Education

Democrats Urge Biden to Extend PSLF Waiver


More than 110 Democrats in the House and Senate sent a letter to the Education Department Tuesday calling for the temporary Public Service Loan Forgiveness waiver to be extended until at least July 2023. The current deadline for the waiver is Oct. 31.

“Since the deadline of Oct. 31, 2022 to qualify for PSLF under the waiver program is rapidly approaching, we ask that the Department extend this deadline in order to ensure that all public servants with federal student loans are able to benefit from this historic waiver,” said the letter.

The PSLF waiver, announced in October 2021, was designed to eliminate bureaucratic red tape that made the program, which allows certain public service workers to get their federal student loans forgiven after 10 years of repayment, confusing and inaccessible for borrowers.

The Education Department in July proposed a set of rules that would permanently simplify the application process for PSLF. It would allow all payments to count toward PSLF, regardless of loan program or payment plan. The final rule could take effect as soon as July 1, 2023, if final revisions to the proposal are made before Nov. 1.

Lawmakers are asking for the waiver to be extended until next July to “align with new changes under the forthcoming rules and minimize confusion among borrowers.”

So far more than 175,000 borrowers have received a total of $10 billion in student debt forgiveness under the temporary PSLF waiver. According to the letter, only 15 percent of the nine million public service workers with student debt have filed paperwork tracking their qualifying payments toward PSLF.

The lawmakers also asked the department to increase outreach to borrowers on the PSLF waiver to ensure that people are taking advantage of the program while it is still available.

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