As country’s officials are finally on track to get the student loan relief they deserve, Attorney General Bonta files stipulated dismissal notice
OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that the Biden administration’s actions to fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Temporary Extended Public Service Loan (TEPSLF) programs have reached the objectives of the litigation filed by the California Department of Justice (DOJ)) in June 2020 and justify the dismissal of the lawsuit. The lawsuit sought to force the US Department of Education (ED) to comply with the requirements for implementing the TEPSLF program after nearly all of the officials who requested a student loan forgiveness had their requests turned down. As a result of the lawsuit and advocacy from state attorneys general and others, ED announced a major overhaul of the PSLF and TEPSLF programs and publicly committed to ensuring that eligible officials get the student loan canceled. ‘they deserve. With the lawsuit’s goals met, Attorney General Bonta today filed a termination notice and urged Californians to take advantage of ED’s limited time. Possibility of limited waiver of civil service loan forgiveness receive credit for past payments made on loans that would not otherwise qualify for the PSLF program.
“Across the country, millions of Americans have taken out student loans to become public servants, our teachers, our firefighters and our nurses with the promise of debt relief right down the line,” said Attorney General Bonta. âAs a student borrower myself, I know what it’s like to receive that monthly payment reminder and feel the overwhelming weight of writing a three or even four-digit check every month. My office has a long history of protecting students and fighting for borrowers, so when we saw the broken promise of student loan relief for public servants who got it right, we took action. Now that the dedicated public servants of our country are finally on track to obtain the student loan relief to which they are entitled, we close the chapter on this litigation. We have seen the Biden Administration’s commitment to overhaul the PSLF and TEPSLF programs, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the days and months to come to ensure that every eligible Californian receives the help that he is entitled.
A bipartisan congress created the PSLF program in 2007 to encourage students to access eligible public service jobs – such as teachers, paramedics, and the military – in return for paying off their federal student loan balances after ten years of service. payment on time. . When the first wave of borrowers requested a loan forgiveness in 2017, ED turned down applicants at the alarming rate of 99%. In 2018, a bipartite congress gave ED a second chance to keep the critical promise of the PSLF by creating the TEPSLF. In doing so, Congress gave ED clear instructions to simplify and expand the program to increase the loan cancellation rate. However, ED continued to mismanage the program, turning down TEPSLF applicants at roughly the same rate as PSLF applicants.
In June 2020, the DOJ filed a complaint alleging that ED’s failure to implement the TEPSLF program violated the law on administrative procedure. After the complaint was filed, ED began to take steps to improve the administration of the PSLF and TEPSLF programs. ED’s efforts to improve the program meet and in some cases exceed the changes requested by the DOJ. These included consolidating the PSLF / TEPSLF applications and employment certification form into one form, expanding eligible payments, and launching a PSLF helper tool to help civil service borrowers. Most recently, ED announced a major overhaul of the PSLF and TEPSLF programs, including a limited waiver option on the time-limited civil service loan that will run until October 31, 2022, which brings eligible civil servants closer to the getting the student loan discount that they deserve.
How to check if your payments are eligible under the PSLF Limited Waiver
Under the rules of the Temporary Program, any previous payment made will be considered an eligible payment, regardless of the type of loan, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time. All you need is a qualifying job. This temporary change applies to student loan borrowers with direct loans, those who have already consolidated in the direct loan program, and those consolidating in the direct loan program by October 31, 2022.
There are two conditions for receiving additional qualifying payments:
- Full-time employment: You must have worked full time for an eligible employer when the previous payments were made. If you held more than one qualifying part-time job at the same time, you will be considered full-time if you worked an average of at least 30 hours per week. You can only receive credit for payments made after October 1, 2007, as that is when the PSLF program started. If you haven’t already done so, you must file a Certification and request for remission of public service loan (PSLF) and extended temporary PSLF (TEPSLF) (PSLF form) for any period for which you may receive additional eligible payments.
- Loan consolidation: If you have Federal Family Education Loans Program (FFEL) loans, Federal Perkins Loans, or other types of Federal Student Loans that are not direct loans, you must consolidate those loans into the Loan Program. direct before October 31, 2022.
How to use the PSLF Limited Waiver
- You have Direct Loans and you have already had a PSLF job certified: If you have already applied to the PSLF and have at least one certified job, ED will grant you any additional payment without further action on your part. If necessary, Federal Student Aid may contact you to ask you to certify additional months of employment. You should look for an email from Federal Student Aid in the coming weeks to let you know how many additional payments they have previously determined to be eligible. You do not need to do anything until you receive an updated payment account or other communication from ED.
- If you know that you have a qualifying job that you have not yet certified with ED, you must certify that job now using the PSLF help tool at www.StudentAid.gov/pslf.
- You currently have Direct Loans and have not yet applied to the PSLF: You will need to submit a PSLF form so that ED can review your loans under the new rules and determine if your current or past employers are eligible for the PSLF. You can submit this form via the PSLF help tool at StudentAid.gov/PSLF. Be aware that ED expects an influx of applicants due to the recent announcement, so you may see delays in processing your application. You will need to submit your application by October 31, 2022.
- You have at least one federal student loan that is not a direct loan, such as a FFEL loan: You will need to submit a consolidation request and a PSLF form by October 31, 2022 to ensure that payments made on loans that are not direct loans can be counted in the PSLF. Currently, ED recommends that you consolidate before using the PSLF helper tool to certify employment. If you wish to verify your employer’s eligibility for the PSLF before proceeding with the consolidation, you can do so by logging into the PSLF help tool, available at StudentAid.gov/PSLF. If you have a mix of FFEL and direct loans, please refer to the sections above to understand how your direct loans will be affected.
- You have already tried to certify a job for PSLF but you have been refused: If ED has previously stated that your employer is not eligible for the PSLF, you must submit a new form through the PSLF Help Tool to see if you can receive forgiveness credit. You can also see which employers ED has already deemed eligible via the PSLF help tool. Please note that this waiver does not affect the rules of the qualifying employer. Your employer must always be a government organization, 501 (c) (3) organization, or non-profit organization that provides a designated public service to obtain the PSLF under the normal rules and limited PSLF waiver.
- You don’t know what kind of federal loans you have: It is very common for borrowers not to know what type of federal loans they have. You can see what loans you have by logging into your account at StudentAid.gov, by going to the My help page (StudentAid.gov/aid-summary/) and scrolling to the Loan Distribution section. There you will see a list of each loan that you have borrowed, even if you have paid off the loan or consolidated it into a new loan. Direct loans begin with the word “direct”. Federal Family Education Loans begin with “FFEL” and Perkins loans include the word “Perkins” in the name.
You can find additional information and useful tools regarding the PSLF program at https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service. Additionally, you can find an updated ED PSLF program information sheet. here.
In light of these changes and the Biden administration’s public commitment to removing barriers to canceling loans under these programs, Attorney General Bonta today filed a notice of stipulated termination.
A copy of the stipulated dismissal notice is available here.