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CONGRESSMEN BOYLE AND JOYCE INTRODUCE BILL TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS

March 11, 2020
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA-02) and David P. Joyce (R-OH-14) introduced legislation to update and improve both the approval and administrative processes currently supporting the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) program for teachers, soldiers, public safety officers, and other public servants with student loan balances. 
 
Congress established the bipartisan loan forgiveness program in 2007 to help teachers, social workers, military personnel, and other public servants pursue sometimes lower-paying careers serving their communities without facing decades of crippling loan payments. The program allows borrowers to erase the balance of their student debt after working for a nonprofit or government employer for 10 years and making 120 qualifying loan payments. It is believed that current deficiencies existing at the administrative level in the PSLF program have resulted in upwards of 99% of borrowers being denied loan forgiveness under the program after applying, as was recently profiled on  Forbes.com.
 
“I’m proud to introduce this legislation, and committed to doing all I can to help alleviate the burden of student loan debt for these dedicated public servants,” said Congressman Boyle, co-chair of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Caucus. “Public Service Loan Forgiveness is an investment in our communities and a commitment to those who choose these demanding careers in the face of financial insecurity. Public Service Loan Forgiveness is an incentive to our students and an investment in our future, and we must ensure that it benefits as many hardworking public servants as possible.”
 
“As a co-chair of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Caucus, I know how critically important it is to support those who pursue careers that contribute to the health and well-being of the American people,” said Congressman Joyce. “By providing loan forgiveness for our nation’s nurses, firefighters, teachers, police officers, and more who choose to dedicate their careers to serving others, we are making a direct investment in our communities. I am proud to join Congressman Boyle in introducing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Administrative Improvements Act to fix the program’s current inefficiencies and ensure we can continue to give our public servants the support they deserve.”
 
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (NEA):
“Public Service Loan Forgiveness was created to encourage talented individuals to pursue careers in public service, including teaching in our public schools. Despite its well intentions, tens of thousands of educators have been denied forgiveness due to misinformation and mismanagement of the program,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President, National Education Association. “The PSLF Administrative Improvements Act is a genuine effort to fix the program, helping public service professionals navigate a complicated application system, while also enhancing congressional oversight to prevent further administrative issues of the program. NEA applauds Reps. Boyle and Joyce for developing a bipartisan solution to ensure teachers, and other public service professionals, receive the loan forgiveness they deserve.”
 
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES (AFSCME):
“As this pandemic has made more clear than ever, every day public service workers – our nurses, first responders, educators, public safety workers and many others – step up beyond the call of duty to keep our communities safe, healthy and strong. This bipartisan legislation recognizes that the work these dedicated Americans do every day keeps America going, no matter the challenges. Public service workers don’t do this work to get rich, they do it because helping their neighbors is a calling. For their commitment and sacrifice, they deserve respect and relief from the unconscionably high student loan debt burdening far too many Americans. We applaud Representatives Boyle and Joyce for investing in our communities and the public service workers who keep them running smoothly.”
 
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS (AFT): 
“PSLF is based on the simple but powerful idea that people who dedicate their lives to serving the public deserve relief from the debt sentence college all too often brings. Rather than help borrowers access this bipartisan program, the Trump administration has thrown up barriers, rejecting 99 percent of those who somehow manage to navigate its thicket of rules. The AFT is proud to support this bill because it cuts red tape, revamps communication, and improves the program’s transparency and consistency. In short, it fulfills original promise of PSLF and makes it much easier for teachers, nurses, and public employees to access the relief they’ve earned.”
 
The PSLF Administrative Improvements Act would achieve the following:
Enhance publication and dissemination of program requirements and resources
Help applicants navigate the system with more ease
Increase the consistency for application evaluation
Enhance oversight of program performance
 
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