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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

States request extension of PSLF forgiveness waiver

State Issues Federal Issues State Attorney General Department of Education PSLF Student Lending Consumer Finance

State Issues

On July 29, a coalition of state attorneys general sent a letter to President Biden and Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, requesting the extension of the deadline for individuals to file claims under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. As previously covered by InfoBytes, in October 2021, the Department announced several significant changes to its PSLF program, including that approximately 22,000 borrowers with consolidated loans (including loans previously ineligible) may be immediately eligible to have their loans forgiven automatically, and another 27,000 borrowers could have their balances forgiven if they are able to certify additional periods of public service employment. According to the AGs, “it is critically important to extend the waiver at least until new PSLF regulations take effect and to grandfather in waiver benefits for borrowers who miss administrative deadlines.” The AGs also asked the Biden administration to count all forbearance periods toward loan forgiveness, rather than making exceptions for servicemembers and longer periods of forbearance for everyone else. The letter stated that “[f]ailure to automatically count periods of forbearance toward loan forgiveness ignores pervasive and well-established servicing problems and inappropriately shifts the burden to borrowers to identify and prove that they were victims of servicer misconduct.” The AGs urged the Biden administration “to exercise its authority to synchronize the One-Time Adjustment and Limited PSLF Waiver into a unified adjustment policy.” The letter specifically stated that the “simplest way of doing so may be to incorporate certain critical aspects of the waiver into the One-Time Adjustment, including that qualifying employment at the time of forgiveness is not necessary and that consolidations (whether of FFEL or Direct Loans) occurring prior to the completion of the One-Time Adjustment do not negate past qualifying employment periods for PSLF.”

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