Help With Loan Forgiveness and Social Workers

Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) is promoting one-time funding that can assist social workers seeking education loan forgiveness. The temporary funding acts as a patch for some who qualify for loan forgiveness under a ten-year plan that covers some workers (including social workers working within child welfare) if they have paid on their loans over the past ten years.

As explained by Congressman Davis’s office: a recent funding bill allowed up to $500 million in loan forgiveness for the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The funds are to provide Public Service Loan Forgiveness for public servants who were denied Public Service Loan Forgiveness solely because they were in the wrong federal student loan payment plan. The funds go out on a first-come-first-served basis.

Here is an overview of the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness from the website of the Department of Education (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/temporary-expanded-public-service-loan-forgiveness#how-qualify).

Public servants must meet all of requirements for Public Service Loan Forgiveness except that they made payments on an ineligible payment plan. To qualify, public servants must have:

• Submitted an application for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and had that application denied only because some or all of the payments were not made under a qualifying repayment plan;
• Had at least 10 years of full-time employment certified by a qualifying employer and approved by FedLoan Servicing, the federal loan servicer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program;
• Made 120 qualifying payments under the new requirements for the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program while working full-time for a qualifying employer or employers; and
• Be Direct Loan borrowers (borrowers with loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan Program are not eligible for the opportunity).

Davis’s office indicates that public outreach is very important given the limited amount of funds available and given that that public servants must actually apply and be denied to qualify for this temporary opportunity. Many borrowers may not have formally applied for forgiveness if their servicers told them that they were in the incorrect payment plan and are ineligible.

Congressional offices may be able to help borrowers submit their applications requesting expedited review by Federal Student Aid given the limited availability of these funds.

About the Author:

John Sciamanna is CWLA's Vice President of Public Policy.

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