In an attempt to lure people into public service, Congress designed the public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) program in 2007 to reduce the student debt burden for borrowers with a decade of service in government or nonprofit jobs.
That seems like a pretty decent deal.
You go to college, get your degree, get a job as a teacher, or some other job that serves the public, work at that job for at least 20 years, faithfully make at least 120 monthly payments on your student loans, and then get the remainder of your loans forgiven.
The only problem is Congresses’ program is a sham.
This would seem to be a clear case of what we call “adding insult to injury.”
99% of the people applying for this loan forgiveness, even though they qualify, are denied loan forgiveness.
Oh…, and I forgot the part about going through the painful process of documenting and submitting everything to the Department of Education before being unceremoniously denied.
Then, according to Aarthi Swaminathan and Reggie Wade for Yahoo! News, “Responding to this extreme denial rate of the program in 2018, Congress approved funding to expand the number of borrowers in an initiative called the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF).”
So Congress, performing at a level of ineptness only it could achieve, doubled down on its ineffectiveness.
We stupidly went through the painful process of documenting and submitting everything…, again…, to the Department of Education (DOE) before being unceremoniously rejected…, again!
“As of May this year, the DOE had received 54,000 requests for TEPSLF and only approved 1% of these requests.”
‘“We recognize that the many restrictive eligibility requirements of PSLF and TEPSLF make the program difficult for borrowers to understand and navigate,’ Jeff Appel [an administrator for] Federal Student Aid [via] the U.S. Department of Education wrote in his testimony. ‘We are absolutely committed to helping borrowers navigate this complexity.’”
Yes, Mr. Appel, we are all thoroughly impressed by your commitment.
The question is, why does it have to be so complex?
The whole process seems like it should be pretty clear cut.
Like I said earlier, “You go to college, get your degree, get a job as a teacher, or some other job that serves the public, work at that job for at least 20 years, faithfully make at least 120 monthly payments on your student loans, and then get the remainder of your loans forgiven.”
If you can document that you meet all of these requirements, they should hold up their end of the bargain.
Am I right?
Illegal immigrants don’t seem to have any problem “navigating” their way through getting all of their freebies and federal benefits, which they so richly deserve!
“One of 99% was Kelly Finlaw, a public school teacher in New York who recently testified about her experience with FedLoan Servicing.”
‘“I was misled. Not just by FedLoan, but by other servicers. I was lied to,’ Finlaw testified to Congress last week.”
‘“I did what I was asked to do. I called, I made my payments on time. I paid every month,’ Finlaw said, later adding: ‘After 10 years of making student loan payments, October 2017 was my month — my light at the end of the tunnel. I remember standing in my living room when the light at the tunnel went dark.’”
“This summer, Finlaw joined the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the second-largest teachers union in the U.S., in a lawsuit that calls on the U.S. government to fix the PSLF program.”
‘“Large numbers of borrowers have pursued careers in public service, sometimes at lower pay than in the private sector, with the hope of one day achieving loan forgiveness through the PSLF program,’ Melissa Emrey-Arras, the Government Accounting Office’s (GAO’s) director of education workforce and income security issues, wrote in her testimony. ‘Education needs to take action to better serve these borrowers and help smooth their long road towards loan forgiveness.’”
This sounds good Ms. Emrey-Arras, but we all know these are just more empty words.
Just another example of how much we value our educators.
I’ll keep you posted on when…, if ever, this situation gets resolved.
I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you.
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