Today I’m talking a bit about Public Service Loan Forgiveness. I know. Yuck, yawn, right? But this topic is so important, because it impacts so many of us.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness – the bane of existence for hundreds of thousands of helping professionals – is a program I LOVE to talk about…if only to pummel it into the ground with my own vitriol.
While a very small number of folks have had success with PSLF, this program is not a guarantee. How do I know this? Well, two reasons:
ONE: The numbers aren’t good. Here’s what this ends up looking like in real life – according to the PSLF numbers from June of this year, there were191,154 PSLF applications processed for the month. Of those, 4,012 were deemed eligible by the server. 187,142 were deemed ineligible. That’s about a 2% rate of eligibility, y’all. I’m not into those odds. (Check the data here).
When I was on the program, my loan balance jumped from $101,000 at the start of making payments, to $121,000 when I decided to leave the program (over a period of about two years). This was due entirely to interest capitalization and issues with the type of repayment plans I had (they changed numerous times). I often think now about what might have transpired had I waited it out longer and ultimately been unable to stay on the program, or worked the program all the way through only to discover my loans would not be forgiven. My balance had the potential to get much, much higher. Like, life-ruining higher. I know this happens to some people, and I cannot imagine the daily stress and fear they must endure.
Speaking of when I was on the program…
TWO: I was on the program and it didn’t work for me. This is truly why I get so up in arms about PSLF. For two incredibly strenuous years, I fought with my loan distributor tirelessly over payments that were processed incorrectly, mistakes made around which repayment plan I was using, and interest that materialized out of nowhere. I called to make sure that every payment went through because I had so little faith in the program. This took hours of my life and an unknown quantity of my emotional energy, and I’m resentful at having spent both at the hands of PSLF.
While PSLF feels like the only option available when your loan balance is high, I promise you that there’s another way. For me, the only way out was through, and I’m walking other helpers through the steps I took to get out of debt in my Help Yourself month-long intensive program, which you can get details about here. Please feel free to email me with questions – I answer every email I receive! Until next week…
Take Good Care,