October 7, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

Public Service Loan Forgiveness . . . Maybe? covid-19: day 563 | US: GA | info | act

The Washington Post reports that the Department of Education has temporarily expanded the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to many who did not qualify before: “The federal agency will temporarily allow all payments borrowers made on federal student loans to count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, regardless of the loan program or payment plan.”[1]

This could be huge for me.

I have been paying off my student loans form graduate school for nearly twenty years—since 2003. I had borrowed about $35K originally, and I have already paid that principle and more. Yet, I still owe, as of today, exactly $30K. I know: it’s an existential pit of despair that I will likely never be rid of, even though what I pay each month is equal to leasing a nice car. Seriously, I have been paying about $4K a year since 2003—that’s $72K! 😭

When the Public Service Loan Forgiveness first came out, I remember investigating whether it would help me. I distinctly remember chatting with a dude from the Dept. of Education, and him saying that I would have my loans paid off anyway in ten years, so it wouldn’t do me much good to enroll. He was very wrong or just incorrect, and I regret not just doing it anyway. I would have been done in 2017. This was totally my fault; very boneheaded.

Not this time. I have already started the process of getting this done—the first step was consolidating my two loans into on “direct” loan. I’m not sure why this is so important, but whatever.

I’m not going to hold my breath, but if I could get this $30K wiped out (all of it interest anyway), it would change our lives for the better. Again, from the Post: “It estimates the move will bring more than 550,000 people closer to debt cancellation, including 22,000 who will be immediately eligible.”

One of those 22K could be me. We’ll see.


  1. Douglas-Gabriel, Danielle (October 6, 2021). "Biden administration temporarily expands student loan forgiveness program for public servants". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2021-10-06.