Feds Change Student Debt Relief Program for Public Employees

On September 22, 2021, CWA 1036 signed on to a nationwide letter with other union, student, consumer, higher education, civil rights, public health, workforce, public interest, professional, military, and faith organizations in calling on Secretary Cardona to take immediate executive action to deliver on the promise of Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) by cancelling debts owed by all public service workers who have served for a decade or more, and to improve the PSLF program. 

While we continue to advocate for universal student debt relief, we are pleased to announce that Secretary of Education Cardona announced on October 6, 2021, that the PSLF program will be completely rehauled to make it easier for public servants to obtain federal student loan forgiveness. The biggest change which will impact over 550,000 borrowers, will allow all payments regardless of payment plan or federal student loan type to count towards Public Student Loan Forgiveness. 

One of the biggest obstacles with the PSLF program is that only about 2% of applicants are approved, making it a largely ineffectual program for public servants. Streamlining all payment plans and federal student loan types to count towards PSLF should make the program more accessible and useful in eliminating federal student loan debt for public servants. 

You can find a more detailed explanation of the changes here.