The Education Department received about 28,000 applications for Public Service Loan Forgiveness as of June 30 of this year but so far has approved just under 300 applications for loan discharge, according to new federal data released Wednesday.
The low number of approvals to this point is not necessarily surprising. The loan forgiveness program was established in 2007, and borrowers must make 120 qualifying monthly payments to qualify.
The majority of applications (about 70 percent) were denied because borrowers did not meet one of several program requirements such as the correct number of qualifying payments or employment at an eligible public entity or nonprofit firm. Some of the borrowers who had applications rejected could still receive forgiveness after Congress earlier this year designated $350 million for an eligibility fix for borrowers whose payments were not counted because of loan servicer errors.
Another 28 percent of applications were denied because information was missing or incomplete.
Of the 289 borrowers approved for loan forgiveness, 96 have already received full loan discharge totaling $5.52 million.