The program offers student debt forgiveness to college graduates who agree to work in government or a qualifying nonprofit organization.

The program offers student debt forgiveness to college graduates who agree to work in government or a qualifying nonprofit organization. designer491/Getty Images

House Lawmakers Have Proposed Restructuring Public Service Loan Forgiveness

A new bill would provide partial forgiveness for every year’s worth of loan repayments and expands what loans and repayment plans would qualify for the program.

A pair of House Democrats on Wednesday announced new legislation aimed at making it easier for federal employees and other public servants to access the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program by restructuring how it pays out forgiveness and expanding what loans qualify for the program.

Introduced in September but not publicized until this week, the Public Service Reward Act (H.R. 9097), sponsored by Reps. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., builds upon a number of recent actions by the Biden administration to make the program, which offers student debt forgiveness to college graduates who agree to work in government or a qualifying nonprofit organization, less of a headache to navigate.

According to data from the Education Department, the program has thus far forgiven $13.4 billion in student loan debt as of Aug. 31, of which $11.9 billion was forgiven due to a year-long temporary waiver that expired Monday. The administration has published a series of proposed regulations to make many of the reforms from that temporary waiver permanent, although those rules won’t be implemented until next July.

Clyburn and Boyle’s bill would fundamentally change how the program forgives debt. Instead of applicants having to spend 10 years making monthly payments on their loans in order to be considered for forgiveness, the Education Department would spread out that forgiveness over the course of a decade, making applicants eligible to have a portion of their loans forgiven each time they have made 12 qualifying loan payments. That change would apply retroactively to applicants who have already made at least a year’s worth of payments under the current system.

For the first five years’ worth of payments, the Education Department would forgive all interest accrued. For years six through nine, their interest again would be forgiven, as well as 5% of an applicant’s total outstanding loan balance. And after the final year, the remaining balance would be forgiven.

Additionally, the bill would expand what loans are eligible for the program. Only Direct Loans are currently eligible to be forgiven through Public Service Loan Forgiveness, although the temporary waiver gave applicants an opportunity to consolidate non-qualifying loans into Direct Loans. Under the bill, Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loans, Perkins Loans, direct consolidation loans and Parent Plus Loans all would be eligible for forgiveness, and debt consolidations would no longer reset borrowers’ repayment clocks for the purpose of pursuing forgiveness.

And it would expand what repayment plans are eligible for the program, to include income-based repayment plans, income-contingent repayment plans, pay as you earn and revised pay as you earn plans, as well as standard plans.

“Student loan borrowers entering public service after obtaining their degrees provide great value to our communities and country,” Clyburn said in a statement. “This bill incentivizes more Americans to seek careers in public service and restores the promise of the PSLF program to millions of working people. I remain committed to providing borrowers who make significant sacrifices to provide public services with relief from the crushing debt associated with higher education and giving the next generation the opportunity to pursue the American dream.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.