Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Applauds Overhaul of Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Program changes will provide additional student debt-relief opportunities for public service workers

Washington | Dana Youngentob, DC Press Secretary (202-340-9148), October 7, 2021
Tags: Education

Washington, DC—Today, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) released the following statement after the Department of Education announced plans to restore the promise of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) through a time-limited waiver. This waiver will allow student borrowers to count payments from all federal loan programs or repayment plans toward forgiveness. The relief comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for front-line service workers.

“Higher education is one of the best investments that you can make in your future and your country’s future. However, higher education has never been more expensive” said Congressman Cuellar, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. “For this reason, I have continuously fought for spending bill provisions that help make the loan forgiveness program a more fair and reliable process for the millions of Americans who have chosen careers in public service. These programs are critical for low-income and disadvantaged students, and those students looking to serve their communities. I will continue to support initiatives that give students the resources to pay for college and help them land a good-paying job.”

More specifically, the plans to adjust the PSLF are below:

  • Simplify what it means to qualify for PSLF
  • Eliminate barriers for military service members to receive PSLF
  • Automatically help service members and other federal employees access PSLF
  • Review denied PSLF applications and identify and correct errors in PSLF processing
  • Improve outreach and communication with PSLF-eligible borrowers
  • Simplify the PSLF application process
  • Make long-term improvements to PSLF through rule-making

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is an important, but largely unmet, promise to provide debt relief to support the teachers, nurses, firefighters, and others serving their communities—jobs that are critical to our communities’ success. By cancelling loans after 10 years of public service, PSLF removes the burden of student debt on public servants, makes it possible for many borrowers to stay in their jobs, and entices others to work in high-need fields.