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Key Loan Forgiveness Program Change May Help Church Workers with Student Debt

Education department expands eligibility after 2017 Trinity Lutheran decision—but acceptance is still no certainty.

Last Reviewed: August 11, 2021
Key Loan Forgiveness Program Change May Help Church Workers with Student Debt
Image: zimmytws | Getty

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clarify the precise eligibility requirements of individuals for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program prior to the rule change that took effect on July 1, 2021.

For the first time ever, clergy and church workers engaged in religious education, worship, and proselytizing—and who have carried debt from federal Direct student loans for at least 10 years—are now eligible to seek forgiveness through the US Department of Education’s (DOE) Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

The change went into effect on July 1, 2021.

The program forgives a borrower’s remaining balance on subsidized and unsubsidized Direct loans after the borrower has “made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer,” according to the PSLF website.

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Posted:
  • August 2, 2021
  • Last Reviewed: August 11, 2021

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