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Foster Introduces Bipartisan Public Service Loan Forgiveness Legislation

Oct 15, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced H.R. 4645, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Inclusion Act, to assist those who forgo potentially lucrative careers to serve the public good. The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Lee (D-CA), Jackson Lee (D-TX), Maloney (D-NY), Schakowsky (D-IL), and Thompson (D-MS).

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was established in 2007 and requires the Department of Education to forgive federal student loans after borrowers make at least 10 years of qualifying payments while working for certain public service employers. Currently, 99 percent of public servants who have applied for loan forgiveness have been denied. Millions of borrowers who enrolled in the PSLF program were told after they had already made payments that they had the wrong type of loan or repayment plan and would not qualify for forgiveness under the program. This bill would expand the types of plans that would qualify for loan forgiveness.

“Student debt is a serious economic burden for too many Americans,” said Congressman Foster.  It’s clear that the current student loan repayment process is unnecessarily burdensome and is deterring people from pursuing careers in public service. We need to do what we can to change this, that’s why I’ve introduced this legislation to expand access to public service loan forgiveness.”

“For many, student loans have become a hardship in their everyday lives. This can be especially true for those who choose a career in public service, which can often see lower salaries compared to the private sector,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “We need to encourage and assist those who want to serve the public good, remove barriers to entry, and help ease the burden on these public servants.”

The bill is supported by American Council on Education (ACE), American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers, the Council on Social Work Education, Equal Justice Works, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and Young Invincibles.

A copy of the bill is available here.