Cancellation of civil service loans: 100,000 borrowers are eligible so far under new rules
Linda Goodhue Photography/Getty Images
The Department for Education said on Wednesday it had so far identified 100,000 borrowers eligible for student debt cancellation due to the changes made by the agency to the civil service loan cancellation program in October.
Cancellations for these individuals are expected to total approximately $6.2 billion in federal student debt relief. Not every eligible borrowers have not yet been notified of their debt relief. They are being informed as they occur and the Ministry of Education could not provide a date when they will all have been contacted.
The announcement marks the latest effort by the Biden administration to make it easier for some borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness under existing programs. But the administration’s piecemeal approach remains fell short of President’s campaign pledge to support the cancellation of $10,000 for each of the approximately 43 million people who currently hold federal student loan debt.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program promises to erase remaining federal student loan debt after an eligible public service worker has made 10 years of monthly payments. It was created about 15 years ago, but a very small percentage of people who applied had been granted pardons before 2021.
Many borrowers have criticized the program as difficult to navigate and some said they found out they weren’t eligible for forgiveness only after making what they thought was a decade’s worth of qualifying payments. Only borrowers with specific types of federal loans and enrolled in certain repayment programs were eligible.
Last year, the Biden administration temporarily expanded eligibility until October 31, 2022, so that the program now includes borrowers who had loans that were not originally eligible.
“Today’s PSLF announcement means that more of our teachers, nurses, first responders, service members and many other dedicated public service workers will experience significant relief,” it said at the time. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in a statement.
Here’s who got the eligibility
Because of the temporary waiver, it no longer matters what type of federal student loan a borrower is or what repayment plan they are enrolled in. All payments will be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program if the borrower was working full-time for an eligible employer.
What borrowers can do now
Many borrowers do not have to do anything for the Ministry of Education to review and update their qualifying payment counts.
But those with older federal home education loans will need to consolidate them into direct loans if they have not already done so. Payments made before the consolidation will now count towards receiving the relief.
Those who already have direct loans but did not submit employment certification forms for previous repayment periods should also do so now.
Borrowers have until October 31, 2022 to make these changes in order to qualify for forgiveness under the temporary waiver.
Student loan repayments set to resume in May
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said last week that the Biden the administration is considering another extension of the break.
“I think the president is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the break expires, or he’ll extend the break,” Klain said in an interview with “Pod Save America“published on Thursday.
Asked about Klain’s comments at Friday’s press conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “This is obviously something we will continue to assess and review at the press conference. May is approaching.”
Biden has campaigned to globally forgive $10,000 in student debt per borrower, but has so far resisted pressure to do so. Instead, the Biden administration has made changes to the forgiveness programs that already exist — like forgiveness of civil service loans and a borrower relief program. defrauded by for-profit colleges — so that more people are eligible. More than $16 billion in student debt has been forgiven under Biden to date.
This story has been updated with additional information.
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company. All rights reserved.
CNN’s Sam Fossum contributed to this report.