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A waiver that temporarily expands eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program ended Monday, but the federal government released final regulations to expand and improve targeted debt relief programs. 

The Biden administration is making some permanent changes to the program, slated to go into effect on July 1, 2023. These moves are separate from Biden's one-time student loan forgiveness plan, which will cancel up to $20,000 in student loans for low- and middle-income borrowers.

“These transformational changes will protect students who’ve been cheated by their colleges from the bureaucratic nightmares of the past and ensure that all our targeted debt relief programs live up to the promises made by Congress in the Higher Education Act. We’re also protecting borrowers from higher costs by limiting the practice of tacking unpaid student loan interest onto their principal balances," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a press release. 

The PSLF program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments which take at least 10 years. The amount of student debt relief is not capped.

The PSLF program was created by Congress in 2007 and Borrowers must be employed full-time by a qualifying nonprofit or the government while making payments to benefit from the program.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the new regulations expand eligibility, remove barriers to relief, and encourage automatic discharges for borrowers who are eligible for loan relief because their school closed, they have a total and permanent disability, or their loan was falsely certified. 

The rules also “establish a fairer process” for borrowers to raise a defense to repayment, while preserving borrowers’ day in court by preventing institutions of higher education from forcing students to sign away their legal rights using mandatory arbitration agreements and class action waivers.

Federal authorities said the rules also help borrowers avoid spiraling student loan balances by eliminating all instances of interest capitalization not required by statute, which occurs when unpaid interest is added to a borrower’s principal balance, increasing the total amount that borrowers may have to pay.

“Borrowers entitled to debt relief under the Higher Education Act should be able to get it without wading through red tape and confusing tricks and traps,” said Under Secretary James Kvaal. “The regulations announced today will streamline a needlessly complicated system and give borrowers a simpler and more often automatic path to the discharges they deserve. They also stop shady schools from forcing students to sign their rights away as part of the price for admission and give the Department critical tools for holding colleges that take advantage of borrowers accountable.”

For more information about the PSLF program or the new regulations, visit

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