Student loan forgiveness for some NJ residents: Are you eligible?
Gov. Phil Murphy and federal Department of Education leaders paid a visit to the College of New Jersey on Monday to highlight efforts to improve access to student loan forgiveness for public employees.
During a roundtable discussion at the College, Murphy, along with U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal and Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Rich Cordray discussed recent changes in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Last fall federal officials announced a limited PSLF waiver opportunity that temporarily waives certain program rules to make it easier to qualify for student loan forgiveness, but the governor said many people are not aware of this.
He noted the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program has been in the past “gummed up."
"We haven’t done in New Jersey what we need to do to amplify (the changes) and at the same time I’m optimistic," he said. "I think there’s a lot of headroom in this program."
Murphy said to get more information you can visit studentaid.gov by October 31.
"It gives you 15 years of look-back that can be transformational in a lot of the lives of folks who have put a lot of debt on their books," he said.
A pathway to college
He said student loan forgiveness is one of many ways to make attending college more attainable.
“We’ve done a lot in New Jersey on college affordability, whether it’s the community college opportunity grant, the Garden State Guarantee, more TAG money, more EOF money, all of it is means-tested so it is focused especially on middle-class families,” he said.
Murphy pointed out that many people these days are forced to take on huge amounts of debt in order to attend school, more than he did back in the day.
“I’m one of those guys, I went to graduate school, so I had a couple of years holiday, and then $38.64 as I recall, a check, each month, 120 times,” he said.
U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal said employees of federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organizations may be eligible for PSLF. The program forgives the remaining balance on certain federal student loans after borrowers have made 120 qualifying monthly payments and meet other specific criteria.
In the coming weeks, President Biden could announce an expanded student loan forgiveness plan, but officials would comment on what the president may or may not do.