If you have a job in public service and you’re saddled with student loans – and have previously been denied loan forgiveness – a new program from the Department of Education may be your last resort.
Last week, the DOE allocated $350 million in additional student loan forgiveness through a new program, Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or TEPSLF.
The money is being allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. A week after the program launched, Yahoo Finance reached out to the U.S. Department of Education to find out whether they have been receiving a flood of applications. A spokesman told Yahoo Finance that because the program just started, data wasn’t available yet. The department also noted the lengthy process of reconsidering a borrower’s eligibility for loan forgiveness as it involved verifying 10 years of a borrower’s employment and payment histories.
The aim of the $350 million pool is to help borrowers who had been initially rejected from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives student loan debt after 10 years for people working in the public sector, in jobs like teaching, government, and some non-profit work, for example.
To qualify for the new program, applicants must meet a strict set of criteria, according to the DOE:
- Only those who had been previously rejected because they enrolled in an incorrect payment plan are eligible to apply for the TEPSLF program. If you qualify for the funds, any ineligible payments will now be counted toward your loan forgiveness term.
- Applicants must have direct student loans like Stafford loans.
- Applicants must have worked at least 10 years in the public sector in a full-time position by a qualified employer approved by FedLoan Servicing.
- At least 120 payments made on their current loan while working full time for a qualified employer.
If you’ve made it this far and still believe you qualify for a slice of the pie, reach out immediately to FedLoan by sending an email to TEPSLF@myfedloan.org, and request your situation be reconsidered. Follow this template from StudentAid.ed.gov and send it ASAP.
Once the funds are gone, the program will end. Considering the average college graduate leaves school with a whopping $39,400 in debt, every little bit helps.
And if you’re burdened by debt – credit card debt, student loan debt, personal debt – we want to hear from you. Throughout the month of June, we’ll randomly select winners and award $100 and $500 Amex/Visa Gift Cards to help eliminate your debt and conquer your finances. Visit bitly.com/yfsweepstakes to learn more and enter. Winners will be announced every Friday.