U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello tackles student debt of those in public service
U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello is teaming up with a Philadelphia Democrat to address the high student loan debt carried by police officers, firefighters and teachers.
A Chester County Republican who represents part of Berks County, Costello and Democratic U.S. Rep. Brendan F. Boyle have formed the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Caucus. They are looking to protect a federal program to help alleviate the student debt for those choosing to work in public service.
Under the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, cops, teachers and others in public service who have made student loan payments for 10 years can have their remaining debt wiped out. The program is approaching its 10th anniversary.
"Many teachers, first responders and public health specialists are working hard to make a difference in their local communities while relying on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program," Costello said in a statement. "We must fulfill the promise made to these student borrowers over the past decade."
Boyle said in a statement that lawmakers must ensure the survival of the program.
"We must do more to help folks drowning in student loan debt, and to prevent the burdens of student loan debt from making one's desire to serve his or her community unattainable," Boyle said.
The National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union, supports the program and the formation of the caucus.
"Many of our members are struggling with more than $50,000, and sometimes much more, in student loan debt," Marc Egan, the NEA's director of government relations, said in a statement. "Their debt is bigger than their annual salaries, and their monthly loan payments often are bigger than their home and car loans."