Who qualifies for expanded student loan relief

Plus, delivery drivers cash in on tips and the real cost of depression

Oct 13, 2021 | Current events | Debt
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It’s PSL(F) season

The Education Department announced an overhaul and temporary expansion of its Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The program allows eligible government and nonprofit workers (think: nurses, teachers, and military members) to have their federal student loans forgiven, tax-free. But since its inception in 2007, the program’s drawn criticism and confusion. Only 16,000 borrowers had their loans forgiven before the overhaul. Now hundreds of thousands more should qualify for relief — some immediately.

Before, borrowers needed four things to qualify for relief: a full-time job, the right type of job, the right type of loan, and 120 on-time payments. Under the expansion, borrowers with Perkins and Federal Family Education Loans are eligible, too. And more past payments now count toward the magic 120 number — late and partial payments included. Active military members also caught a break. Their loans in deferment or forbearance will translate to on-time payment “credit.” And the overhaul waived the requirement that borrowers currently work for an eligible employer when they request forgiveness. (They just need one listed on their resume.) Borrowers will have to act fast to seek relief. The expanded eligibility window closes on Halloween 2022.


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