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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS)

Student loan forbearance extension

Call MELS at (212) 815-1111 to make your appointment or email for assistance.


The DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services, MELS, has provided the following update on student loan debt forgiveness:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Temporary Waiver
On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education temporarily waived a number of the requirements borrowers who qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) must meet. The waiver period expires on Oct. 31, 2022. Appropriate steps must be taken prior to that date in order to take advantage of the benefits of the waiver.

Waiver of the Qualifying Repayment Plan Options
Under the traditional rules, to qualify for PSLF a borrower working full-time in a qualified employment was required to make 120 payments toward their direct federal student loan debt pursuant to one of the four income driven repayment plan options: PAYE, RE-PAYE, Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment. The repayment plan requirement is temporarily waived. During the waiver period, payments made on any plan will count toward PSLF.

Borrowers with FFEL and Perkins Loans
Borrowers with FFEL and Perkins loans now have an improved pathway to PSLF. Under the traditional rules, only direct federal student loans qualified for PSLF. Borrowers with FFEL loans and Perkins loans had to consolidate into a direct consolidated federal loan in order to qualify for PSLF. Payments made prior to consolidation did not count toward PSLF. During the waiver period, borrowers must still consolidate. However, provided a borrower consolidates during the waiver period, payments made prior to consolidation, on any repayment plan, will count toward PSLF.

For information on the appropriate steps to take, affected members and their eligible family members are encouraged to call MELS at 212.815.1111 to speak with an attorney.