Student Loan Forgiveness Made Simple

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is clearly one of the best government programs available to the millions of public service employees with unmanageable student loan debt. A public service employee is someone who works for any state or federal government agency, public school, or an employee of a non profit (501c3) company. It does not matter what your position is. You can be a bus driver, a school principal, or a receptionist for the YMCA.

The program allows for the forgiveness of your federal student loan debt, after making 120 income driven payments while working for a qualified public service employer.

Let's face it. If you owe $20K, $50K, or $100K on your student loan, it's going to be a tremendous challenge to pay it off. Those who are lucky or resourceful enough to afford large payments, will have to make huge sacrifices to their budgets, and lifestyles to pay off this debt. Most borrowers live beyond their means, therefore, they cannot make large payments on their loans. The student loan servicers provide temporary relief, in the form of "forbearances" which allows for the postponing of loan payments during times of financial difficulty. Borrowers can also spread out their payments in 25 year terms, which may give them payments that they can afford, without having to cancel their cable services, or eat ramen noodles every night (which, by the way are very unhealthy).

I speak with almost 100 teachers per year, who need assistance with their loans. Most of them have student loan debt beyond $50K, with salaries under $50K. Their average interest rate is 6%. A $50K loan with a 6% interest rate means that your are being charged $3K per year, just in interest. Divide that by 12 months, and it gives you a monthly finance charge of $250. If they can sacrifice a $350 monthly payment, they will make 21 years worth of payments, and pay back $38K, just in interest. The cost of their education based on the amount borrowed, has now been increased by almost 60%. Is it worth it? It is to the Department of Education. Why do you think it's so easy for college graduates to qualify for huge loans, regardless of their credit score, or income.

Let's remember what happens when lenders provide credit to people who are not qualified to satisfy their debt. Can you say subprime mortgage crisis?  Circa 2007 - 2010, banks would give mortgages to those who dreamed of having their own home, and told that they could refinance and take out second mortgages if things went bad. But what did this lead to? Foreclosure rates increasing at phenominal proportions, and people losing their homes. This is what we are now experiencing with student loan debt. 40% of borrowers are expected to default on their student loans by 2023. But instead of losing homes, they will be losing their freedoms. Freedom to enjoy their fruits of labor. Freedom to put their kids through college. Freedom to keep their entire paychecks. Freedom to retire early. The list goes on.

Now back to the purpose of this article. If you are one of millions of public workers with high or unmanageable student loans, consider qualifying for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). This can be done directly with Fed Loan (the DOE's program facilitator), or with the assistance of a professional loan advisor. It could be benefical to work with an experienced third party, in order to successfully complete the program, due to challenges with the application process.

Student Loan Advocates, based in South Florida, has 10 years experience assisting borrowers to qualify for PSLF, and has an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau. Our office is always open to answer your questions, and provide favorable government payment options, free of charge. We also offer complete document preparation services and annual recertification assistance with the lowest processing fees in the industry. Please visit our website, 


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