The window created by the Limited Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Waiver will close in four months, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) wants to make sure academics get a chance to receive the waiver’s benefits.
“Most college and university full time employees are now eligible under the PSLF program,” said Kathryn Enke, secretary to the board and strategist for presidential initiatives at the AAC&U.
Enke welcomed campus leaders and student loan borrowers by the hundreds to a webinar focused on helping those working at public or non-profit institutions understand just how to apply for this forgiveness, and to do so well before the waiver ends on Oct. 31, 2022.
The Limited PSLF Waiver has, since the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced it on Oct. 6, 2021, already approved $7.3 billion in loan forgiveness, helping 127,150 individuals receive debt relief. The waiver has been so successful that over 1.1 million people have been able to take advantage, and over 250,000 borrowers received two or more years’ worth of additional credit towards loan forgiveness, according to the ED’s Office of Federal Student Aid.
The waiver makes many changes to the traditional rules that outline PSLF. Provided that a borrower’s loans are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan before Oct. 31, the waiver allows any period of past repayment to count towards PSLF. And, even if payments have been late or under expected amounts, they will still count as credit toward the required 120 payments needed to receive PSLF.
“You can now get credit for time in repayment when it was a Federal Family Education Loan program (FFEL) or a Perkins loan,” said Ashley Harrington, senior advisor to the chief operating officer at the Office of Federal Student Aid. Before the waiver, FFEL and Perkins loans did not qualify for PSLF payment credit.
Harrington spoke to attendees not only as an expert, but as a borrower herself. Harrington borrowed as a graduate student to attend New York University’s School of Law.
“We don’t care what payment plan you’re on. All we care about is whether you are in active repayment status, which we define generously,” said Harrington. “We don’t care if you were late, missed a payment, or it was a dollar short, as long as you weren’t in default, or in-school deferment.”