By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK
What do you think about PSLF, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program? I haven’t heard much about it since it was established during George W. Bush’s time in office. I recently came across an op-ed column in my local newspaper here in Connecticut describing how it works.
The author was Tiffany Williams, who describes herself as an “idealist,” a woman from a working-class background who took out student loans to finance her $50,000 a year education at Columbia University’s graduate program in social work. That Williams is going into social work, rather seeking work in the corporate world, is why she thinks of herself as an idealist.
The problem Williams faced was paying off the loans. She found herself, while employed as a social worker, “living on credit cards and coupons and trying to cover rent and utilities for the 8-by-8-foot room” where she lived, just trying to “stay afloat.” Until, that is, she received an email from a friend, “a freshly minted idealist like me, with a link to a new federal program. It would forgive our remaining debt after we made 10 solid years of payments while employed in public service. It was available for future teachers, firefighters, librarians, or in our cases, social workers.”
Her friend was talking about PSLF, a program that she describes as one “that helps people like me who want to work at organizations that match our values — without forsaking our chance to buy homes, have kids, and plan for retirement.” … Continue Reading