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Department of Education Issues Draft Rules to Help Federal Student Loan Borrowers

The U.S. Department of Education released on July 6 draft regulations intended to help student loan borrowers better manage their federal student loans.

Student loan borrowers have long been stifled by the loans they take out to pay for college, preventing them from planning for retirement, buying a home, starting a family and/or achieving other life milestones; in addition, excessive debt is one of the reasons given for why educators leave the profession. While temporary steps were taken to help these individuals during the pandemic, the underlying challenges remain. These regulations are intended to build off the pandemic-relate efforts and create a “more equitable student loan system.”

AACTE was particularly pleased to see the provisions related to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF), which will allow more payments to qualify for PSLF and ensure the rules work better for non-tenured instructors whose colleges need to calculate their full-time employment. If these provisions are implemented, as anticipated, additional borrowers will see their loans completely forgiven after 120 qualified payments. 

The proposed regulations will be published in the coming days and the public is invited to comment on the proposed regulations for 30 days. The Department aims to finalize these rules by November 1 of this year, meaning they will take effect no later than July 1, 2023. 

The Department anticipates issuing proposed regulations relating to Pell Grants for incarcerated individuals and income-driven repayment, among other issues, at a later date.