveness. It’s very worrisome: they’ve got to fix this.
Dr. Darius is frustrated because of problems caused by his loan servicing company. For example, they made clerical mistakes resulting in an under count of his number of qualifying payments. He was also one of those given bad information during the pandemic: he was erroneously told to recertify his income-driven repayment plan, which was unnecessary and contrary to the CARES Act mandate. Calling to correct the mistakes took hours, with excessive hold times and poor advice from unknowledgeable representatives.
PSLF isn’t perfect, but together we can work to make it better. Join the chorus of supporters who want to shape the conversation and the program. We need your help—we can do this together!
For those pursuing PSLF, they’ve had the added benefit that these months of forbearance have counted toward their 120 qualifying payments required for forgiveness. The economy, however, remains fragile, and many are wondering what will happen as student payments resume in the coming months—not to mention the end of expanded unemployment benefits for millions of Americans.