The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was supposed to erase the remaining federal loan balance after 10 years for borrowers who devoted their careers to serving others.

But the rules turned out to be complicated and misleading. Since the first borrowers became eligible in 2017, the Department of Education has denied 99% of applications for forgiveness, leaving thousands of teachers, nurses, service members and other public servants saddled with anxiety and debt they expected to be forgiven.

State government officials and advocacy groups are getting involved to help borrowers navigate the program, and to hold the Department of Education accountable for making sure the program runs as it was intended.

Produced by Victoria Chamberlin


  • Brian Frosh Attorney General, Maryland; @BrianFrosh
  • Bonnie Latreille Director of Research and Advocacy, Student Borrower Protection Center
  • April Wilson Middle School Math Teacher, Fairfax County Schools

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