While the President’s FY 2019 budget request to Congress proposed to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, the Senate’s FY 2019 Labor, HHS, & Education Subcommittee Appropriations bill that was advanced yesterday would provide $350 million for the PSLF program. Specifically, this PSLF funding would forgive the remaining balance on individuals’ Direct Loans after 120 qualifying monthly payments are made under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
You may recall that the now-enacted FY 2018 Omnibus contained NTEU-supported language to provide a way for consumers, who belatedly found themselves in the wrong repayment plan, to have an opportunity to switch to one that will allow them to continue on the path to loan forgiveness. This initiative corrected a flaw in the mandatory PSLF program that caused some public servants to be ineligible for forgiveness, even though they were the intended beneficiaries of the program.
If you have been told that your payments are ineligible because some or all of your payments were not made under a qualifying repayment plan, you should proceed swiftly to the PSLF page on the Department of Education’s web site. Specifically look for “The Temporary Loan Forgiveness Opportunity” information. The direct link to this site is https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/temporary-expanded-public-service-loan-forgiveness.
The FY19 Senate funding measure is scheduled to proceed to the full Senate Appropriations Committee later this week. I will keep you updated on the status of the PSLF program for FY 2019, which has been a popular program for many federal employees struggling to afford higher education while earning public sector pay.