Under the federal government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, student loan borrowers who work in a qualifying public service career are eligible for student loan forgiveness after 10 years of repayment. The first round of qualifying borrowers could apply starting October, 2017. However, the Department of Education refuses to state the number of borrowers, if any, who have actually received student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to-date. Here is a piece by CNN that digs deeper.
This piece was originally published at CNN.com
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program turned 10 last year.
So far, about 7,500 people have applied to have their student loans discharged, but fewer than 1,000 are expected to qualify this year, the Department of Education has told CNNMoney.
The forgiveness program was created in 2007 under President George W. Bush. Borrowers who work for the government or a non-profit can apply to have their remaining debt wiped away after making 10 years of payments. It was meant to encourage people with student debt to remain in lower-paying jobs that serve the public — like public defenders, social workers, and Peace Corps workers.
October of 2017 was the first time anyone could have made enough monthly payments to qualify for debt forgiveness. About 7,500 people had applied for forgiveness as of January 5. But the Department of Education was “unable” to say whether any had been approved or rejected to date, a spokeswoman said in an email.
If just 1,000 are deemed eligible over the first year as the department expects, that would represent about 13% of those who have applied.
The low number is partly due to the limited pool of borrowers who were eligible for the program when it first launched, according to the Department of Education.
Dozens of borrowers have told CNNMoney they believed they were making qualified payments when they weren’t — blaming their loan servicers for providing them with misinformation. Some say they planned their careers around the program, only to learn years later that their loan payments did not qualify…