At a time when the public loan forgiveness program may be on the chopping block under the Trump administration, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has issued guidance reminding borrowers to file for the program after they review their eligibility.
“My office is committed to ensuring the Department of Education keeps its promise to every graduate who entered public service,” said Schneiderman in a statement. “Whether a borrower served in the military, at a government agency, at a nonprofit, or any other eligible organization, we want to make sure their hard work and financial sacrifice is properly rewarded.”
The PLFP program allows borrowers of federal student loans who work for government or certain public interest organizations to have the remaining balance of their loans forgiven after making 120 on-time payments if they meet the following criteria:
- are employed full time by an eligible public service employer
- haven’t defaulted on their direct federal student loan
- are enrolled in a qualifying loan repayment plan
Since the program was launched in 2007, October marks the first time that any borrower would have made enough payments to qualify for the plan.
To find out if they are eligible for the program, borrowers are directed by Schneiderman’s office to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form to check eligibility, then to the PSLF Application for Forgiveness if they’re found to be eligible.
The program only covers borrowers with federal direct loans, including subsidized, unsubsidized, Direct PLUS and Direct Consolidation Loans. Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), including Stafford, Perkins and Federal PLUS loans, don’t qualify unless they are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
The Trump administration has called for the elimination of the program beginning with those who take out loans on or after July 1, 2018, and in a federal lawsuit its Education Department has reaffirmed its earlier position that borrowers could not rely on assurances from FedLoan Servicing, which oversees the program.
Four borrowers are suing the department because FedLoan, after approving their eligibility for the program, later told them they didn’t qualify.
“Any New Yorker who thinks they’ve been wrongly denied federal loan forgiveness should contact my office right away,” said Schneiderman in the release.
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