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New Bill Makes Public Service Loan Forgiveness More Accessible to Borrowers

Earlier today, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the What You Can Do for Your Country Act of 2019, a bill to strengthen and simplify the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to make it easier for a borrower to qualify for and receive forgiveness. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Allow every kind of federal loan to qualify for the program, eliminating the need to consolidate certain types of loans;
  • Allow loans enrolled in every kind of federal repayment plan to qualify, eliminating the need to select certain plans so loan payments count toward forgiveness;
  • Make the application process easier by fully digitizing the process, providing clearer information about progress towards meeting program criteria, and clearly stating which employers qualify for the program;
  • Allow half of a borrower’s loan balance to be forgiven after 5 years of public service.

In response to today’s introduction, Soncia Coleman, Senior Director of Program for Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:

“We hear from young people every day who were able to choose their education path and career in public service because they knew Public Service Loan Forgiveness was available to them, but it’s become clear that the process is currently cumbersome and ineffective. The What You Can Do for Your Country Act would make attaining public service loan forgiveness much simpler and easier for young people. In addition to streamlining a complicated process, the bill would also extend partial forgiveness to individuals who have served in government or for a qualifying non-profit organization for 5 years, giving much-needed relief to hundreds of thousands of borrowers.

With the country currently buried under more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, bills like the What You Can Do for Your Country Act of 2019 can help today’s young people complete their education without being crippled by debt for years after their graduation. Young Invincibles supports this bill and looks forward to seeing it included in HEA reauthorization.”