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PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:51 pm
by Earlskies
Initially I planned to maximize scholarships to a T14 and hopefully use PSLF following law school for all other loans. I'm 100% committed to public interest and I was hoping for a school with a national reach (hence T14).

Given the new political climate, should I abandon all hope of using PSLF?

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:17 pm
by cavalier1138
Keeping your eyes on the status of PSLF is a good idea. Don't be afraid to ask financial aid departments how their LRAP system will react to PSLF stopping. A lot of the top schools are prepared for that (and had LRAP before the program was instituted anyway). Once you get out of the T14, you may need to ask them specifically about whether they will have any LRAP support without PSLF in place.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:21 pm
by Tanicius
PSLF train-rider here.

Do not rely on it. You are insane to do so at this juncture.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:32 pm
by Earlskies
Tanicius wrote:PSLF train-rider here.

Do not rely on it. You are insane to do so at this juncture.

Would you mind elaborating? The reason I ask is I certainly don't intend on strapping myself with 300K and crossing my fingers for PSLF, but I'm wondering whether it's worth taking the risk if the debt at graduation is closer to 100K.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:58 pm
by cavalier1138
Earlskies wrote:
Tanicius wrote:PSLF train-rider here.

Do not rely on it. You are insane to do so at this juncture.

Would you mind elaborating? The reason I ask is I certainly don't intend on strapping myself with 300K and crossing my fingers for PSLF, but I'm wondering whether it's worth taking the risk if the debt at graduation is closer to 100K.


Depends on what you think your salary is going to be. Can you pay off 100k in loans on a 30-40k salary? Or will you be going into a higher-paying PD-type job?

But again, when talking about the T14, PSLF is not the whole story. You need to look at schools' LRAP programs, because those are provided by the schools, not the government.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:47 pm
by Tanicius
LRAP is irrelevant. On IBR, your payments per month are very tiny. I am expected to pay about $300 a month, which my LRAP picks up the tab for, but honestly if I had no LRAP I'd be totally find making those payments for 10 years of my career.

The problem is if PSLF gets eliminated, most T-14 LRAPs are not remotely equipped to help all the alums who needed their debt forgiven. My debt is INCREASING while I'm on IBR awaiting PSLF. When I graduated my debt was 225k. Within a year it was 240k. Within another year it's now grown to 260k.

It's going to keep picking up. By my projections my debt will be north of half a million dollars, if not 3/4 of a million, by the time PSLF is supposed to kick in and wipe it all away. If PSLF gets eliminated I will be screwed, full stop.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:14 am
by cavalier1138
Tanicius wrote:LRAP is irrelevant. On IBR, your payments per month are very tiny. I am expected to pay about $300 a month, which my LRAP picks up the tab for, but honestly if I had no LRAP I'd be totally find making those payments for 10 years of my career.

The problem is if PSLF gets eliminated, most T-14 LRAPs are not remotely equipped to help all the alums who needed their debt forgiven. My debt is INCREASING while I'm on IBR awaiting PSLF. When I graduated my debt was 225k. Within a year it was 240k. Within another year it's now grown to 260k.

It's going to keep picking up. By my projections my debt will be north of half a million dollars, if not 3/4 of a million, by the time PSLF is supposed to kick in and wipe it all away. If PSLF gets eliminated I will be screwed, full stop.


And this is why you need to talk with your financial aid office, because most T14 schools actually are equipped to go back to their old LRAP format (yes, the program existed before Obama took office). Many of them already have alternative programs for students who prefer them (Columbia) or who work in a PI position that doesn't qualify for PSLF (NYU).

More importantly, if you are already in the IBR program, the chances of that being taken away now are slim-to-none. If the program is ended, which is distinct possibility, it will be ended for future participants, not for people who have already entered into a payment plan designed around the PSLF system.

