November 6, 2023
Pressley Joins Campbell, Wu, Warren for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Clinic, Offer Guidance on Student Loan Resources and Programs
Amidst Ongoing Student Debt Crisis and Return to Repayment, Leaders Spotlight Time-Limited Debt Relief Opportunity for Government and Non-Profit Workers
BOSTON — Today, amidst the ongoing student debt crisis and the return to repayment for federal borrowers, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) joined Attorney General Andrea Campbell, Mayor Michelle Wu, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for a clinic to help federal student loan borrowers access a temporary opportunity to get closer to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). This temporary opportunity, called the Payment Count Adjustment, enables government and nonprofit workers to get credit toward forgiveness for past repayment periods that would not otherwise qualify. To benefit, some federal loan borrowers must consolidate their privately owned federal loans into the Direct Loan Program by Dec. 31, 2023.
Rep. Pressley, AG Campbell, Mayor Wu, and Sen. Warren, along with student loan borrowers receiving forgiveness through PSLF, emphasized the importance of the PSLF Program and the Payment Count Adjustment. The elected officials urged public sector and nonprofit employees to learn about PSLF and the steps they need to take to benefit from the upcoming Payment Count Adjustment. They also discussed available guidance and resources for borrowers.
“The student debt crisis demands an all-hands-on-deck response, at all levels of government,” said Rep. Pressley. “With student loan payments resuming, it’s essential that we connect borrowers to tangible resources as we continue the fight for broad-based student debt cancellation. The PSLF program is a profound opportunity for borrowers in the Massachusetts 7th and across the Commonwealth. I am grateful to Attorney General Campbell and Mayor Wu for hosting this clinic and leveraging their positions to stand in the gap and help relieve families of the burden of student debt.”
“We know the student debt crisis disproportionately impacts women, low-income borrowers and communities of color, acting as a driving force of the racial wealth gap,” said AG Campbell. “The Payment Count Adjustment is a game changer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and offers a strong and viable opportunity for many nonprofit and government workers to receive meaningful debt relief. Our office will continue to provide assistance to borrowers facing burdensome debt and the return to repayment.”
“Here in Boston, we are blessed to have tens of thousands of residents who continue to choose careers devoting their lives giving back to their communities in service,” said Mayor Wu. “It is challenging and essential work, and it’s work that all of us rely on to keep our city running and thriving. And that’s why we’re especially proud to be here today to take just a little bit of weight off the backs of these workers, who’ve devoted their careers to shouldering so much of the burden for the rest of us. If you work for the City of Boston or any entity in the public sector or in public service—many nonprofits also qualify—please learn more about this program right away, and if you are eligible, apply today.”
“Thanks to fixes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program by the Biden administration, thousands of government workers, servicemembers, nurses, and teachers are eligible for student debt relief,” said Sen. Warren. “I’m thankful to join Attorney General Campbell, Mayor Wu and Rep. Pressley for this powerfully important clinic to help student loan borrowers access relief they deserve.”
The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after borrowers have made ten years of payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working at least 30 hours per week for the government or most types of nonprofit employers. For a limited time, through the Payment Count Adjustment, borrowers can receive PSLF credit for past repayment periods that wouldn’t normally count toward forgiveness—including for payments made on privately owned federal loans, payments made under the wrong repayment plan, late or partial payments, and certain periods of forbearance and deferment.
Government and nonprofit workers who haven’t yet worked in public service for ten years can still get credit toward loan forgiveness through this time-limited opportunity. These borrowers can then continue earning credit toward forgiveness by enrolling in an Income-Driven Repayment plan, like the new, more affordable SAVE plan.
However, borrowers with non-Direct Loans must consolidate those loans into the Direct Loan Program by Dec. 31st to benefit from the Payment Count Adjustment. Borrowers with Direct Loans may also be able to maximize forgiveness by consolidating their more recent loans with their older loans by December 31.
More than 15,000 Massachusetts public service workers have already received over $1 billion in loan forgiveness through the Payment Count Adjustment and related programs.
Staff from the AG’s Student Loan Assistance Unit, which houses the state’s Student Loan Ombudsman, assisted dozens of public service workers during today’s in-person clinic, helping borrowers to identify their federal loan types, strategize on consolidation, certify their public service employment, and enroll in Income-Driven Repayment plans.
