White House: 100K eligible to clear student debt through expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness

College student Loan Debt
Posted at 11:13 AM, Mar 09, 2022

The Department of Education says it has identified more than 100,000 people eligible to have their student loan debt forgiven through a program the Biden Administration expanded last fall.

The department told CNN, CBS News and Forbes on Wednesday that it was in the process of notifying those who qualified for debt forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. They say those 100,000 borrowers hold about $6.2 billion in debt.

According to CNN, those who are now eligible will be notified on a "rolling basis," but the department did not provide a timetable as to when it would deliver those notifications.

"Our nation's public service workers must be able to rely on the promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The Biden-Harris administration is delivering on that promise by helping more and more eligible borrowers get their loan balances forgiven," said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, according to CBS News and Forbes. "The PSLF announcement made today means more of our dedicated teachers, nurses, first responders, servicemembers, and many other public service workers will get meaningful relief."

Those who qualify for debt relief are those who have worked for the government or an approved nonprofit organization and have made regular monthly payments on their loans for 10 years.

The PSLF has been in place since 2007. However, prior to last year's overhaul, the program was criticized as confusing and full of loopholes. According to The Washington Post, one such loophole required borrowers to pay back loans provided by the federal government and be enrolled in specific repayment plans.

But in October, the Department of Education scaled back some of those requirements and opened up the program to thousands of people who previously weren't eligible.

More borrowers will likely be eligible for student loan debt forgiveness through the PSLF in the months ahead. In October, the Biden Administration estimated that the changes they planned to institute would ultimately wipe away debt for as many as 550,000 borrowers.