Federal Advocacy

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

PANO supports policies that promote job creation in all sectors of the economy, especially policies that promote and incentivize employment at Pennsylvania nonprofits.

68% of Pennsylvania graduates have student loan debt and Pennsylvanians have the second highest student loan debt nationwide ($35,185 per individual). We support preserving the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) and making the program substantially more accessible to potentially eligible individuals.

How does Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) work?
The federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full-time by certain public service employers. After applying and meeting the requirements, the federal government may erase the remaining balance of your student loans. However, there are no guarantees that your loans will be forgiven. Learn more about the program and how it works here.

Need for Advocacy
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report finding that only 55 of the more than 890,000 borrowers enrolled in PSLF have actually received loan forgiveness thus far. The report cites deficiencies in the guidance and instructions from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), and inadequate collaboration between DOE and the PSLF services as significant problems with the program. Read the report here.

Though Congress created the program and has the power to change or end it, it is unlikely that they’ll end the program without “grandfathering” those who have already submitted eligibility documentation.

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