ALA encourages library workers to ascertain eligibility and apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness waiver before October 31

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/31/2022


Shawnda Hines

Assistant Director, Communications

Public Policy and Advocacy

PSLF Coalition webinar series begins February 2

WASHINGTON–The American Library Association (ALA) encourages library workers with federal student loans to review their eligibility under the U.S. Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Library workers in all contexts—school, public, academic and others—with federal student aid may be eligible for the waiver, known as the Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF).

“ALA is glad that the Education Department has taken steps to make real the promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness as intended when it was created in 2007,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “Library workers deliver for their communities, and their service should be recognized.

“We know many library workers struggle with the burden of student debt. I hope many ALA members in any library context will take advantage of this one-time opportunity, which could save them thousands of dollars.”

Under the existing PSLF program, federal student loan borrowers employed by government agencies, nonprofit organizations or other organizations that provide public library services or school library services, are eligible to have their federal student loan balance forgiven after making 10 years of qualifying loan payments. Many library workers meet the employer eligibility criteria for the program.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, which administers the PSLF program, 98 percent of applicants were rejected due to onerous rules and implementation of the PSLF. In April 2021, ALA called on the Education Department to improve the program. In October 2021, the Education Department announced changes to PSLF, including a limited waiver that applies retroactively.

During the TEPSLF period, which ends on October 31, 2022, past payments that would not otherwise count toward PSLF will be made eligible and borrowers who previously would not have qualified for PSLF may now qualify. Borrowers must submit necessary paperwork by Oct. 31, 2022, when TEPSLF ends. The waiver can apply to borrowers with any number of relevant payments, including those who have not yet made 10 years of payments. Applicants can use the Department of Education’s PSLF Help Tool to search for a qualifying employer, learn what actions must be taken to become eligible for PSLF or TEPSLF, and generate the necessary form(s).

To help borrowers learn about the special opportunity for loan forgiveness under the limited waiver, ALA is encouraging library workers to attend a series of free webinars with student loan experts hosted by the PSLF Coalition, of which ALA is a member. The first webinar will be held Wednesday, Feb. 2. Sessions will be recorded and posted online.