Yes, the election results are bad, but the wheels of government turn far too slowly and gradually for you to be worrying about this. Talk with your school's LRAP people. Find out what their contingency plans are.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:59 am
by Earlskies
Tanicius wrote:LRAP is irrelevant. On IBR, your payments per month are very tiny. I am expected to pay about $300 a month, which my LRAP picks up the tab for, but honestly if I had no LRAP I'd be totally find making those payments for 10 years of my career.

The problem is if PSLF gets eliminated, most T-14 LRAPs are not remotely equipped to help all the alums who needed their debt forgiven. My debt is INCREASING while I'm on IBR awaiting PSLF. When I graduated my debt was 225k. Within a year it was 240k. Within another year it's now grown to 260k.

It's going to keep picking up. By my projections my debt will be north of half a million dollars, if not 3/4 of a million, by the time PSLF is supposed to kick in and wipe it all away. If PSLF gets eliminated I will be screwed, full stop.

To be clear, is your suggestion to just avoid debt altogether?

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:19 am
by Earlskies
cavalier1138 wrote:
Tanicius wrote:LRAP is irrelevant. On IBR, your payments per month are very tiny. I am expected to pay about $300 a month, which my LRAP picks up the tab for, but honestly if I had no LRAP I'd be totally find making those payments for 10 years of my career.

The problem is if PSLF gets eliminated, most T-14 LRAPs are not remotely equipped to help all the alums who needed their debt forgiven. My debt is INCREASING while I'm on IBR awaiting PSLF. When I graduated my debt was 225k. Within a year it was 240k. Within another year it's now grown to 260k.

It's going to keep picking up. By my projections my debt will be north of half a million dollars, if not 3/4 of a million, by the time PSLF is supposed to kick in and wipe it all away. If PSLF gets eliminated I will be screwed, full stop.


And this is why you need to talk with your financial aid office, because most T14 schools actually are equipped to go back to their old LRAP format (yes, the program existed before Obama took office). Many of them already have alternative programs for students who prefer them (Columbia) or who work in a PI position that doesn't qualify for PSLF (NYU).

More importantly, if you are already in the IBR program, the chances of that being taken away now are slim-to-none. If the program is ended, which is distinct possibility, it will be ended for future participants, not for people who have already entered into a payment plan designed around the PSLF system.

Yes, the election results are bad, but the wheels of government turn far too slowly and gradually for you to be worrying about this. Talk with your school's LRAP people. Find out what their contingency plans are.

I will not be graduating and thus taking advantage of PSLF until 2020. My concern is that I might be one or two years into borrowing before PSLF is taken away. In which case I will be left with not only the accumulated debt under the presumption that PSLF is around at graduation, but also the obligation to continue borrowing without the protection of PSLF. I understand the promissory note contractually offers PSLF, but does that apply to the particular loan or the borrower? Stated another way - Does my signing a promissory note for a past loan assure me of PSLF for that loan or all future loans?

I'm currently enrolled in IBR for previous loans. I'm curious if anyone has insight how this will affect future loans. Will I be grandfathered in for all past and future loans? Or will I only have IBR for loans accumulated up until the date that IBR is (possibly) done away with?

I appreciate the patience and advice. I will most certainly be following up with financial aid offices with these questions - I just wanted to have an understanding myself before asking.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:58 am
by A. Nony Mouse
cavalier1138 wrote:
Tanicius wrote:LRAP is irrelevant. On IBR, your payments per month are very tiny. I am expected to pay about $300 a month, which my LRAP picks up the tab for, but honestly if I had no LRAP I'd be totally find making those payments for 10 years of my career.

The problem is if PSLF gets eliminated, most T-14 LRAPs are not remotely equipped to help all the alums who needed their debt forgiven. My debt is INCREASING while I'm on IBR awaiting PSLF. When I graduated my debt was 225k. Within a year it was 240k. Within another year it's now grown to 260k.

