The Trump administration’s recently revealed education budget has certainly stirred up conversations on all sides. Among the many proposed cuts and program adjustments is the Public Student Loan Forgiveness program.
What is the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program?
The PSLF, introduced in 2007, is a federal program that forgives the federal loan debts of qualified students working in the public sector or nonprofits—for example: a public school teacher working in a low-income area, a firefighter, or a member of the military.
Since the average 2016 student graduated with about $37,000 in student loan debt, this program is a welcome relief to many. There are strict eligibility requirements and guidelines to follow in order to enjoy the benefits of the program.
How Does the New Proposed Budget Affect the PSLF?
If accepted, the new budget would eliminate the PSLF. The program’s incredible cost has earned it a lot of criticism, and since the program has yet to actually forgive any of the debts (a 10 year working period is required), some question its viability. As such, cutting the program altogether would save the education budget considerable money. However, supporters of the program, as well as the 550,000+ students in line for the benefits, are not entirely happy with the idea of total elimination.
Current borrowers would not be affected, but after July 1st, 2018 students who applied for federal student loans would not be able to have them forgiven.
It’s important to remember that, as of right now, this is just a proposal put forth. It has not yet been accepted or implemented by Congress, but it’s certainly not looking good for the forgiveness program. The PSLF also only affects federal student loans, not private ones.
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