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Please Share: Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program Eligible to Local Government Workers

Posted on August 11, 2022 by Matt Bach

The U.S. Department of Education is offering public servants working in government and eligible non-profits a second chance to quality for student loan forgiveness. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2022.

An estimated 154,000 public service workers in Michigan could be eligible for student loan debt relief under the PSLF waiver. According to the Office of Federal Student Aid’s June report, over 6,000 Michiganders have taken advantage of the PSLF waiver and have had $358 million in loans forgiven.  The recent changes to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program allow previously ineligible borrowers – those with a non-Direct loan, who are not enrolled in an income driven repayment plan, who have missed a repayment, or made a partial repayment in the past – to receive credit toward loan forgiveness for the years they worked in government or a qualifying non-profit.

The State of Michigan has created a toolkit for local governments, non-profits, and employees to use in spreading the word about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The Michigan Municipal League was asked by Governor Whitmer’s administration to share this toolkit with our members because local government employees could be eligible for this program. View the press release and view the toolkit.

“I’m grateful to the countless, dedicated public servants across Michigan that spend their days making our state a better place to live. Whether you are a service member, firefighter, health professional, teacher, social worker, librarian–-the list goes on—thank you for your service,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Tens of thousands of Michiganders may qualify for this loan forgiveness program, which will help ease the burden of student debt and put money back in people’s pockets. I encourage Michiganders to review the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and see if they are eligible to have their remaining student loan debt forgiven.”

Here are some details from the toolkit:

Overview: A Second Chance at Student Loan Forgiveness

Through October 31, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education is offering public servants working in government and eligible non-profits a second chance to qualify for student loan forgiveness. There are an estimated 154,000 public servants in Michigan who may be eligible for student loan debt relief.

We need YOUR help to make sure every eligible Michigander takes a second look at this opportunity to see if they qualify.

Who should use this toolkit:
This toolkit makes it easy for employers and partners to share information about Public Service Loan Forgiveness with employees and their networks and connect individuals with resources to learn more.

How could employees qualify for loan forgiveness?
In 2007, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to recruit and retain top talent in public service. If an individual works for government or a qualifying non-profit for 10 years and makes 120 student loan repayments on a federal Direct loan in full and on time, and submits all required paperwork, the federal government will consider their loans “paid in full” and forgive the remaining balance.

Why now?
The Biden administration is offering a temporary waiver to allow previously ineligible borrowers a second chance at student debt relief through October 31, 2022. Every public servant with student loans should check to see if they qualify for debt relief by visiting studentaid.gov/pslf/.

How can your organization help?
• Send an email to your employees and networks promoting this opportunity and sharing your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). They will need this to apply.
• Identify an individual to help employees submit the employment certification form.
• Post about PSLF on your social media.
• If you have a large organization or membership, you may also consider co-hosting a webinar with the U.S. Department of Education. You can request to host a webinar by emailing the U.S. Department of Education at fsaengagement@ed.gov.

What do public servants need to do to qualify for PSLF?

  1. Work for a qualifying employer. This includes working for:
    • Government including federal, state, local, or tribal government, or
    • Non-profit organization that provides a public service such as emergency management, military service, law enforcement, legal services, early childhood education, public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly, public health, public education, or library services.
    Not sure if your organization qualifies? Visit studentaid.gov/pslf/employer-search/search-tool.
  2. Submit paperwork at studentaid.gov/pslf/ to make sure they are on track for forgiveness and receive credit for their work experience and loan payments.
  3. Make 120 payments on a federal Direct Loan while working for a qualifying employer for 10 years.

Where can employees learn more?
Visit the Office of Federal Student Aid website studentaid.gov/pslf/ for more information and to apply today! If they have questions about a specific situation, individuals can contact FedLoan Servicing at 1-855-265-4038.

The toolkit also includes sample email language to send to employees, materials you can print and place around the office, and sample social media graphics and language to use.

Locations
Headquarters
1675 Green Road,
Ann Arbor MI 48105
 
Capitol Office
208 N. Capitol Ave.,
1st Floor Lansing, MI 48933
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