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AFSCME members urge Biden administration to extend PSLF temporary waiver

By AFSCME Staff ·

AFSCME members are urging the administration of President Joe Biden to extend the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) temporary waiver that has drastically increased the number of public service workers eligible for federal student loan relief. Under the current deadline, public service workers wishing to benefit from the waiver must apply before it expires on October 31, 2022.

Since the administration announced the temporary waiver in October 2021, more than 164,000 public service workers, including AFSCME members, have seen their federal student loan debt forgiven. To participate in the PSLF program, a borrower must generally have a federal Direct Loan, be employed full-time by a qualified employer and make 120 loan payments under a qualifying repayment plan.

Borrowers who meet these requirements may apply for complete loan forgiveness. More information is available here.

“So many AFSCME members have benefitted from the Biden administration’s temporary waiver that expanded eligibility for loan forgiveness,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “But we are only scratching the surface of the need. It is time to extend the deadline and give more public service workers the time to learn about the program, apply for loan forgiveness and get the relief they need.”

Although many have taken advantage of the PSLF program, millions more public service workers are eligible to participate. It is estimated that only 15 percent of 9 million eligible public service workers have taken advantage of this opportunity.

AFSCME members are asking the U.S. Department of Education to extend the waiver and allow more time for public service workers to learn about the program and apply for the relief that they deserve.

Many of the agency reviews needed to fulfill the promise of loan forgiveness have yet to begin. More time is needed to ensure that the promise of loan forgiveness is correctly applied to all eligible borrowers who have worked hard and fulfill the requirements.

AFSCME members are taking action by writing a letter to the Biden administration asking that the waiver deadline be extended until at least July 1, 2023.

“Public service workers make incredible sacrifices every day to strengthen their communities – and never more so than during the last two and a half years of this pandemic,” Saunders also said. “The least we can do is ease their overwhelming student debt burden, much of which they have incurred while getting the skills and education they need to be better at their essential jobs.”

To learn more about the program and other available resources for AFSCME members, please visit AFSCME’s student debt resource page: AFSCME.org/student-debt.

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