Reps. Costello and Boyle Launch Public Service Loan Forgiveness Caucus
Washington, D.C. – Reps. Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA) today announced the formation of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Caucus to focus congressional efforts on protecting the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Created in 2007 to encourage more Americans to pursue public service careers despite the financial burdens of their student debt, this program promises to forgive the remaining balance of federal Direct Loans owed by our teachers, firefighters, police officers and other full-time public service workers after they have faithfully paid on those loans for 10 years – 120 on-time payments – during public service employment.
“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,” said Rep. Costello. “We must fulfill the promise made to these student borrowers over the past decade. As the 10-year anniversary of the program approaches, I’m pleased to be a co-founding member of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Caucus to advocate on behalf of these public servants.”
Announcing the launch of the caucus, Rep. Boyle said, “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. The PSLF Caucus will focus on making good on our collective promise to public servants who have served their communities for years, often for low pay in positions that may have otherwise not been financially manageable, with the understanding that the 10-year-old Public Service Loan Forgiveness program would eventually help them lighten their burden of student debt. Current threats to end or limit the program are shortsighted, to say the least. PSLF is an incentive to our students, and an investment in our future.”
The PSLF Caucus is broadly supported by a coalition of more than fifty organizations led by the National Education Association (NEA). Marc Egan, NEA Director of Government Relations, commended the caucus. “NEA members—from future teachers to retirees—have been sounding the alarm on student debt. Many of our members are struggling with more than $50,000, and sometimes much more, in student loan debt. Their debt is bigger than their annual salaries, and their monthly loan payments often are bigger than their home and car loans. We commend Congressmen Boyle and Costello for stepping up and forming a caucus to tackle the college debt issue and to fight to protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.”
The PSLF Caucus will also foster member discussion and legislative ideas focused on encouraging young people in college today to pursue careers in public service, such as teachers, firefighters, prosecutors and public defenders, and public health nurses. Under PSLF, an individual’s outstanding federal student debt is forgiven after 120 on-time, qualifying monthly payments — 10 years’ worth of payments. More than half a million people have enrolled over the last decade. President Trump’s budget proposed ending the program.