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July 01, 2015

ABA seeks to preserve Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The ABA is urging Congress to preserve the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), established in 2007 to forgive federal student loans for individuals who work in a wide range of public service jobs, including jobs in government and nonprofit charitable organizations.

The program provides forgiveness of remaining debt after 10 year of eligible employment and qualifying loan payments, and the first group of public service workers will be eligible for forgiveness in 2017. Those eligible for PSLF include prosecutors, public defenders and legal aid lawyers.

Recent proposals, including the president’s fiscal year 2016 budget, would cap the maximum benefit under PSLF at $57,500, and the congressional budget resolution for fiscal year 2016 calls for PSLF’s repeal. Such changes would directly impact the legal community, where the greatest common obstacle in recruiting and retaining lawyers for public-sector positions has been the substantial student debt that borrowers incur to pursue a law degree. The average student debt accumulated by law students, including debt from undergraduate studies, is over $100,000.

The ABA is opposed to any efforts to make sweeping changes or otherwise undermine PSLF and is urging individuals to write to their members of Congress to express their support for the program. Click here for more detailed information about PSLF and what you can do to help preserve this valuable program.

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