A group of Senate and House Democrats want Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to extend the Public Service Loan Forgiveness waiver to July 1, 2023.
The waiver, which began last October and will expire at the end of this month, relaxed some of the program’s rules and allows those eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness to receive credit for past payments that would not otherwise qualify for the program. The lawmakers, along with several other advocacy groups, have previously called on the administration to extend the waiver. The letter, sent Monday, was signed by more than 100 lawmakers and 35 advocacy groups.
“To date, the waiver has been overwhelmingly successful in reducing barriers for borrowers to receive PSLF relief, as the waiver accounts for almost all (91%) of the borrowers who have received forgiveness through the PSLF program through July 31, 2022,” the letter states. “The limited waiver is also a lifeline for Federal Family Education Loan borrowers who—for the first time—have seen their payments acknowledged in the PSLF program.”
Extending the waiver would give federal employees, military personnel and other public service workers time to use the waiver. The Student Borrower Protection Center has estimated that 15 percent of the nine million eligible employees have filed paperwork to track their qualifying payments under PSLF, according to the letter. The proposed deadline of July 1 would line up with new PSLF regulations.
“As more than 20 state attorneys general have pointed out, ‘[g]iven the essential benefits provided by the limited PSLF waiver, and the fact that fundamental problems with the PSLF program will immediately return (likely in an exacerbated form) upon the waiver’s end, we have grave concerns about the plans to end the waiver … before the Department’s new PSLF regulations take effect,’” the letter states.