PROTECTING MILITARY BORROWERS How the Department of Education Can Restore the Promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness for American Servicemembers

"With the emergence of student debt as a primary source of financial distress for service members, Congress has continued to craft student loan protections with a keen eye towards alleviating the strain on military borrowers. In 2007, with the introduction of the PSLF program, service members were offered a new avenue to mitigate this financial burden. In practice, the PSLF program has proven to be an essential component of the United States military—serving as a valuable recruiting and retention tool across every branch of service, supporting the military readiness of our nation’s Armed Forces, and offering veterans a financial pathway through which they can continue their service to their communities."

Broken Promises: The Untold Failures of ACS Servicing

"This report serves as the latest installment of an ongoing investigation by the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) into the Department of Education (ED) and the student loan industry’s mismanagement of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.6 This report focuses on the widespread failures of the original Direct Loan servicer, Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), and the impact these failings continue to have on student loan borrowers pursuing PSLF."

Improving the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Read the Student Legal Defense Network 100 Day Docket. 

Keeping the Promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness

"Borrowers deserve to know what went wrong and who is responsible. This investigation will get answers for borrowers, demand accountability from the student loan industry, and protect a generation of public service workers with student debt."

Broken Promises: Employment Certification Failure

"This report is informed by a joint investigation conducted by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC). This report is the latest in a series of publications examining the administration of the PSLF program by the government and its contractors since the program’s inception, in an effort to expose the widespread mismanagement and abuse that has denied or delayed millions of public service workers' access to this critical protection."

Twenty-three Senators Call for Investigation into the Handling of PSLF

“Tens of thousands of dedicated public service workers and their families are paying the price for PHEAA’s incompetence and the CFPB’s failure to act”

Government Accountability Office: PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS Improving the Temporary Expanded Process Could Help Reduce Borrower Confusion

"In the context of high denial rates in the PSLF program, Congress appropriated $700 million in 2018 for a temporary expansion to the public service loan forgiveness program for certain borrowers who were not eligible for the original PSLF program. TEPSLF funds are available on a first-come, first- served basis. GAO was asked to review TEPSLF."

Senate Democrats express concern over management of Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Group of Senate Democrats said the Trump administration's "flawed implementation" of the temporary, expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program — combined with a failure to properly oversee student loan servicers — had led to a "disaster for public servants applying for loan forgiveness."

The Coalition to Preserve PSLF Allied Organizations

The Coalition to Preserve PSLF consists of over 90 organizations committed to preserving Public Service Loan Forgiveness because we believe it is of vital importance for the wellbeing of communities across our country.

Senate Democrats ask Education Secretary DeVos to ease requirements

Senate Democrats ask Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to ease the requirements her agency has created for the congressional "fix" to public service loan forgiveness. The letter, led by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), argues the Trump administration is flouting the law, which required a "simple" process for borrowers.

Myths About PSLF

Read the myths about PSLF and our responses to better understand why this bipartisan program is vital in communities across our country. This document outlines top myths about PSLF and provides key facts in response to each of those myths. 

Research About Graduate and Professional Student Borrowing

The average wage gap between the public and private sector for individuals with graduate degrees is about $17,000 per year for individuals aged 25–29. This might not seem like much, but it grows over time, reaching over $53,000 per year for workers aged 55–59. And this adds up: someone working from 25 to 59 will earn $1,500,000 less than their private sector counterpart over the course of their career! 

Shareable Fact Sheet About PSLF

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a federal program that allows borrowers working ten years full-time in the public sector to earn forgiveness on eligible loans. When it comes to attracting and retaining qualified public servants, particularly for positions that are generally lower-paying or dangerous, PSLF is an essential tool. Download and share our quick fact sheet about PSLF.

Congress is Considering Eliminating PSLF

President Trump’s budget proposed ending PSLF. The Education and the Workforce Committee in the House of Representatives has approved a bill that would end the program. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) is holding hearings to discuss the future of student debt programs. The Senate HELP Committee is chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee - click the link below to see full membership.

How does PSLF work?

PSLF was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007. To earn loan forgiveness, a public service professional must make 120 on-time monthly qualifying repayments on their Federal student loans while working full-time for 10 years in a qualifying public service position. 

PSLF Supports Public Service Employers and Communities

Individual borrowers with high student debt and low incomes benefit from PSLF, but so do public service employers. Before PSLF began, turnover in government jobs and charitable organizations was very high. Employees often left after two years because they could no longer afford to work for the low wages paid by strapped cities and states and by most non-profit organizations. They had to move, reluctantly, to the private sector, just at the point at which they had been fully trained to do their jobs well and were most effective in serving their communities. PSLF has enabled these employers to retain essential, talented workers. After ten years in the public sector, many employees make a lifetime career of service work.

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