It's going to keep picking up. By my projections my debt will be north of half a million dollars, if not 3/4 of a million, by the time PSLF is supposed to kick in and wipe it all away. If PSLF gets eliminated I will be screwed, full stop.


And this is why you need to talk with your financial aid office, because most T14 schools actually are equipped to go back to their old LRAP format (yes, the program existed before Obama took office). Many of them already have alternative programs for students who prefer them (Columbia) or who work in a PI position that doesn't qualify for PSLF (NYU).

More importantly, if you are already in the IBR program, the chances of that being taken away now are slim-to-none. If the program is ended, which is distinct possibility, it will be ended for future participants, not for people who have already entered into a payment plan designed around the PSLF system.

Yes, the election results are bad, but the wheels of government turn far too slowly and gradually for you to be worrying about this. Talk with your school's LRAP people. Find out what their contingency plans are.

My only quibble with this is that it's a lot easier to get rid of (or cap) PSLF than the income-based plans. Tons of people are on the income-based plans. No one has yet had any debt forgiven under PSLF. And being on an income-based plan doesn't put you "on" PSLF - you have no right/entitlement to PSLF until the 120 payments are done and you apply for forgiveness (which no one has done yet.) Till then it's something you know exists and may be planning for but you're not on it or using it. (Even if you certify PSLF-eligible employment.)

Now, my debt is going up too and my only option really is to presume PSLF is going to stick around. And I'm not convinced it's a priority to attack at this point, and despite what I said above, I also think some of kind grandfathering would be likely. But I do think it's a different beast from the income-based plans.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:01 pm
by cavalier1138
Earlskies wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Tanicius wrote:LRAP is irrelevant. On IBR, your payments per month are very tiny. I am expected to pay about $300 a month, which my LRAP picks up the tab for, but honestly if I had no LRAP I'd be totally find making those payments for 10 years of my career.

The problem is if PSLF gets eliminated, most T-14 LRAPs are not remotely equipped to help all the alums who needed their debt forgiven. My debt is INCREASING while I'm on IBR awaiting PSLF. When I graduated my debt was 225k. Within a year it was 240k. Within another year it's now grown to 260k.

It's going to keep picking up. By my projections my debt will be north of half a million dollars, if not 3/4 of a million, by the time PSLF is supposed to kick in and wipe it all away. If PSLF gets eliminated I will be screwed, full stop.


And this is why you need to talk with your financial aid office, because most T14 schools actually are equipped to go back to their old LRAP format (yes, the program existed before Obama took office). Many of them already have alternative programs for students who prefer them (Columbia) or who work in a PI position that doesn't qualify for PSLF (NYU).

More importantly, if you are already in the IBR program, the chances of that being taken away now are slim-to-none. If the program is ended, which is distinct possibility, it will be ended for future participants, not for people who have already entered into a payment plan designed around the PSLF system.

Yes, the election results are bad, but the wheels of government turn far too slowly and gradually for you to be worrying about this. Talk with your school's LRAP people. Find out what their contingency plans are.

I will not be graduating and thus taking advantage of PSLF until 2020. My concern is that I might be one or two years into borrowing before PSLF is taken away. In which case I will be left with not only the accumulated debt under the presumption that PSLF is around at graduation, but also the obligation to continue borrowing without the protection of PSLF. I understand the promissory note contractually offers PSLF, but does that apply to the particular loan or the borrower? Stated another way - Does my signing a promissory note for a past loan assure me of PSLF for that loan or all future loans?

I'm currently enrolled in IBR for previous loans. I'm curious if anyone has insight how this will affect future loans. Will I be grandfathered in for all past and future loans? Or will I only have IBR for loans accumulated up until the date that IBR is (possibly) done away with?

I appreciate the patience and advice. I will most certainly be following up with financial aid offices with these questions - I just wanted to have an understanding myself before asking.


