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Wed Apr 3, 2019, 07:05 PM

Education Dept. rejects vast majority of applicants for temporary student loan forgiveness program

Source: Washington post

Education Dept. rejects vast majority of applicants for temporary student loan forgiveness program

By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel April 2 at 8:28 PM

Tens of thousands of public servants have applied to have their federal student loans forgiven through a temporary relief program run by the U.S. Education Department. Fewer than 300 have had success.

Now, one of the lawmakers who championed the initiative wants to know what happened.

We authorized $700 million dollars to help ensure public servants including firefighters, teachers, and nurses receive the loan forgiveness they have earned, and its maddening that the Trump Administration is letting it go to waste, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said in an email.

Kaine and other Senate Democrats have said the Education Department created eligibility criteria that are far more rigid than anything Congress envisioned. The measure in the fiscal 2018 budget that set up the one-time expansion, based on legislation introduced by Kaine and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), directed the agency to develop a simple way for borrowers to apply for forgiveness. Instead, lawmakers say the Education Department has restricted access with a litany of rules.

It has been about a year since the Education Department launched the temporary expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, with $700 million from Congress to spend over two years. The goal was to give public servants enrolled in the wrong repayment plan another shot at having the balance of their debt erased after 10 years of on-time payments.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/04/03/education-dept-rejects-vast-majority-applicants-temporary-student-loan-forgiveness-program/

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