Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness; $42 Billion Approved


$42 billion in Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) has been approved since October 2021, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Education this week. The announcement states that 7,000 borrowers had been approved under the previous administration, with the amount reaching over 615,000 approved under the Biden-Harris administration.

“The difference that Public Service Loan Forgiveness is making in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans reminds us why we must continue doing everything we can to fight for borrowers and why families cannot afford to have progress derailed by partisan politicians,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

PSLF is a program designed to forgive public service workers including teachers, nurses and other government employees from their student loan debt after 10 years of service. Full-time employees of agencies or non-profits who have Direct Loans and have made at least 120 payments may be eligible to apply.

The program was criticized in 2018 for denying 99 percent of applicants. President Biden brought changes to PSLF including a one-time waiver from October 2021 to October 2022 that expanded eligibility for borrowers, making it easier to receive forgiveness. 

“Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has worked relentlessly to fix a broken student loan system, including by making sure we fulfill the promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness for those who have spent a decade or more serving our communities and our country,” said Cardona.

PSLF is separate from the blocked Student Debt Relief Plan that includes loan forgiveness for up to $20,000 per eligible borrower. With 23 percent of Latinos taking out loans under $10,000, and 26 percent receiving loans between $10,000 and $50,000 this could potentially forgive almost half of Latino student loan debt

A poll published by Newsweek revealed that 62 percent of Americans surveyed support Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness. Of the 1,500 sample size, those between the ages of 25 to 34 were most favorable, with 82 percent in support. 

The average amount of student loan debt for Wisconsin borrowers is $31,894, with almost 58% under the age of 35, according to the Education Data Initiative.

Student loan payments have been paused due to ongoing litigation and will potentially go back into effect 60 days after June 30, if the litigation is not resolved by then. 

To find out if you’re eligible for PSLF, use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool available on the Federal Student Aid website.