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on July 25, 2018 Library Education Webinars

Webinar: Public Service Loan Forgiveness

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Student loan debt levels are at record highs, estimated at nearly $1.5 trillion, and over 44 million Americans impacted by student loans.  Chances are high that staff within your organizations are suffering in silence with educational debt.  Student loan debt is now impacting multiple generations within the workplace.  Employers can help change the story for their staff, while attracting new talent and retaining quality staff.   

Learn about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program offered by the U.S. Department of Education, a free tool available that allows for student loan forgiveness after 10 years of work in qualifying areas of public service. Help staff enrollment for student loan forgiveness to aid in paying off educational debt faster!

 

Originally presented Wednesday July 25 at 12:00 pm Mountain

Here are the slides and handouts to the presentation: Download Files

Unanswered Q&A

Q: What is a "qualifying" payment?
A: Separate monthly payments that total the amount due made on time after Oct 1, 2007 on one of the qualifying payment plans.  See also the PSLF ECF form top for page 3 for definition. 

Q: Will we be emailed a link to this presentation? I'd like to share it with other people in my library.
A: Yes, you should be receiving links to the archived webinar as well as supplemental handouts from Niche Academy.

Q: Will we be emailed a link to this presentation? I'd like to share it with other people in my library.
A: Yes, you should be receiving links to the archived webinar as well as supplemental handouts from Niche Academy.

Q: I am paying on one child, and will have 2 more soon. Do they consider each loan separately, or do they lump them together?
A: Each loan will be considered separate loans unless you explore consolidation options with Direct Loans.

Q: What was the website to email about the temporary expanded public service loan forgiveness?
A: Please see slide 23 for the link to the information page on TEPSLF for Federal Student Aid's website. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/temporary-expanded-public-service-loan-forgiveness#how-request

Q: If my loan is through nelnet and on standard repayment would i qualify for PSLF
A: A standard repayment plan does not qualify for PSLF.  If you are on a standard repayment plan you will pay off your loans in 10 years, as there will be no balance to forgive. 

Q: Has anything been done about doing away with the capitalization of Student loans? on a $28,000. loan, I have repaid $75,000.  and they claim that I still owe $35,000.
A: The only thing I know for sure is that the tax deduction for interest paid on student loans is no longer available.  However there are several bills pending in Congress regarding student loans including focus on refinancing, recalculations, etc.  At just a quick cursory glance about 20 bills pending and I haven't read them all yet.  I have had to be selective so far about which Congress Bills I've read personally and analyzed.  It will depend upon what bills get passed into law.  If something passes, it will get reported on.  

Q: I tried to use some of the links on your slides.  They don't seem to work because Student Loan redid their web site and URLs changed.  You might want to double check links.
A: Please let me know which links didn't work and I will get you corrected links.  When I tested them in preparation for this presentation they were working.  Although Dept of Ed's sites including Federal Student Aid seem to change quite often without notice.  

Q: I've submitted my ECF for employment at my former public library, where I was employed for 5 years, and it keeps being denied because it's "not a qualifying institution" even though it is a public library.  Any advice?
A: I would suggest talking with someone in your HR Department to ask about this for them to research and verify they are a qualifying organization for PSLF.  I also would try to reach out to Dept of ED directly for an explanation, especially since if you look at page 3 of the PSLF ECF form under the Qualifying Employment Definitions page.  Hopefully between the two sources, it can get sorted out.  

Q: But volunteer firefighters would qualify?  They don't "work" for the emergency services?
A: Currently the person would likely have to be directly employed with the qualifying agency in order to be eligible to participate in PSLF.  A Senate Bill S 2207 has been intoduced, but has not been passed yet.  See this link for general info: https://www.nvfc.org/senate-bill-introduced-to-make-volunteers-eligible-for-federal-student-loan-forgiveness-program/   I would encourage them to talk with their HR Department to ask questions to verify what benefits they do currently qualify for.  

Q: Do they count payments if the payment under the IDR plan is $0 but you are not in forbearance and you are currently working for a qualifying employer?
A: Yes, if you are on an IDR and your payment is $0, it still counts as a qualifying payment for PSLF if you are working for a qualifying employer.

Q: Do the payments have to be consistent?
A: Unsure if I'm understanding the question, but here's how I'm going to answer…  The payments have to be made on-time on a monthly basis to count.  Since employment factors in, the payments that count may not necessarily be consecutive.  So if you worked for a qualifying employer from 2007-2010, had a period of time where you didn't work for a qualifying employer 2011-2012, and got another job working for a qualifying employer, only the payments made while working for qualifying employers would count toward the 120-qualifying payments would count toward PSLF.  

Q: Just a tip! It helps (especially if HR is the Library Director) for after filling it out, copy and keep a copy in employee file, and redo it each year. 
A: That's a great tip…  I regularly encourage people to scan important documents with the copier to create a PDF so that they have an electronic copy of their paperwork for their own files and records. 

Q: If we worked in a school library before we had our loans, can that go toward the loan forgiveness?
A: If I'm understanding your question, if you didn't have any student loans at all, not even from previous studies, weren't in school, etc. during that employment period, then it likely would not qualify for PSLF.  You would have had to have some educational loans for PSLF to apply towards.  The PSLF program wasn't created until 2007, so they are looking at all PSLF program requirements being met at Oct 2017 at the earliest.          

Q: Actually, I was working as a school librarian while I was receiving the loan, but had not gone into repayment, yet.
A: If you were in school, you likely were on an in-school deferment.  Loans typically go into repayment 6 months after graduation.  Your employment as a school librarian while in college should count toward PSLF as long as it occurred Oct 2007 or later.          

Q: Has anyone successfully discharged their debt through this program?  What are they reporting?
A: Yes, a few stories have been reported on in the news of people getting their loans discharged via PSLF.  One was reported in NY Times and another story posted on Reddit.com and actually showed their forgiveness letter from FedLoans.  I also know of a former work colleague that had a few thousand dollars forgiven from this program in 2018.  My work colleague said she had to submit paperwork several times before it was approved.  This seems to be consistent with my advice of persistence and patience when it comes to resubmitting paperwork.  

Kyra Hahn

Kyra Hahn is a librarian at Douglas County Libraries in Castle Rock, CO area. Originally from Los Angeles, California, a job transfer brought her to Denver, CO area in 1998. She began her work in libraries in 2004 and has worked for Douglas County Libraries ever since. She earned her MLIS degree from University in Denver in 2007. Her research on Public Service Loan Forgiveness began in 2016, she is a published writer and presenter on student loan related policy. Her mission is to increase participation within the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to help people reduce their student loan debt.