California Woman Receives $20,000 Refund Check in Quest for Student Loan Forgiveness

Sharee B.

A California woman received the surprise of a lifetime when she checked her bank account the other day. The Department of Education which oversees the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program has deposited a check for $20,000 as payback for an overpayment on her student loans.

The borrower, who holds several positions at a California University, including a Professor of British and American Literature, says that she received the money after making payments on her loans totaling more than $90,000 over the span of two decades.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which was designed to erase or forgive student loan debts of members who hold certain positions in the community, such as teachers, doctors, lawyers, or health care professionals. However, approval rates for the program in the past have been less than four percent and were riddled with confusion about who qualifies.

Tongston, says that her payment comes after making dozens of payments and never receiving news that she qualified for any relief. However, the Biden administration has recently overhauled the program to not only include those who were previously denied but relaxed guidelines as well.

Currently, borrowers can qualify if they meet certain requirements such as:

  • Holding public service positions
  • Making 10 years of on-time monthly payments
  • Being employed by a participating employer

Tongston, who migrated to the United States with her family from the Philippines as a child, has savings for the first time in her life, after paying on her debt for most of her adult life.

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