student debt

9 Million More People Are Eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness – Here’s Who Qualifies

Only 2 percent of those eligible for this program have gotten their loans forgiven. That means there’s 98 percent who may miss out.

Happy Mother hugs her son student in graduation gown and a square cap after the graduation ceremony

As President Biden considers widespread student loan forgiveness, the Department of Education is still working out bolstering other student loan forgiveness programs. Earlier this week, another round of loan forgiveness has been announced, and more than nine million people qualify. Here's what we know to find out if you’re one of them and how to obtain forgiveness.

Who qualifies for this round of student loan forgiveness?

According to Forbes, nine million public service workers who have federal student loans may be eligible for more student loan forgiveness. The eligibility for the cancelation comes through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF).

The program isn’t new, it was first developed by Congress in 2007 and it’s still active today. However, only 130,730 student loan borrowers have received student loan forgiveness under the federal program, which is less than two percent of those eligible for forgiveness through the program, Forbes points out.

In addition, less than 15 percent of those 9 million have filed paperwork to track their progress toward qualifying for student loan forgiveness.

How do you claim student loan forgiveness through the PSLF program?

The PSLF program was developed for those employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization where after 10 years of paying their government loans while working as a teacher, public defender, or other government workers, would see the balance of their loans forgiven.

Earlier, the Biden administration announced changes to the loan forgiveness program to help more borrowers qualify. The new changes come after a report that shows the large majority of service workers were denied during the approval process due to several hurdles including strict rules around those 120 qualified loan payments.

If you qualify, you should be aware of the waiver period.

The Student Borrower Protection Center recently released an interactive map that projects the number of eligible student loan borrowers on track to have their student debt canceled and those who have already received the loan forgiveness. You can check that map out here.

The center is launching a campaign to help the remaining 98 percent of people who qualify for the PSLF program to access their student loan forgiveness. New temporary rules were in place during the pandemic allowing more loan payments to qualify, including partial or late payments, but that’s ending soon.

The center notes that 7.6 million public service workers don’t have paperwork on file with the U.S. Department of Education and those people need to consolidate their loans and certify their employment before that waiver period ends on October 31, 2022.