Multiple Sources

Education Department Offers Temporary Waivers for PSLF Program

October 06, 2021

Some 22,000 student loan borrowers will have debts totaling $1.7 billion wiped clean automatically under changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program announced this morning the Department of Education.  The Department cited the COVID pandemic national emergency as the basis for the temporary policy changes.
Under the new rules, any prior payment made will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan type, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time. All borrowers need is qualifying employment.
The changes will apply to student loan borrowers with Direct Loans, those who have already consolidated into the Direct Loan Program, and those who consolidate into the Direct Loan Program by Oct. 31, 2022.  Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for PSLF, even under this limited waiver period.
Specifically, the Education Department will:
  • Offer a temporary waiver to count payments made on ineligible payment plans
  • Automate eligibility for federal employees and military service members
  • Review all previously denied applications to find and correct errors
  • Offer an appeal process for those who believe they were harmed by processing mistakes.
In addition, borrowers on active military duty who put their loans on hold while they were deployed will have those months counted toward their required 120 payments.
Through today’s action, the number of borrowers who have benefited from PSLF will more than double; only 16,000 borrowers have managed to get their debts forgiven through the program to date.
For more information, see the following links from the Education Department and national news services:
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Limited Waiver Opportunity
Department of Education
Student-Loan Forgiveness to Include More Public-Sector Workers
The Wall Street Journal
Student Loan Forgiveness: Half a Million People to Benefit from Overhaul, Some Immediately
USA Today
Troubled Student Loan Forgiveness Program Gets an Overhaul
The New York Times
Biden Administration Temporarily Expands Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Public Servants
The Washington Post
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Changes Promise $1.74B in Quick Debt Relief for 22,000 Borrowers
‘Major Overhaul’ of Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Inside Higher Ed