As most of my clients now know, I am pursuing my Juris Doctor degree and completed my first year in May 2020. As I was in the process of applying to law schools, I came across the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
It seemed to be a great idea at first: serve at qualifying non-profits or in government jobs for 10 years, make 120 consecutive payments, and have the remaining balance on federally-insured loans forgiven.
In spite of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program’s promise, reality has turned a dream into a living nightmare for many borrowers.
Miss one payment? “You have to start over.”
Reconsolidated your loan? “You don’t qualify.”
Transitioned into a new job? “Your position does not qualify.”
You were stuffy in one nostril for two days in January? “Sorry, you don’t qualify anymore.”
(Okay, that last one was an over-embellishment, but you get my point).
Well over 95% of those who have gone through 10 years of the forgiveness program have had their applications rejected. There are countless stories about applicants following every procedure and protocol to the most exacting of detail, only to find out the Department of Education reneged on its promise for either obscure or (sometimes) false reasons.
A group of teachers sued Navient for mishandling the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and reached a settlement in May 2020 which will, purportedly, lead to fewer denials. Each of the ten plaintiffs will receive $15,000 as a part of the settlement.
Yet the Public Service Loan Forgiveness woes continue, as the forgiveness rate as of May 2020 is only 2% (3,200 out of 146,000, as per the Washington Post’s report).
The ones who have been able to have their loans forgiven (the unicorns) have often had to jump through additional hoops themselves after loan servicers presented additional problems and confusion after the 10-year term was complete.
The others, the 95%+ who had their applications rejected outright, have been left out in the cold, often with even more student loan debt than they started with at the beginning of the program.
Because of the program’s abysmal record, I cannot emphasize the answer to the question: Do NOT apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program!
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” – Proverbs 13:12
Unless something drastically changes, perhaps after the pending litigation against the Education Department, I will steer all of my clients away from this program. I cannot emphasize enough how much of a quagmire it is.
So what’s the alternative? Well, if you have been considering the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, I don’t want you to lose all hope of paying off your debt. There is a brighter way and the future does not have to look as dark as the past and the present.
As a coach, this is where I guide you through a proven process for paying off debt and achieving financial success and peace. I’ve worked with many clients from all walks of life, some of whom are dealing with more than $350,000 of student loan debt. There’s hope for them, and I am guiding through the process so that they will have a better future than what the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program “offers.”
Do you want better? Schedule your complimentary Discovery Session today so that you can change your future. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program has abysmal results, but my clients have found incredible success and freedom with my guidance. Let me serve you so you can escape the bondage of student loans.