Public employees in New York now have it simpler to discharge their educational debt.
On Thursday, Gov. Hochul signed a bill into law that broadens student debt relief to more educators and school staff and streamlines the requirements for a federal loan forgiveness program that is about to expire.
“When you think about people crushed under the weight of student debt, you know, student debt doesn’t just defer your dreams,” Hochul said.
“It can derail your life if you get caught under this situation where you’re trying to be liberated from it,” Hochul added.
With the passage of the new law, more people will be able to take advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a federal initiative that rewards and encourages civic engagement by allowing nonprofit and government workers to have their federal student loans forgiven after 10 years or 120 payments.
The proposal specifies what constitutes full-time employment to include instructors and faculty who work 30 hours per week while streamlining some aspects of the application process.
New York is stepping up efforts to persuade qualified workers to apply for loan forgiveness before the end of the waiver period since applicants must do so before the federal program closes on October 31.
The governor’s office estimates that 2.7 million New Yorkers work for the government or charitable organizations.
While qualified public servants have received an average of $61,402 in debt relief since 2007, just 10,000 have had their debts forgiven as a result of the PSLF program.
Hochul also praised President Biden’s recent one-time cancellation of student loans, calling it a relief for people who had to borrow money to pay for education.