Foster introduces bipartisan Public Service Loan Forgiveness legislation
3/9/2021, 9:07 p.m.
Yesterday, Representative Bill Foster (IL-11) introduced the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Inclusion Act of 2021, to assist those who forgo potentially lucrative careers to serve the public good. The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Fitzpatrick (PA-08), Rep. Clarke (NY-09), Rep. Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Rep. García (IL-04), Rep. Carson (IN-07), Rep. Lee (CA-13), Rep. Keating (MA-09), and Rep. Wexton (VA-10).
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was established in 2007 and requires the Department of Education to forgive federal student loans after borrowers make at least 10 years of qualifying payments while working for certain public service employers. Currently, 99 percent of public servants who have applied for loan forgiveness have been denied. Millions of borrowers who enrolled in the PSLF program were told after they had already made payments that they had the wrong type of loan or repayment plan and would not qualify for forgiveness under the program. This bill would expand the types of plans that would qualify for loan forgiveness.
“Student debt is a serious economic burden for too many Americans and is keeping talented professionals from pursuing careers in public service,” said Rep. Foster. “The current student loan repayment process is unnecessarily burdensome and difficult to navigate and we need to do what we can to change this. That’s why I’ve introduced this legislation to expand access to public service loan forgiveness.”
“For so many Americans, student loans have become a hardship in their everyday lives. This can be especially true for those who choose to pursue a career in public service, which can often see lower salaries compared to the private sector,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “Rather than deter, we must encourage and assist those who want to serve the public, remove barriers to entry, and help ease the burden on our public servants. I am proud to join Representative Foster in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will expand access to public service loan forgiveness."
The bill is supported by the American Council on Education (ACE), American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and Young Invincibles.