Public employee student loan forgiveness in theory is an excellent concept. However there’s been countless issues surrounding the program. Many people are led to believe that all they need to do is work in public service for 10 years and make their loan payments on time every month to qualify for PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness). However PSLF has more requirements. Some of these requirements can include borrowers being required to consolidate their loans, provide documentation every year proving they’ve worked in public service and making sure they work for a program-approved company. Recently the first group of PSLF borrowers became eligible to receive loan forgiveness. However out of the tens of thousands who participated in the program only a small amount actually ended up receiving forgiveness.
The Government Doesn’t Always Provide Clear Information To Loan Servicers
The federal government has been tasked with the overwhelming job of managing all of the federal loans people have taken out. Since this a lot of work for the government to handle on their own they decided to hire government contractors to handle some of the loan management and administrative duties. This is where most of the problems with PSLF start. Recently there have been a lot of stories about loan servicers providing incorrect information to borrowers. Some borrowers have asked loan servicers if the companies they work for are approved for the PSLF program. Sometimes loan servicers will not answer the question or divert from answering it completely. The crazy thing is that the government doesn’t actually provide loan servicers with an approved list though. So if loan servicers don’t have a list, then it’s fairly difficult (if not impossible) to provide borrowers with an accurate answer. This is only one of the problems with the program and it doesn’t let loan servicers off the hook completely.
Problems With The Loan Servicers
In the last few years a lot of borrowers and states have filed lawsuits against loan servicer companies. Some of the issues surrounding the loan servicers include things like overcharging, not providing accurate information and even outright lying to borrowers. This has caused a lot of distrust in the industry. It’s also prevented a lot of borrowers from receiving loan forgiveness. Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education) recently argued that since loan servicers work for the federal government, they shouldn’t be required to answer to state governments. This could essentially mean loan servicers would be immune to any lawsuits brought by states. One thing is for sure – there’s a lot of politics involved in the industry. Sometimes it appears that the interests of the government and loan servicers take precedence over the best interests of the individual borrowers. The sad thing is that these programs were created to help borrowers, but they’re failing to do so at the level people anticipated.
What Can Borrowers Do?
Even with all of the turmoil in the industry, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel. The main thing borrowers should focus on is to do their own research. This can involve simple things like reading online articles and studying new legislation that could affect forgiveness programs. If you’re looking for expert advice on public employee student loan forgiveness we can help! We’ve helped numerous clients achieve public service student loan forgiveness and we would be happy to talk with you about possible programs that you may qualify for. Feel free to contact us by clicking here.
Turner, Cory. (2018, October 17). Why Public Service Loan Forgiveness Is So Unforgiving. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2018/10/17/653853227/the-student-loan-whistleblower