Betsy DeVos Wants to Make It More Difficult to Pay Back Your Student Loans

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The Trump administration will propose ending the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF), according to preliminary Education Department budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The program, which allows borrowers working in public service to have their federal student loans forgiven after 10 years of payments, has been a subject of concern for borrowers and advocates over the past several months amid signals that borrowers may not get the forgiveness they’ve been counting on.

Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which the administration’s budget would reportedly kill off, student borrowers can currently have their debts erased if they spend 10 years working for a government or nonprofit employer.

The program was created in 2007 in order to encourage more Americans to go into public service, but has become more controversial as some have criticized it as a back-door subsidy for expensive graduate degrees—the people who have signed up for so far tend to have high loan balances more typical of someone who went on to get a master’s or a J.D. rather than a mere bachelor’s.

In 2015, the Obama administration proposed capping the amount of debt that could be forgiven at the federal loan limit for undergraduates, or $57,500. But Trump and his education secretary Betsy DeVos would go a step further by eliminating it entirely. As the Post notes, it is unclear what that would mean for borrowers currently working their way toward forgiveness.

 

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