Richard Cordray, Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid, reviewed the status of broad student loan forgiveness during a U.S. Department of Education conference for college financial aid administrators.
Richard Cordray said that he will not say anything about broad student loan forgiveness, which he called general loan forgiveness, leaving any decisions to the White House.
He did discuss Federal Student Aid’s efforts regarding targeted loan forgiveness and the restart of repayment of federal student loans in February 2022.
Targeted loan forgiveness includes U.S. Department of Education efforts concerning automated disability discharge, borrower defense to repayment discharge, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver. The PSLF waiver allows payments made in the FFEL program and in any repayment plan to count toward PSLF, if the borrowers consolidate their loans and/or file a PSLF form through October 31, 2022.
Finally, Richard Cordray discussed the U.S. Department of Educations regarding the restart of repayment of federal student loans in February 2022. These include direct and indirect communications to borrowers, making it easier for borrowers to renew or sign up for auto-debit, and encouraging struggling borrowers to sign up for income-driven repayment.
This is a transcript of the relevant section of Richard Cordray’s remarks:
“Finally, let me address a topic that’s being widely discussed right now, which is student loan forgiveness. To be more precise for our purposes today, it’s really three different but related topics: general loan forgiveness, targeted loan forgiveness programs and the return to repayment.
On general loan forgiveness, many people seem to have a great deal to say, but as the chief of FSA, I do not. Instead, I will simply say it is a decision for the White House to make, not for me. And, whatever they decide, FSA will faithfully implement.
Targeted loan forgiveness programs are a different matter altogether. We are deeply involved in several areas here.
During the summer the Department announced that more than $5.8 billion of Total and Permanent Disability discharges would be granted to several hundred thousand borrowers through a data match with the Social Security Administration. We are working to make that happen.
The Department has also announced multiple rounds of borrower defense discharges for students who have been victimized by failed for-profit schools and we are executing on those discharges as well.
Recently, the Department announced dramatic changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. As you know, PSLF has been a hot topic in recent years and has been a source of frustration for many borrowers.
Under a program expansion that the Secretary recently announced, PSLF will reach a broader audience of qualified borrowers, most notably Federal Family Education Loan or FFEL program borrowers who had not previously received any credit for years of payments made on those loans. The goal here is to deliver on the core promise of full loan forgiveness to public servants, servicemembers, teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters and others who have chosen to put their communities before themselves.
A program that so far had delivered relief only to a few thousand recipients, now will expand to reach many more, including hundreds of thousands of borrowers who are seeing their payment counts move forward to the magic ten-year mark to discharge their loans. As you might surmise, FSA is hard at work to carry all this out.
With all these opportunities for student loan relief, I ask for your help in spreading the word. Visit studentaid.gov/announcements for the latest news. Amplify it within your circles and raise any questions or concerns with us so we can address…