At the headquarters of the PEF Union, Gillibrand calls for forgiveness of the public service loan
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited the New York State Federation of Public Employees headquarters in Latham on Wednesday, where she called for reform of the civil service loan forgiveness program.
The program was created by Congress in 2007 to encourage more students to enter the public service by granting a loan forgiveness after 10 years of full-time work for a federal, state, local or tribal government organization or certain organizations. non-profit.
“This means that any student can pursue these career paths knowing that their student loans will not weigh on their heads for the rest of their life.”
Gillibrand, a Democrat, says the pandemic has made the work of public servants, first responders and “countless others” more important than ever.
“Critical workers who are disproportionately people of color have been dedicated to keeping our country running and fighting on the front lines of this unprecedented public health emergency. At the same time, they are also dealing with insecurity of the world. Extreme employment, unsafe working conditions and unmanageable student debt In order to give our essential workers the support they so clearly deserve, we must address these three challenges.
Gillibrand argues that the flawed implementation of the PSLF program by the US Department of Education and the “donut holes” of eligibility resulted in 99% of all officials who asked for forgiveness were denied a relief.
Ralph Maab is one of the lucky 1%. The graphic designer works for the Department of Motor Vehicles. A loan deferral increased her student loan debt to nearly $ 100,000.
“Dealing with such crippling debt was intimidating. I discovered the public loan forgiveness program when I found it on the Internet. I applied, consolidated all my loans into one monthly payment. That was six years ago. years. My experience with public lending The forgiveness program has been positive. I was faced with what seemed like an impossible financial hurdle, and now there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The program has helped me a lot. , but I am aware that it does not help everyone who I was able to tell a colleague about the program and she was also able to sign up. when this program is over. “
PEF Union President Wayne Spence:
“Our members have risked their lives to carry out their duties during this arguably the most uncertain time in recent history. Looming student loan debt is another stress on top of everything else.”
Gillibrand said his “What can you do for your country” law will fill gaps in the program, clarify qualifications, streamline the application process and provide guidance to better serve eligible borrowers.
“These officials have held their end of the bargain. Now the government must do the same.
Gillibrand is urging Congress to take immediate action on the bill, which she adds would help resolve the country’s $ 1.5 trillion student debt crisis.