Gov. Phil Murphy today participated in a roundtable discussion with public service employees to highlight the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program and steps his administration is taking to help more public employees obtain student loan forgiveness.
Employees of federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organizations may be eligible for PSLF. The program forgives the remaining balance on certain federal student loans after borrowers have made 120 qualifying monthly payments and meet other specific criteria.
“Employees in the public and non-profit sectors provide invaluable services to our state and our nation, from defending our country to teaching the next generation, and everything in between,” said Gov. Murphy. “The federal PSLF program rewards these dedicated public servants by offering a path to student loan forgiveness, but many borrowers may not realize they qualify. By working with our federal partners to streamline the application process and highlight recent changes that expand eligibility for PSLF, we will encourage more student loan borrowers to get involved in public service and take advantage of this helpful program.”
“Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has worked hard to tackle existing student loan debt. I am proud that we are turning the PSLF program from a promise broken into a promise kept for borrowers who devote a decade of their lives to public service,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal.
A recent federal waiver will make student loan borrowers who were previously ineligible for the PSLF program—because they had an ineligible loan, made payments on the wrong payment plan, or made a late payment—eligible to receive credit toward forgiveness for those years they worked in public service.
Currently, there are approximately 30,700 borrowers in New Jersey who participate in the program, around 57% of which are government employees. So far, nearly 3,000 New Jersey borrowers have been approved for loan forgiveness through PSLF because of the recent changes.
In addition to ongoing efforts by the Department and the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to notify borrowers of this change, the governor and federal officials highlighted this waiver during today’s roundtable to raise awareness about this helpful change and encourage eligible residents to apply for the program before the October 31, 2022 deadline.
“The new federal policy expanding eligibility for PSLF will help tens of thousands of New Jersey borrowers by cancelling the balances of their federal student loans – including those who have served our communities as teachers, nurses, first responders, military service members, or other public servants at governmental or non-profit organizations,” said David J. Socolow, Executive Director of the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). “Today’s announcement that the state will work with the U.S. Department of Education to streamline the application process will enable current state employees to receive life-changing forgiveness of their federal student loans. As the state’s financial aid authority, HESAA is using our network to build awareness statewide about this important opportunity for federal student loan relief.”
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