Thousands of teachers, social workers, first responders, nurses, doctors and other government and nonprofit workers could have their federal student debt forgiven starting in October.
But the road to debt forgiveness is not a cakewalk. Many of these borrowers have complained to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that their loan servicers have given them incorrect information about public-service loan forgiveness and made errors with their loans that disqualify them for the program.
Here's how the public-service loan forgiveness works: If you take out a federal student loan, you have your loans forgiven after making 10 years of on-time payments and by working for an employer the Department of Education deems to be serving the public good. Qualified employers include local, state and federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations. (Private lenders don't offer this option.)
Since 2012, borrowers could certify with the Education Department that their employment would qualify them for public-service loan forgiveness. The number of borrowers who have been approved has grown rapidly, to 552,931 as of the end of last year. (See chart below.)