Student Loan Forgiveness: Available for Many, Used by Few

By Ethan Senack
Higher Education Associate

A few weeks ago, I went on HuffPost Live to talk about current student loan forgiveness programs and the stunning lack of public knowledge about them.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released a report showing that more than one-quarter of America’s workforce – more than 33 million people – is eligible for public service student loan forgiveness. The program allows for the cancellation of some or all of a person’s federal student loans, provided they meet certain qualifications. However, only a tiny fraction of the workforce is actually making use of the program.

To take a step back and put this in context, two thirds of college students graduate with debt, and among them, the average debt level is $26,000. There are 37 million borrowers with outstanding loan balances – and 5.4 million of them are past due on their bills. Even worse, one in ten students can’t make up their late payments and defaults on their student loans – destroying their credit and hindering their ability to find a home, buy a car, or secure a job.

Public service jobs are critical for our nation’s future - from teaching our kids to keeping our communities safe – and many college grads are eager to put their new skills to work in these kinds of careers. But crushing levels of debt often make it too hard for them to keep their heads above water if they choose a public service job.

In the days following my interview, I received a number of emails from people who work in public service jobs and are struggling financially because of their student loans. Most telling was that the majority asked, “Is there a program that can help me?”

For more than 33 million Americans, the answer is yes. Right now, there are eight different federal direct loan forgiveness programs – the most relevant of which is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This program offers full direct loan forgiveness after 10 years of payments for anyone employed in a widely-defined “public service position.”

But few people know that.

It’s clear that we need to do a better job of informing the public about the programs that are available. That’s especially true when the people that need them most are the foundation of our country: teachers, healthcare workers, police officers, military personnel and non-profit workers.

We can’t afford a generation of Americans buried in debt. And we can’t afford NOT to use the programs that are already in place in order to keep that debt manageable - especially if it means we’re making public service jobs an unaffordable career path.

We applaud the CFPB for creating a toolkit to help public sector employers get their employees enrolled. We need to take more steps like that to get the message out.

See this post on for a shareable infographic.



Where can we find further information about the eight federal loan forgiveness programs? Official websites, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and so on, would be very helpful.

South Africa is brimmed with the excitement and joy of World Cup and if you want to be a core fan of any team then it is time to know about the best teams. I would prefer Spain due to many reasons which will convince you also.

It is essential that friends and family are about during a health crisis as they could assist reverse the disaster of the circumstance, otherwise improve the person? s problem. Yet that does not signify that only these individuals could deal with a terminally unwell person. In some cases, household could be the very best or the worst resource for palliative therapy, provided their disposition and absence of encounter. This is the reason why the alternative of hospice care alreadies existing. And unlike exactly what a lot of would certainly think about it, there are in fact a variety of upsides to the service that is significantly threatened. Louis Vuitton Handbags Canada

Wow! What an eye opener this post has been for me. Very much appreciated.
Pc All Game

Priority Action

Tell your elected officials: Please protect my right to know, and support GMO labeling.

Support Us

Your donation supports U.S. PIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.