Federal Student Loan Debt Cancellation Program As Part Of Extended Commitment To Public Service May Become Easier To Navigate, As Part Of Actions Outlined In President Joe Biden’s Signed Executive Order December 14.
The ordinance directs the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Education and the Director of the Bureau of Personnel Management to collaborate in streamlining the civil service loan forgiveness program.
Under this program, officials at federal, state, local and tribal levels can have their student loans canceled if they make consistent payments 120 times on these loans, while working in their public service.
This number of payments means that most Feds will only become eligible after 10 years of public service.
The ordinance doesn’t spell out how exactly these agency heads should streamline the program, but the process as it exists today often requires employees to regularly submit forms to confirm that they still work for a qualified employer. Otherwise, once the employee reaches the 120 payment threshold, they will need to submit additional documents for any covered employer they worked for but did not submit a form under.
According to the federal student aid site, those who don’t submit regular forms will likely have a longer processing time after they apply for a full pardon.
The decree also directs agencies to integrate customer service needs and improvements into their human capital management and performance reviews of senior officials, although it does not yet specify how this integration is to take place. .
The ordinance calls on agencies like the Social Security Administration to develop ways for applicants to submit their documents online, for example by removing in-person signature requirements.
Such changes could ultimately affect teleworking and agency remote work plans, as fewer essential services require in-person staff to accomplish.
For SSA in particular, this could have a noticeable impact on an agency that has recently been hesitant to expand telecommuting, due to customer expectations for quick in-person service.
Jessie Bur covers the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees.