Public service workers getting $5.8B in student loan forgiveness this week | Applications still open

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Saturday, March 30, 2024
Public servants getting $5.8B in student loan forgiveness this week
Looking to get your student loans canceled? The Public Service Loan Forgiveness application is still open.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- This week, thousands of people are getting emails from the Biden-Harris administration saying their student loan debt is canceled.

More people are getting billions in student loan forgiveness because of changes to rules in a program for public service workers. They are all already enrolled in the program, but others who have not signed up yet can also save money.

The White House says more than 77,000 teachers, nurses, social workers, firefighters and other public servants who are enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program will be getting $5.8 billion in student debt relief this week.

This comes after the Biden administration eliminated red tape to a program which, at one time, only helped 7,000 people. Now, more people with a track record of 120 payments will get forgiveness.

"So that's really exciting for these public servants that have met the criteria," said Hanneh Bareham, a loan and debt relief expert at Bankrate. "They've been working at this for so long, finally getting that email, getting that loan forgiveness must be the most satisfying and wonderful feeling ever. I have parents who are teachers. And I know that, you know, seeing that email must be just the best moment."

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Bareham explained how 380,000 more borrowers will eventually get more forgiveness.

"Around 380,000 borrowers are also going to be eligible within two years if they keep making their payments. So any borrowers involved in the program, be on the lookout, because you could be receiving that email," Bareham said.

The Department of Education said since 2021, 34,000 people in Illinois have received nearly $2.5 million in debt relief under PSLF. Even if you are not in the program yet, there is still time.

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"If you are a qualifying public servant, I urge everyone right now to go on and apply immediately, because you could be leaving free student loan forgiveness on the table. We don't want that for anyone," advised Bareham.

Experts say this forgiveness can also help other ways. Now, people struggling with inflation can use their money to pay off record-high credit card debt and other bills.

Click here to apply.