Aug 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Democrats urge extension of waiver for student loan forgiveness

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, makes his way to the Senate Chambers at the U.S. Capitol on August 03, 2022

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

More than 100 congressional Democrats signed a letter Tuesday asking the Biden administration to extend a waiver for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program through July 2023.

Driving the news: "Since the deadline of October 31, 2022 to qualify for PSLF under the waiver program is rapidly approaching, we ask that the Department extend this deadline in order to ensure that all public servants with federal student loans are able to benefit from this historic waiver," the lawmakers wrote. 

The big picture: The waiver for the PSLF, which provides federal student debt relief to public servants after 120 qualifying payments, is part of a broader effort by the Education Department to expand student debt forgiveness for government workers.

  • The waiver allows public servants with student loan debt to earn credit for past payments that previously did not count toward the required 120 monthly payments.
  • The lawmakers are urging the Department of Education to extend the waiver until July 1, 2023.

What they're saying: "Public service workers — particularly those in health care and education — continue to face challenges such as burnout and personal sacrifice to keep our nation safe during the pandemic and recovery," the letter, led by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), says.

  • "For many public servants, losing access to the PSLF waiver before they are able to benefit from the IDR payment adjustment could prevent them from being able to pursue forgiveness under PSLF," per the letter.

What to watch: The letter comes as the Biden administration is expected to make an announcement "within the next week or so" on the federal student loan payment pause, with reports that it may come as soon as Wednesday.

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