Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Proves Unforgiving for Borrowers
A program that was once promoted as a way for student loan borrowers to receive forgiveness for their student loans is now coming under fire after it has been discovered that 99 percent of its applicants have been rejected.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was created in 2007 and promised to cancel any remaining student debt for those who work government jobs or for non-profit organizations and have been making continuous payments on their student loans for 10 years. Many teachers, public defenders, Peace Corps workers, and law enforcement officers have applied for the student loan forgiveness offered by the program.
It is estimated that over 73,000 borrowers have applied for debt forgiveness as of March 31, 2019, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. However, only 864 of these borrowers have had their loans forgiven. In fact, only one percent of all Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) applications submitted were approved for loan forgiveness. This rate of approval leaves borrowers frustrated and confused as to why they worked so hard to qualify for a program that is now failing them.
Consumer advocates claim that the legislation was poorly written while others claim that mismanagement by loan servicers has led to the issues these borrowers are now facing.
According to the breakdown from the U.S. Department of Education, 16 percent of the denials were due to the borrower having the wrong type of loan while 25 percent were due to information missing in the applications. In addition, 53 percent of applications were denied due to the borrower not making enough payments.
One of the major issues that borrowers are discovering is that while their loans are federally-guaranteed, they are actually privately owned. Many law schools have been accused of offering only private student loans in their financial-aid packages but not clarifying this fact to the borrower. Congress has fixed this issue by eliminating federally-guaranteed private loans as of 2010, but if you are a borrower who took out one of those loans before that time, this fact may hurt your chances of qualifying for the loan forgiveness.
Government officials have also been accused of not properly educating borrowers on the requirements of the program or publishing clear guidelines on which employers qualify as a public-service organization and which do not, another issue that has resulted in denials for many borrowers.
Click here to read more on this story.
For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. There are ways to file for bankruptcy with student loan debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.