Millions of eligible borrowers not taking advantage of student loan forgiveness
Do you work in the public sector–perhaps in a school, hospital, or government office–and have student loan debt? You may qualify for student loan forgiveness and not even realize it.
More than 33 million workers qualify to have their student loans forgiven because they work in public service, but too few take advantage of the options because the programs are overly complicated and often confusing, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said last week.
According to the Associated Press, about 25% of the U.S. workforce could qualify under federal rules for favorable loan repayment options, but most of these borrowers are unaware.
The CFPB argues that Congress needs to change its loan forgiveness programs to make them more accessible to borrowers, and employers should be informing their workers of the available options.
The consumer advocacy group has even created an employment toolkit to offer practical advice to public sector employers and employees, since realizing one’s eligibility early can make the difference of thousands of dollars.
As Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB, explains:
Teachers, soldiers, firefighters, policeman – public sector careers invariably involve some effort, some inconvenience or some sacrifice. People give up higher incomes to serve their city, their state or their country.
We believe that people who contribute part of their talents, part of the benefits of their education, to society as a whole should not be mired in debt because they stir themselves to the calling of public service.
For those who want to make a career out of serving others but are worried about making enough money to pay off their student loans, loan forgiveness can provide great relief. If you work in the public sector, it’s important to find out whether you’re eligible for these programs, as they can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.