The Biden administration has finally launched a formal appeal and reconsideration process for borrowers who were denied student loan forgiveness under a key program for people working in public service. Here are the details.
The Civil Service Loan Relief (PSLF) has undergone several changes
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) was created almost 15 years ago, but has been plagued with problems. The PSLF was enacted to erase federal student loan debt for borrowers who devote 10 or more years of their career to government or nonprofit work. Technically, PSLF requires 120 “qualifying payments” (which, if made consecutively, equals 10 years) for a borrower to be approved for student loan forgiveness under the program.
But for years, the PSLF program has been hampered by complicated eligibility criteria and poor administration and oversight by the Department of Education and its contracted student loan officers. As a result, the program experienced extraordinarily high refusal rates of 98-99%.
To address issues with the PSLF, Congress passed legislation authorizing the creation of the Public Service Loans Vacation Program (TEPSLF) in 2018. The TEPSLF expanded the type of repayment plans eligible for a rebate. loan, but he did nothing to solve other problems. with the program, such as the exclusion of certain types of federal student loans. TEPSLF ultimately suffered from similarly low approval ratings.
In October last year, the Biden administration went much further, establishing a new temporary program to expand PSLF relief more dramatically. Called the “Limited PSLF Waiver,” this initiative greatly expands access to student loan forgiveness under the PSLF by allowing many other types of federal student loans and payments to qualify. Additionally, last month the Biden administration announced sweeping fixes to income-based repayment programs, which will also benefit tens of thousands of borrowers applying for loan forgiveness through the PSLF.
Through all of these changes, however, borrowers who received incorrect rulings or erroneous determinations had no clear recourse to appeal.
New Student Loan Forgiveness Review Process for Public Service Borrowers
In March, the Biden administration announced it would implement a new appeal and reconsideration process for borrowers who were denied assistance under the PSLF program. “With [an] online process, you will be able to submit one or more requests for reconsideration through StudentAid.gov and upload documents for review and review by Federal Student Aid (FSA) officials,” the department said in the announcement.
This week, the PSLF’s new appeal and reconsideration process is live.
Borrowers can visit This site to file a request for reconsideration. Borrowers will need their FSA ID. According to the department, “you will then need to choose between an employer or payment reconsideration request and describe in as much detail as possible why your PSLF eligibility status should be reconsidered.”
Borrowers will have the option to upload supporting documentation, such as proof of payment and proof of qualifying employment, as well as key correspondence from FedLoan Servicing. The Department also recommends including key information, “such as your employer’s Employer Identification Number or the dates of your loan payments that were declined as eligible payments.”
The Department cautions borrowers against taking the plunge in submitting a PSLF reconsideration request, as many borrowers are still awaiting decisions under the PSLF Limited Waiver Program. Many more could also benefit from the relief as the Department implements the new Income Contingent Reimbursement (IDR) program adjustments in the coming months.
“We recommend that you wait until the end of the limited PSLF relief period, and we announce that IDR account adjustments have been made to borrowers’ accounts before submitting a request for reconsideration so that our assessment of your request is based on the most recent information,” the department said. The limited PSLF waiver ends on October 31, 2022. And the ministry has indicated that it will implement the IDR account adjustments in January 2023 at the earliest.
Further Reading on Student Loans
Thousands of Jobs Qualify for Expanded Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Who qualifies for student loan relief under Biden’s huge new income-based repayment expansion
Biden administration announces sweeping fixes to income-based repayment and student loan forgiveness programs
4 options for Biden to legally enact student loan forgiveness without Congress