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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: October 12, 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. It was updated again on October 12, 2021, to report temporary changes made to the program to further expand borrower eligibility.

For the first time ever, clergy and church workers engaged in religious education, worship, and proselytizing—and who have carried debt from certain federal 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 ...

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Posted:
  • August 2, 2021
  • Last Reviewed: October 12, 2021

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