Take Advantage of Student Loan Debt Relief Programs
Students who use loans to help pay for college are getting some reprieves as many grassroots groups – including CFA – continue advocacy for student loan forgiveness.
The pause on student loan payments has been extended again through May 1 providing a life-changing financial cushion for 41 million borrowers during the pandemic’s tumultuous upheaval.
Also, borrowers can take advantage of extensions to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. And third, California is expanding a pilot program that rewards college students with $10,000 in exchange for 450 hours of volunteer service.
The 2021 PSLF program overhaul is much-needed news for many CFA members and their students. Borrowers have to apply for the program, so help CFA spread the news!
Student loan borrowers who work in public service – think educators like CFA members, social workers, and non-profit employees – will get more flexibility in recently announced changes to the popular federal program. U.S. Education Department officials are making it easier for graduates who paid for college with student loans to have their debt forgiven.
CFA Treasurer Vang Vang recently had her $21,000 in student loans forgiven under the PSLF changes, and encourages all CFA members to check their eligibility and apply.
“My loans were through Sallie Mae, and I faithfully paid every month after grad school. I had already knocked off $10,000. In 2016, I heard about the PSLF program and applied. I qualified for the program but all the payments I’d made under Sallie Mae did not count,” said Vang, a librarian at Fresno State. “But due to the recent changes, all the payments I made to Sallie Mae did in fact count. My loan was forgiven, and I even got six payments returned directly to my bank.”
The program overhaul will provide borrowers a retroactive waiver on previously disqualified loan payments and allow different repayment plans previously ruled ineligible.
To benefit from the temporary PLSF program changes, borrowers – including CFA members – who have not yet applied for PSLF must do so before October 31, 2022. Enrollment in the program is not automatic – borrowers must opt in by the end of October.
Finally, Governor Newsom announced in January expansion of the College Corps program to 45 California colleges and universities – including 16 of the 23 CSU campuses. The program covers $10,000 of tuition costs for students who do 450 hours of community service.
“California is a world leader in both higher education and service,” said Governor Newsom in a statement. “The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps advances these priorities by connecting Californians of different backgrounds with enriching service opportunities throughout the state while making college more affordable for our state’s future leaders. We hope the Corps will be replicated across the nation.”