FRANKFORT,Ky. (WTVQ) – A coalition of attorneys general on Wednesday sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urging once again that the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) provide data to help states address ongoing problems with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
They say established in 2007, the PSLF program was created to encourage individuals to enter lower-paying but vitally important public sector jobs such as military service, law enforcement, public education, and public health professions.
The program allows eligible borrowers to qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their loans after having served full time at a public service organization for at least 10 years and having made 120 qualifying payments on their loan.
In July of this year, DOE finally responded with incomplete information that was not fully responsive to the states’ request. In today’s letter, the coalition raises alarms about the ongoing mishandling of the PSLF program, noting that borrowers may be forced to choose between public service careers and being able to repay their student loans.
In the letter, the coalition reiterated that DOE data would help states address the ongoing problems with PSLF, but the publicly available data DeVos has provided states thus far goes only a short way toward a full accounting of the current situation for borrowers relying on PSLF.
The data provided by DOE indicates that only 864 of 76,002 applications for PSLF have been approved and only 442 of 12,429 applications to the Temporary Expanded PSLF program have been approved.
The data shows that tens of thousands of borrowers have been denied.
Therefore, the coalition has requested better data from DOE in order to examine the scope and source of the problems to assist these borrowers.