Attorney General Frosh Joins Multi-State Coalition Urging Department of Education to Fix Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program
BALTIMORE, MD — Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh this week joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general to urge the United States Department of Education (ED) to take strong action to repair the forgiveness of public service loans (PSLF) broken. Since borrowers first became eligible for relief in 2017, nearly all of PSLF’s applications have been rejected, leaving millions of civil servants in dire straits.
Under the promise that a portion of these loans would eventually be canceled, teachers, nurses, public advocates, social workers, first responders, the military and others incurred significant student loan debt in order to to acquire the skills necessary to educate, heal and protect our communities. In this week’s letter, the coalition applauds ED’s commitment to improve the implementation of the PSLF program and urges ED to act quickly to correct flaws in the administration of the program.
“Teachers, nurses, first responders and others have been promised student loan forgiveness for their public service. But, the mismanagement of the PSLF program resulted in an incredibly high number of rejections, ”said Attorney General Frosh. “The Department of Education should act quickly to correct this program so that these workers get the relief they deserve. “
A bipartisan convention created the PSLF program in 2007 to encourage student loan borrowers to access public service jobs in return for repaying the remaining balance of their federal student loans after ten years of on-time repayment. 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 bipartisan congress gave ED a second chance to deliver on the crucial PSLF promise by creating the Extended Public Service Loan Temporary Remission Program (TEPSLF). Despite this emergency solution, relief continues to be out of reach for almost all who request it. To date, ED has refused 96% of TEPSLF requests.
Drastic action by ED is needed to make the PSLF’s pledge of forgiveness a reality for the nation’s dedicated public servants. State Attorneys General have a unique perspective on how to improve the administration of the PSLF / TEPSLF through their experience investigating and holding student loan managers accountable for violation of the law, including program maladministration. PSLF / TEPSLF. In today’s comment letter, the attorneys general urge ED to:
- Provide immediate relief to borrowers who have been harmed by the mismanagement of the PSLF / TEPSLF program;
- Improve oversight and accountability of service providers by carefully selecting a new service provider who will be responsive to borrowers and creating new incentives and operational procedures that prioritize borrowers;
- Extend the pause on student loan payments that began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Disseminate widely to all borrowers potentially interested in forgiveness, including those who have not yet applied and those who have already received refusals; and
- Correct the errors discovered positively for all borrowers concerned.
Attorney General Frosh is joined by Attorneys General from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, from Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Oregon. , Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington by depositing the letter.