Why Your Public Service Loan Forgiveness Application Was Rejected

February 8, 2020

I hear this story a lot. As a teacher or public service worker, you thought you’d get help on your student loan through forgiveness programs.

After you graduated, you made payments so you could qualify.

After payment 120, you filled out the Public Service Loan Forgiveness application.

Great! Your loan forgiveness is underway, right?

Wrong. Your application was rejected, and you’re not sure why.

Why do so few people achieve loan forgiveness?

In March of 2019, a shocking statistic came out.

The U.S. Department of Education student loan forgiveness program has only forgiven 1% of the borrowers who applied.

1%. You can find better odds in Vegas.

One of the reasons that number is so shocking is because the people applying are teachers. These are smart people! If they’re having trouble, you know something’s up.

Many of the rejections are fair, however. And it’s not because teachers can’t figure it out.

The loan forgiveness application is a complex document, and even the slightest error is cause for rejection. The qualifications, including employer type, full-time work schedule, and loan type, must be met with exactness.

Another common reason for rejection is not following the repayment plan.

Still, 1% feels like a meager number.

Common complaints about the loan forgiveness program

Since the Department of Education student loan forgiveness began, there have been several complaints.

A lot of the problem rests with student loan servicers.

Some teachers rightfully complained that they received misinformation to put on their applications, or that their agency or a third party source had miscalculated their data.

Other complaints reference the changing qualifications as given by the government. A federal judge ruled early in 2019 that some changes (unannounced even) to the repayment schedule were not lawful.

Speaking of lawsuits, right now, a lawsuit filed by The American Federation of Teachers (AFL) accuses the U.S. Department of Education of failing to process the PSLF applications correctly. This lawsuit brings to light some of the failings in the current system. It also accuses the government of failing to hold loan agencies accountable. But the thing it also does is empower borrowers to get the student loan forgiveness they worked hard for and deserve.

The lawsuit would also allow applicants to contest and rebut decisions made by the U.S. Department of Education. This will enable applicants to introduce evidence in favor of their case, resulting in a more fair process.

What should I do in the meantime?

Related: The Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (TEPSLF).

Regardless of the outcomes of this lawsuit, there’s one thing that can help get your loan forgiveness application approved: An attorney specializing in student loans.

The application is hard enough on its own, and let’s face it, as the numbers show, the system doesn’t seem to be working for you.

Student loan forgiveness is my only area of law. It’s my bread and butter.

I’ve helped teachers and public service workers see a light at the end of their loans.

You can see the light, too.

Contact me with a text or email, and let’s get started.

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