I remember a few years ago when my dad learned how to text, he continued to send group text messages in all caps. Things like “GOOD DAY. HOW IS EVERYBODY FEELING?” After a few months of this, my sister and I had to intervene. “Dad, why are you screaming all the time?” Https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2021/oct/26/its-not-a-fantasy-student-loans-are-being-wiped/ “Huh ? ” The poor guy didn’t even know that when you send an all-caps text the recipient only hears screaming.
Now that we’re on the same tag page, “HUGE STUDENT LOAN NEWS”.
If you know someone who has student loans or think you know someone who has student loans and who has worked or is currently working for the government or a non-profit organization, PLEASE READ THIS. In fact, grab your keys and your cup of coffee and drive to their house with your iPad from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Bring some chocolate.
As a backdrop, the Public Service Loan forgiveness program is a loan forgiveness program for those working full time for qualified employers (nonprofits, government entities, etc.). Public servants had (and still have) the option of consolidating their student loans into a direct loan, participating in an income-based repayment program, certifying their employment with the employer, and then making 120 qualifying payments. on time. Then, the remaining balance after 10 years is canceled, tax free.
Two years ago, the first requests for pardon came to the federal government. Thousands of people have been submitted by hopeful people who believe their breakup has happened, yet only 2% of them have gotten a loan forgiveness. Why? Most were on the wrong repayment program. Some did not have the right loans. Some misunderstood their employment certificate.
But many who have been disappointed with such technical glitches have received news this month that seems too good to be true. The government made an important announcement regarding student loans. According to the Federal Student Aid website, “Now, for a limited period of time, borrowers can receive credit for past payments made on loans that would not otherwise qualify for the PSLF. [Public Service Loan Forgiveness]. “
For example, if you were part of the federal Family Education Loans program that previously did not qualify for forgiveness, your payments of any kind on those loans over the past decade could suddenly count towards this new possibility of exemption. For people with the right loans but the wrong repayment program, such as a gradual student loan repayment, your past payments may be considered as part of this waiver.
Studentaid.gov is an official government student loan website and is the clearinghouse for information on this waiver. The official language of the site makes the waiver process theoretically straightforward. They broke down the steps that each group of affected borrowers will need to take, broken down by type of loan holder, loan forgiveness participation status, or those already enrolled in the program but who will benefit from additional payments recognized with the waiver. On the website, they announce an upcoming update to the help tool, which I would check frequently. But for those with Federal Home Education or Perkins loans, you already have work that you can get started on before the update – consolidate loans and certify past jobs.
THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Over the past three days, I’ve spoken to employees who might have entire student loan balances, some six-digit, VANISH immediately (theoretically) with this waiver option. They had worked for a nonprofit hospital or school district for 10 years or more. Imagine if that could be you, and your loans could soon be CANCELED. For many, this renunciation could bring them even closer to forgiveness.
For those who could benefit from this exemption, there is a catch, and it is the most serious.
YOU NEED TO CARE.
The waiver window will close in October 2022, likely leaving you out if you need to take steps to qualify and don’t. From what I see it could be a lot of Arkansans – a lot of hard working public servants who can’t pay their loans and need to be forgiven.
Let’s say you have $ 70,000 in student loans that you have paid off for over 10 years while working for a non-profit organization. In total you spend 2 hours surfing the Federal Student Aid website to learn the new lingo, details and requirements of Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the possibility of waiver, you lose 3 hours of your life on hold with your loan officer (s) and another 5 hours to complete certification forms for former employers. That’s 10 hours of work for a potential $ 70,000 forgiveness. This means that if you make less than $ 7,000 an hour with your current employer, it would fall under the WORTHY TIME category.
While it might not be you, I know why people don’t spend time on it, and I DON’T JUDGE THEM. They are beaten. Their student loans are so huge for their $ 65,000 nursing salary that it’s easier to ignore them than to face them. They are used to bad news and false hopes.
I could compare it to a disease that I have had since childhood, alopecia areata. People love to accompany me and point me to new studies that promise a cure from a distance if I stop eating wheat, sugar, dairy and meat or meditate on my hair follicles for 5 hours per day. Yeah, okay, how about wearing the wig and managing my lifestyle around the disease?
While I don’t promise everyone a cure, from what I can see, A LOT of people could see immediate relief or relief over the next few years.
Part of the reason this news didn’t make as much noise as it might have been thought is that student loans for the past 18 months have been in “covid forbearance,” where no payments or interest on the vast majority of federal loans were not due. or accumulate, respectively. Student loans have been dangerously out of sight and out of mind.
But in February, STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS WILL RESUME, and people will suddenly care. People could have payments of $ 200, $ 400, or $ 1,200 owed each month.
On Thursday I spoke to a woman who has $ 70,000 in loans that could go away with this waiver. Her husband is a teacher on Federal Student Family Education Loans who has never been eligible for the forgiveness program. They have been paying for over a decade.
With that waiver, all of a sudden, all of those one-off payments that they made would count. Our 30 minute video call was a mix of disbelief, unbridled glee, laughter, and then this statement: WE MUST TALK TO EVERYBODY.
I spoke to a nurse at Baptist Health who was successfully certifying the forgiveness of $ 200,000 in thick and thin loans (see emotional barriers above), but even she will benefit from the new waiver. Over the past decade, she and her husband have had several months missing payment by a few days, which the waiver now counts automatically. Every month is important to them. When payments resume in February, they will likely exceed $ 1,000 a month until their loans are canceled, according to his tally, in October 2022. All that crushing debt will be gone.
Another utility employee estimates that the waiver will advance by one year the forgiveness of her loans and those of her husband, a higher education employee, valued at more than $ 100,000.
In an interview with the nurse at Baptist Health, I asked her what advice she had for people to take care, take action, do their homework. She said, “No one cares about your business except you.”
It pays to take care of it. But how did she cross the emotional barrier of $ 200,000? For her, it was about looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past. An empowerment partner at work who also sought forgiveness was also helpful. They remember when it’s time to recertify their job and share any articles they can get their hands on on the rules.
The news of this waiver is still new and loan officers are still operating with great uncertainty as to how it will work. You might be inclined to wait, but my personal opinion is to take as much action as possible as soon as possible. Imagine trying to reach a loan department in January when all those payments are due in February for millions of Americans after 22 months?
Plan to set aside uninterrupted time during the work week to focus on this. Be patient. Identify an accountability partner at work by going through these steps as well. Most importantly, get your emotional house in order. Look towards your future, one that does not contain student loans. Let go of the past that could shame the way you took out the loans or the amount you took out. More of us, yes I said “we” have done this than you might think. Above all, I beg you to TAKE CARE.