Senators urge Biden administration to streamline military student loan cancellation program


Members of the military may be eligible for the forgiveness of their student loan debt balances under the Public Service Loan Cancellation Program. But with strict documentation requirements, Congress calls for additional student loans (iStock)

A group of prominent Democratic lawmakers is calling on the Biden administration to make it easier for military personnel to get their federal student loans canceled.

In a November 17 letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, 14 senators urged the education ministry to offer student debt relief to military service members as part of the loan forgiveness program of the Recently revised civil service (PSLF). The letter is signed by progressives like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar.

About 200,000 servicemen owe more than $ 2.9 billion in student loans, according to the letter. Yet 94% of military and civilian Defense Department (DOD) employees who had previously applied for the PSLF program were turned down, he continued, citing a report from the Government Accountability Office.

Read on to learn more about canceling student loans for military service members and consider alternative debt repayment options such as refinancing. You can compare free student loan refinance rates on Credible without affecting your credit score.


Recent changes to military student loan repayment programs

The Department of Education announced in October an overhaul of the PSLF program that has made it easier for 550,000 federal student loan borrowers to qualify for student debt cancellation, provided they take out a loan from direct consolidation by October 31, 2022.

Under the PSLF program, eligible officials, including military personnel, can request that the remainder of their federal direct loan debt be discharged after making 120 consecutive eligible payments. The PSLF’s temporary waiver, which is in effect for a limited time due to the COVID-19 national emergency, ensured that any pre-payment made by eligible PSLF borrowers would be considered an eligible payment.

Additionally, the ministry said it would “develop and implement a process to manage student loan deferral and forbearance periods for active duty members,” which would make it easier for the military to qualify for employment. forgiveness of debt.

However, specific details regarding the military student loan remission updates have been scarce. In their letter to Education Secretary Cardona, the senators called on the ministry to “act quickly” in implementing the planned changes for members of the military service.

Lawmakers Also Call On Biden Administration To “Eliminate Need For Military With Federal Student Loans [to] take additional steps to benefit from the advantages “of the PSLF, provided that they have completed their years of service.

The Education Department has not announced any further updates to the PSLF program since Senators wrote the letter last month. Student loan borrowers who need relief now may be able to lower their monthly payments by refinancing a private loan at a lower rate. Keep in mind that refinancing your federal loans to a private loan would make you ineligible for some student loan cancellation programs like the PSLF.

Student loan refinancing rates are near historic lows, Credible data shows. You can browse the interest rates of private student lenders in the table below.


Military members on active duty automatically receive student loan relief

In August, the Education Department announced it would automatically waive interest on federal student loans for more than 47,000 active and former military service members. Previously, eligible military personnel had to apply for interest relief.

“The brave men and women in uniform serving our country can now focus on their jobs and return home safely, without filling out more paperwork to access their hard-earned benefits,” said Richard Cordray of the office of federal student aid (FSA).

The interest exemption applies to certain federal student loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2008, held by military personnel deployed in hostile areas of imminent danger. Due to these restrictions, not all veterans and active duty members will be eligible for this benefit.

If you don’t qualify for the Student Loan Interest Relief or PSLF program, consider other student loan repayment plans, such as refinancing. You may be able to pay off your college debt faster, lower your monthly payments, and save money on interest.

Visit Credible to compare refi offers and use a student loan refinance calculator to decide if this option is right for you.


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