May 04, 2021

Senators Hassan & Rubio Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expedite Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Service Members

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, Yahoo News reported on a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) to expedite student loan forgiveness for service members. The bipartisan Recognizing Military Service in Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Act would allow service members who pause their student loan payments while deployed or on extended active duty orders to count that period of time toward their student loan forgiveness – which is currently not allowed.

 

Senator Hassan is leading efforts to strengthen the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to help ensure that millions of public servants -- such as fire fighters, law enforcement, teachers, and members of the military -- qualify for the loan forgiveness that they have earned. Additionally, the Senator helped close a loophole in the American Rescue Plan that for-profit colleges use to take advantage of veterans, service members, and their families.

 

To read the article in Yahoo News, click here or see below.

 

2 senators launch bipartisan effort to ease student-loan forgiveness for service members

By Ayelet Sheffey

 

Service members are currently eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, in which they can enroll in income-based repayment plans that could lead to loan forgiveness after 10 years. But if a service member is deployed and puts payments on pause, that time doesn't count toward loan forgiveness, extending the period they have to keep paying.

 

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire want to change that.

 

Rubio and Hassan introduced the Recognizing Military Service in Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Act on Friday, which allows service members who deferred their student loan payments while deployed to count that period of time toward their PSLF progress. Currently, putting loans into deferment or forbearance while deployed don't count as qualifying payments, and this new legislation would expedite the process for service members to get earned student loan forgiveness.

 

"Service members take enormous risks to protect our freedoms, and it is unacceptable that members of the military can return home after active duty and not be any closer to receiving loan forgiveness," Hassan said in a statement. "This bipartisan bill is a commonsense fix to help some of our country's most deserving public servants get out from under the burden of their student debt more quickly.

 

According to a bill summary, this legislation would count military student loan deferment and forbearance as qualifying payments toward PSLF, including for:

  • Active-duty service members deployed overseas;
  • Active-duty service members deployed away from their families and home station;
  • National Guard and Reserve members brought onto active duty for more than 30 days;
  • And National Guard members brought onto state active duty.

 

The PSLF program allows government and non-profit employees with federally-backed student loans to apply for loan forgiveness after proof of 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan. But the PSLF program is flawed - according to a Government Accountability Office report, as of January 2020, 287 Dept. of Defense personnel received loan forgiveness, while 5,180, or 94% of DOD borrowers, were denied. [...]

 

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