“My biggest frustration with student loans was the lack of information, reliable resources, and guidance. I thought I would be paying my student loans for the next 20 to 30 years – until I contacted the Attorney General’s Office,” said Nicole LeBlanc, a City of Springfield employee, who, after working with the AGO, had $70,000 of student loan debt forgiven. “The Office provided me with simple guidance and vital information through every step of the process, and because of the forgiveness they helped me get, I was finally able to achieve a life-long dream of buying my first own home.”
Federal loan borrowers who do not work in public service can also benefit from the Payment Count Adjustment, which will give borrowers credit toward forgiveness under Income-Driven Repayment plans for past repayment periods and certain forbearance and deferment periods dating back to July 1994. Income-Driven Repayment plans offer forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of payments. However, to benefit, borrowers with privately owned federal loans must consolidate into the Direct Loan Program by December 31. The AG’s Office is conducting a mailing in early November to nearly 40,000 Massachusetts borrowers who need to consolidate by the end of the year.
Borrowers may visit the AG’s student loan assistance webpage for a comprehensive list of guidance and resources on student loans, including step-by-step instructions on accessing the Payment Count Adjustment, PSLF and lowering monthly payments through Income-Driven Repayment plans, including the new, more affordable SAVE plan.
Rep. Pressley has been a leading voice in Congress urging President Biden to cancel student debt. Following years of advocacy by Rep. Pressley—in partnership with colleagues, borrowers, and advocates—the Biden-Harris Administration announced a historic plan to cancel student debt that stands to benefit over 40 million people.
In April 2021, Rep. Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined Governor Healey in Boston to call on President Biden to cancel student debt by executive action.
In May, Rep. Pressley delivered a powerful speech in support of President Biden’s plan to cancel student debt and issued a statement slamming Republicans’ harmful effort to overturn the President’s student debt relief measures, including his debt cancellation plan, the pause on student loan payments, and the expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Rep. Pressley also filed an amendment to H.R. 3746, legislation to raise the debt ceiling, to protect student loan borrowers and preserve the Biden Administration’s pause on federal student loan payments.
- On September 25, 2023, Rep. Pressley hosted a policy discussion with borrowers and advocates at which they renewed their urgent call for student debt cancellation with loan payments set to resume on October 1, 2023.
- On August 23, 2023, Rep. Pressley, Sen. Warren, and their colleagues led over 80 lawmakers in a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to swiftly deliver on his promise to deliver student debt cancellation to working and middle class families by early 2024.
- On August 22, 2023 Rep. Pressley applauded Governor Maura Healey’s plan to provide student debt relief for health care workers in Massachusetts.
- On June 30, 2023, Rep. Pressley responded to the President’s alternative proposal to deliver relief under the Higher Education Act and called for swift and efficient implementation.
- On June 30, 2023, Rep. Pressley issued a statement slamming the Supreme Court’s decision to block President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan and calling on the President to use other tools available to swiftly cancel student debt.
- On May 30, 2023, Rep. Pressley filed an amendment to H.R. 3746, legislation to raise the debt ceiling, to protect student loan borrowers and preserve the Biden Administration’s pause on federal student loan payments.
- On May 24, 2023, Rep. Pressley issued a statement slamming Republicans’ harmful effort to overturn President Biden’s student debt relief, including his debt cancellation plan, the pause on student loan payments, and the expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
- On May 24, 2023, Rep. Pressley delivered a powerful speech in support of President Biden’s plan to cancel student debt, which would benefit millions of people across the country.
- On April 5, 2023, Rep. Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote to the CEO of SoFi Technologies and SoFi Lending Corp calling on the company to answer for its lawsuits attempting to end the student loan payment pause and force borrowers back into repayment.
- On March 7, 2023, Rep. Pressley, along with Sens. Warren, Schumer, Sanders, Padilla and Reps. Clyburn, Omar and Wilson led a letter to the Biden Administration expressing continued support for President Biden’s student debt relief plan.
- On February 28, 2023, Rep. Pressley rallied with borrowers and advocates outside the Supreme Court to call on the Supreme Court to affirm the legality of President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan.
