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EXCLUSIVE: Department Of Education Senior Advisor Ashley Harrington Spills The REAL Tea On Student Loan Forgiveness & Public Service Loan Forgiveness

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You’ve heard about Joe Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and you likely still have tons of questions - like “Will my Sallie Mae loan be forgiven?!” Well, we've got you! TheYBF’s Founder & CEO Natasha Eubanks chopped it up with Ashley Harrington, Senior Advisor to the Chief Operating Officer in the Office of Federal Student Aid at the Department of Education, to get the real tea so we can get our coins! Catch our exclusive inside…

There’s a lot of drama surrounding Joe Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, so we had to reach out to the source to get all of our questions (and yours) answered, so we can all benefit financially.

The YBF’s founder and CEO, Natasha Eubanks, sat down with Ashley Harrington, Senior Advisor to the Chief Operating Officer in the Office of Federal Student Aid at the Department of Education, to get the FACTUAL scoop on how these programs will actually impact us - the good, the bad AND the ugly.

There are actually several loan forgiveness programs, but the two major ones are Student Loan Forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

”This is a once in a generation life changing policy that will directly impact millions of people and millions of people that look like us,” Ashley dished.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was created by Congress in 2007 to forgive loans for people who work in public service after 10 years of repayment. However, it was for qualifying loans, so there was confusion about who qualified and who the program would help. Tons of people have been rejected over the years. When Biden got into the White House, his administration prioritized student loan forgiveness from Day 1.

If you work in government (federal, state, local or tribal), in the military, or for a non-profit, you likely work for a qualifying employer and you should apply for PSLF before October 31st so you can take advantage of these additional credits. And get this - there’s no cap on the amount forgiven!

”It’s a huge deal. The average borrower is getting $50k-$60k forgiven. I have seen stories of borrowers getting $300K, $150K forgiven. It’s a very real thing for people to be struggling in debt in public service for a while. So, this program was really targeted so people can get in public service and stay in public service. A lot of folks have to take out a lot of debt to do that. I’m one of them. I’m waiting. Working towards my PSLF. It’s not about your income, how much debt you have. It’s about your service,” she explained.

You should apply to get into the program despite the status of your loan. The deadline to apply is October 31st.

Once students loans are forgiven, it’ll give borrowers the ability to feel like they can actually save money for their future.

”Just the ability to actually feel like you’re in the middle class and that the middle class is obtainable because half the time it doesn’t feel like that. A lot of Black folk have middle class income, but don’t have middle class lifestyles because of student loans. It’s the ability to really think beyond this debt,” Ashley said.

The ability to get out from under student loans will change people’s lives.

There’s tons of controversy around Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan. The plan will cancel out $10,000 of federal student loans for Americans earning under $125,000 or $250,000 for married couples. The Biden-Harris Administration is also providing up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education.

So, what’s the real issue?

”The real issue is that we have 44 million people, 1 in 7 adults, with students loan,” Ashley said. “Over 90% of that is from the federal government, so this is a federal problem. We created the student loan crisis. All of what we’re doing is fixing a broken system that doesn’t work. Whenever a system doesn’t work, it disproportionately doesn’t work for Black and Brown people. Black women have to take on more debt than anyone else. We know that. It’s a system that doesn’t work fundamentally doesn’t work and it’s a system we fundamentally can change,” she explained.

Why does this program statically and practically help Black women the most? Ashley said we have a legacy and history of discrimination in this country with Black people being shut out of opportunities to obtain and sustain wealth.

”We have the racial wealth gap. We’ve got the racial income gap and pay gap and that’s exacerbated by gender. We know that Black women are disproportionately burdened by all of this,” she said.

A lot of people have student loans who didn’t finish and guess what - you can still apply!

”There’s a lot of people who never finished, so they got the debt and no degree,” she said.

Tragic.

So, what about parents who received Parent Plus Loans to help their children get through college?

”Absolutely [it’s open] to Parent Plus borrowers,” Ashley confirmed.

What about Sallie Mae loan borrowers? Tons of borrowers received federal student loans from the company that eventually sold their loans to Navient. Navient is a private loan lender, and now the loans are technically classified as private loans.

”Yes, Sallie Mae did sell all of their portfolio to Navient, but they are still federal loans, which means you can still consolidate into the direct loan program,” Ashley said.

If you’re trying to get the PSLF, you need to consolidate before 10/31. For one-time debt relief, you needed to consolidate before September 29th.

Tons of gems were dropped. Be sure to watch the entire interview below to be sure you didn’t miss anything:

 

 

Below are the websites you can visit to get more information on Student Loan Forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness:

One Time Debt Relief

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

 

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