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Student loan debt

Sustained advocacy leads to key win on student loan forgiveness program

APA Services work leads to changes in student loan forgiveness program that will reduce student loan debt and incentivize public service.

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American Psychological Association. (2021, October 7). Sustained advocacy leads to key win on student loan forgiveness program.

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Following many years of sustained advocacy by APA Services and its member psychologists, the Department of Education is making a series of immediate fixes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which will provide relief to hundreds of thousands of borrowers in public service careers, including many psychologists, with federal student loan debt.

These actions, which align with the association's recommendations, would:

  • retroactively count prior payments for borrowers enrolled in PSLF, irrespective of federal loan type or repayment plan,
  • review previously denied applications for errors and give borrowers more options to appeal,
  • simplify the application process, and
  • improve outreach to PSLF-eligible borrowers who may not be aware of the program.

To qualify, borrowers would have to be enrolled in PSLF by October 31, 2022.

While these changes are temporary, the department’s goal is to make them permanent over the next year. As the department begins a series of negotiated rulemaking sessions this fall related to its student loan portfolio, APA is urging them to consider additional recommendations that the association made in comments to the negotiated rulemaking listening sessions (PDF, 433KB) this summer and a recent Request for Information (PDF, 614KB). In addition to PSLF, the recommendations focused income-driven repayment programs and treatment of student loan interest.

For more information, contact Kenneth Polishchuk.