Mike Davies
November 2016

Will Public Service Loan Forgiveness Come to an End?

“I think we should be very concerned—at least those of us who care about public service loan forgiveness and the federal student loan lending system, and perhaps even the Department of Education,” said Isaac Bowers, director of law school engagement and advocacy at Equal Justice Works.

The election is over. A new president will take office in January. There is a lot going in the world surrounding this election outcome but what’s most troubling is the unknown. The National Student Loan Debt is up over $1.4 trillion now. There isn’t yet a plan in place to attack that problem. Over 43 million Americans hold this debt and are worried about their future status.

Recently, attorneys have been concerned with what this will mean for their student loan debts. Some of which work in the public sector and qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a program set in place to get loan forgiveness after just 10 years of qualified payments. “I think we should be very concerned—at least those of us who care about public service loan forgiveness and the federal student loan lending system, and perhaps even the Department of Education,” said Isaac Bowers, director of law school engagement and advocacy at Equal Justice Works, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that promotes public interest law careers.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program doesn’t just affect lawyers, the jobs that qualify are very widespread. But why are the lawyers worried specifically? Students who have attended private law school can expect to rack up massive debt. In 2014 the average was $127,000. Civil legal services attorneys can expect just $45,000 annually starting off. New public defenders only see $50,000 a year.

Heather Jarvis, a student loan consultant, said that having a Republican-controlled White House and Congress increases the likelihood of significant higher education-related legislation passing. She indicated that some Republicans have been hostile toward the existing federal loan forgiveness programs, “I haven’t heard anything from the Trump campaign that is specifically, ‘Let’s do away with forgiveness,’ ” she said. “But there are plenty of Republicans who have such thoughts. So, who knows.”

Some of Trump’s campaign surrogates have indicated that he is not in favor of supporting loan forgiveness. This is a common position for Republicans to take. However, Trump seems to be cut from his own cloth and there is no telling what he will actually do when the time comes.

With a crisis of $1.4 trillion, it’s easy for those borrowers to get worked up. The unknown is scary. Ameritech Financial is an industry leader in student loans. With their team of experts, they are able to give clients a financial analysis and help them get into the correct plans that they qualify for. Ameritech Financial works with many lawyers and is well versed in Public Service Loan Forgiveness.


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Mike Davies

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