- On November 22, 2022, Rep. Pressley issued a statement applauding the extension of the student loan payment pause.
- On October 25, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Senator Warren toured communities across Massachusetts to celebrate the Biden administration’s student debt cancellation plan and help residents sign up for student loan relief.
- On October 12, 2022, Rep. Pressley joined parent borrowers and advocates for a discussion on the impacts of student debt cancellation on parents and families.
- On September 29, 2022, Rep. Pressley, along with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Reps. Omar, Jones and advocates, held a press conference to call for swift and equitable implementation of President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan.
- On September 21, 2022, Rep. Pressley delivered a powerful speech on the House floor in which she heralded President Biden’s action to cancel student debt for millions of families in the Massachusetts 7th and across the nation. Watch the full video here.
- On September 12, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Senator Warren wrote to the nine federal student loan servicers to inquire about how they are providing borrowers with accurate and timely information about student loan cancellation.
- On August 24, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley issued a statement applauding President Biden’s action to cancel student debt.
- On August 10, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Warren Massachusetts joined Massachusetts union leaders in Dorchester for a roundtable discussion on student debt cancellation.
- On July 18, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley delivered remarks at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) national convention and renewed her calls for President Biden to cancel student debt by executive action.
- On July 8, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley with The Debt Collective hosted a virtual roundtable with student debt holders from all walks of life to highlight the intersectional burden the nearly $2 trillion student debt crisis has had on individuals and families.
- On June 22, 2022, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, joined AFL-CIO and union leaders for a roundtable discussion on the importance of student debt cancellation for American workers.
- On May 20, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley applauded the Congressional Black Caucus’ (CBC) statement calling on President Biden to cancel student loan debt.
- On May 4, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley visited Bunker Hill Community College to celebrate the $1 million in federal community project funding she secured and continued her calls for President Biden to cancel student debt.
- On March 17, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley and Arisha Hatch, vice president and chief of campaigns at Color of Change, published an op-ed in Grio calling on President Biden to use his executive order authority to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower.
- On December 8, 2021, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a bicameral letter to President Joe Biden releasing new data about the adverse impact of restarting student loan payments and calling on him to act to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt.
- On December 2, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley delivered remarks on the House floor in which she reiterated her calls for President Biden to cancel $50,000 in federal student loan debt by executive action.
- On October 8, 2021, Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar and their House colleagues sent a letter to President Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging him to release the memo to determine the extent of the administration’s authority to broadly cancel student debt through administrative action.
- On July 29, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley issued a statement reaffirming President Biden’s authority – and the urgency – to cancel student loan debt.
- On June 23, 2021, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Congressman Joe Courtney led their colleagues on a bicameral letter to President Biden calling on him to extend the pause on federal student loan payments.
- On April 13, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley testified at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy hearing to examine the student loan debt crisis in our country.
- On April 1, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, held a press conference calling on President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis.
- On February 4, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley, along with several Democratic House and Senate leaders, led their colleagues in reintroducing a bicameral resolution outlining a bold plan for President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis.
- On December 17, 2020, Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Maxine Waters, and Alma Adams introduced a resolution outlining a bold plan for President-elect Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in Federal student loan debt for student loan borrowers.
- On December 10, 2020, Congresswoman Pressley was in Yahoo Finance urging the Biden administration to cancel student debt, stressing the impact on Black borrowers.
- On May 8, 2020, Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Alma Adams, and Ilhan Omar, led 28 of their colleagues and sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calling for the universal, one-time, student debt cancellation of at least $30,000 per borrower in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.
- On March 23, 2020, Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar introduced the Student Debt Emergency Relief Act, legislation that provides immediate monthly payment relief for federal student loan borrowers.
- On March 17, 2020, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren were on The Hill calling on congressional leadership to include student debt cancellation in the next coronavirus relief package.
- On October 11, 2019, Congresswoman Pressley introduced legislation – the Ending Debt Collection Harassment Act – to protect consumers from abusive debt collection.
- On July 17, 2019, Congresswomen Pressley introduced legislation – the Student Borrower Credit Improvement Act – to provide much needed support to private student loan borrowers with a pathway to financial stability by helping them improve their credit.