This is all speculation, but if PSLF is killed off, then everyone paying off their loans already will almost certainly still be in. There's also a strong chance that anyone who was admitted to school while the program was active will be eligible (probably with some stipulations). But worst-case scenario is that no one who isn't on the plan already gets grandfathered in. And as Nony mentioned, it's much more likely that if negative action is taken, it will be a cap on forgiveness, not a total elimination of the program.

Again, that's all hypothetical. But if the worst were to happen, you would not be able to rely on PSLF. Which is why you really need to look in to the specifics of LRAP programs at the schools you're applying to.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:17 pm
by Pomeranian
Republicans have control of the White House, Senate, and House... They could kill it easily if they wanted to.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:22 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
Again, cav, no one is "on" PSLF until they've completed their 10 years. You don't have to grandfather someone into a program they're not already on. I'm not going to panic about it going away until we get some concrete evidence about it (and proposals for the cap came from the Democrats anyway so I'm not even sure how parties play into this). But I'm not quite as sanguine as you.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:44 pm
by cavalier1138
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Again, cav, no one is "on" PSLF until they've completed their 10 years. You don't have to grandfather someone into a program they're not already on. I'm not going to panic about it going away until we get some concrete evidence about it (and proposals for the cap came from the Democrats anyway so I'm not even sure how parties play into this). But I'm not quite as sanguine as you.


Right, I'm just trying to avoid typing a bunch of qualifiers. I know no one's "in" the program, but when people are using IBR plans with the expectation of being eligible for PSLF, most schools' financial aid officers have said that it would be very difficult for the government to yank the rug out from under their feet. I haven't heard anyone who is really familiar with the topic even hint that people already on IBR and expecting to use PSLF are in danger of not being eligible for forgiveness, even if the program is gutted.

I'm certainly not sanguine about the possibility that the new regime will just destroy the program. But the OP is talking about what the reality looks like at T14 schools. And the reality there is that most of those schools have already stated that they would go back to their old programs.

Now, if the OP were talking about a lower-ranked school that only has LRAP because of PSLF... that's different.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:16 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
Yeah, I agree that the OP really needs to look into the LRAP situation and what schools' options are for non-PSLF LRAP.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:05 pm
by Tanicius
Until proven otherwise I definitely do not buy the argument that the federal government is bound by detrimental reliance or the promissory note. These kinds of things have never been challenged before. The federal government can institute retroactive taxes for Christ's sake. I have little confidence that if the populist wind blows against PSLF, it'll survive with even a grandfather provision.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:08 pm
by jlc058
Earlskies wrote:Initially I planned to maximize scholarships to a T14 and hopefully use PSLF following law school for all other loans. I'm 100% committed to public interest and I was hoping for a school with a national reach (hence T14).

Given the new political climate, should I abandon all hope of using PSLF?


I am in the same boat in terms of plans and am personally going to move forward as if PSLF will not exist by the time I graduate. I think the gov. was already going to be upset about the amount that needs to be forgiven this first year (why Obama wanted to propose a cap to the amount forgiven) so with Rep. president, senate and house I think it is almost certain it will not continue on for very long.

My plan is to find out from schools their current and potential LRAP plans (for if PSLF is discontinued) and make decisions to hopefully only borrow under what the school can cover. For example, Georgetown currently makes your payments for ten years and then PSLF would forgive what was left over. If Georgetown planned on continuing ten years of payments even if there would be no forgiveness afterwards I would only attend if I could keep my debt to an amount that would be manageable to pay off on my own after ten years of Georgetown's help.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:34 pm
by gmail2
2015 grad here also relying on PSLF to avoid squillions of dollars of debt. How certain are we that Trump couldn't eliminate PSLF for pre-Trump loans? I guess the worst case scenario under his plan is 5 extra years of IBR-capped payments and having to pay taxes whatever is forgiven at 15 years. That'd be deeply shitty but (hopefully) not financially catastrophic. Ugh.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:40 pm
by cavalier1138
gmail2 wrote:2015 grad here also relying on PSLF to avoid squillions of dollars of debt. How certain are we that Trump couldn't eliminate PSLF for pre-Trump loans? I guess the worst case scenario under his plan is 5 extra years of IBR-capped payments and having to pay taxes whatever is forgiven at 15 years. That'd be deeply shitty but (hopefully) not financially catastrophic. Ugh.


