January 18, 2022

When Did Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Begin?


The PSLF program provides an avenue for students to pursue low-paying public service careers. They can enter into professions like teaching, and government while gaining loan forgiveness in the future. They will qualify as long as they fulfill the required payments without fail. Many believe that the PSLF has been here for decades, though it has undergone several changes to fit with the times.

When Did PSLF Start?

In 2007, the U.S. government passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. The CCRAA would pave the way for the creation of the PSLF program. In essence, those who work in public service jobs can get a chance to get out of federal student loan debt. Without this program, it would be difficult to eliminate it in less than ten years.

Even though it began in 2007, it didn’t have much of an impact until recently. Most borrowers had only begun completing their qualifying payments by late 2017. There are over 2,000 people that have gotten forgiveness, with an expectation of this trend to continue.

Recent Developments

It was difficult to make amendments to the PSLF program because of risk calculations. Despite that, President Obama was the first to forward a new proposal. In 2015, he wanted to cap the PSLF at $57,500 for all new borrowers. The action hoped to stem the high costs that the program was spending from the government budget.

The following year, the Republican budget proposed eliminating the program. The costs to maintain the program were more than the government anticipated. In 2018, President Trump wanted to push through its elimination. Some proposal variations sprung up in the coming months, but none ever made waves.

Instead, PSLF continued, and there were small adjustments made to the program. For example, in April 2021, the paperwork required was consolidated into a single form to make it easier for borrowers. The program also temporarily changed in October of 2021 to include a provision for a temporary waiver, which will last until October of 2022.

Since then, there have been no official proposals for changing PSLF. The government has been active in addressing student debt in other ways in recent years. President Biden opted to focus on it as a part of his platform.

The Future

While many are asking when public service loan forgiveness began, it’s best to look into its effects in the future. While things have been silent regarding PSLF, it’s likely to continue, and may evolve once again as times change. Or, given new leaders, there may be concerns that the program will be eliminated once again.

For now, things are looking well for the PSLF. Those under it may continue to expect loan forgiveness after completing the requirements.

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