The Biden administration outlined major changes to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program on Wednesday – a promise made by the government to provide debt relief to teachers, nurses, firefighters and others who go into public service jobs, but one that’s been mired by complicated eligibility rules and servicing errors that have made it nearly impossible to benefit from.

“Borrowers who devote a decade of their lives to public service should be able to rely on the

promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. “The system has not delivered on that promise to date, but that is about to change for many borrowers who have served their communities and their country.”

The burdensome technical rules and mismanagement have haunted the public service loan forgiveness plan since it was first established in 2008.

Not only must borrowers be employed in a public sector job, but they are required to make 120 on-time student loan payments and participate in a qualified repayment plan. In addition, the loans borrowers took out must be a specific type to qualify – the federal Direct Loans versus Federal Family Education Loans – and they are not allowed to defer payments or go into forbearance.

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