New Tool Makes Student Loan Forgiveness Easier for Public Servants

A woman police officer stands by her police car, smiling
September 05, 2013

Educational debt can be daunting for any recent grad, but recently we’ve been hearing about a lot of options to help make paying it back easier. There’s income-based repayment, income-contingent repayment, and even loan forgiveness. You can learn about all of the options through the Department of Education website. Did you know that one of the types of loan forgiveness applies specifically to those in public service careers? In this case, public service means working for a government organization or agency, a nonprofit organization (specifically a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization), or many other types of nonprofits such as public schools, public-interest law services, and public safety organizations.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is a great option for graduates weighing whether they can afford to do what they love and for communities that rely on the important contributions of public service organizations. But the process to apply can be complicated: You have to work in public service for 10 years before your loans are forgiven, and you have to keep records for all of that time! The good news is that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has just released a guide specifically geared toward employers so that they can help their employees take advantage of the program. Since employers play a role in this type of loan forgiveness (by certifying that employees indeed work at the organization) their involvement in the process is crucial. And now, thanks to this guide, it has been demystified.

We know that repaying student debt is a particular challenge for women and that (especially at the local level) women are more likely to work in the public sector than men are. Public Service Loan Forgiveness can make a difference for these employees and can help public service employers continue to recruit and retain skilled employees.

So, help a recent graduate out: If you work in public service or know someone who does, send along this resource! If you are a public service employer, take the pledge to help your employees with the process. The instructions are straightforward, and employers can be instrumental in helping employees jump-start the process of qualifying for loan forgiveness.

Anne Hedgepeth By:   |   September 05, 2013

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