PSLF was enacted as an act of congress (and ironically, signed by Bush, even though we generally give credit to Obama). So Trump can't just repeal it. Any action on it is going to take time, and it's going to be incremental. Congress is going to prioritize destroying our health insurance first.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:21 am
by haus
cavalier1138 wrote:
gmail2 wrote:2015 grad here also relying on PSLF to avoid squillions of dollars of debt. How certain are we that Trump couldn't eliminate PSLF for pre-Trump loans? I guess the worst case scenario under his plan is 5 extra years of IBR-capped payments and having to pay taxes whatever is forgiven at 15 years. That'd be deeply shitty but (hopefully) not financially catastrophic. Ugh.


PSLF was enacted as an act of congress (and ironically, signed by Bush, even though we generally give credit to Obama). So Trump can't just repeal it. Any action on it is going to take time, and it's going to be incremental. Congress is going to prioritize destroying our health insurance first.

That should keep them busy until about February.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:57 pm
by nevdash
As someone who is 7 years away from PSLF forgiveness on a metric ton of debt, I certainly understand feeling anxious about this. But what has Trump done or said that gives rise to any real possibility that he would do this? If anything, he's maintained a sympathetic tone regarding student loan debt throughout his entire campaign. I look at that and see reason for hope. If he was willing to spout off a bunch of crazy proposals for more than a year but he never once mentioned cutting forgiveness programs (in fact, he proposed what would arguably be an improvement to income driven repayment plans), is it really on the top of his list?

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:28 pm
by haus
nevdash wrote:As someone who is 7 years away from PSLF forgiveness on a metric ton of debt, I certainly understand feeling anxious about this. But what has Trump done or said that gives rise to any real possibility that he would do this? If anything, he's maintained a sympathetic tone regarding student loan debt throughout his entire campaign. I look at that and see reason for hope. If he was willing to spout off a bunch of crazy proposals for more than a year but he never once mentioned cutting forgiveness programs (in fact, he proposed what would arguably be an improvement to income driven repayment plans), is it really on the top of his list?

I believe that the fear is that Trump is merely going to serve as a rubber stamp for Congress that has expressed hostility towards...well... everything.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:50 am
by gmail2
haus wrote:
nevdash wrote:As someone who is 7 years away from PSLF forgiveness on a metric ton of debt, I certainly understand feeling anxious about this. But what has Trump done or said that gives rise to any real possibility that he would do this? If anything, he's maintained a sympathetic tone regarding student loan debt throughout his entire campaign. I look at that and see reason for hope. If he was willing to spout off a bunch of crazy proposals for more than a year but he never once mentioned cutting forgiveness programs (in fact, he proposed what would arguably be an improvement to income driven repayment plans), is it really on the top of his list?

I believe that the fear is that Trump is merely going to serve as a rubber stamp for Congress that has expressed hostility towards...well... everything.


ed-focused blogs reference some speech he gave in sept where he implied that he'd get rid of employment based repayment distinctions.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:10 pm
by frasier
gmail2 wrote:
haus wrote:
nevdash wrote:As someone who is 7 years away from PSLF forgiveness on a metric ton of debt, I certainly understand feeling anxious about this. But what has Trump done or said that gives rise to any real possibility that he would do this? If anything, he's maintained a sympathetic tone regarding student loan debt throughout his entire campaign. I look at that and see reason for hope. If he was willing to spout off a bunch of crazy proposals for more than a year but he never once mentioned cutting forgiveness programs (in fact, he proposed what would arguably be an improvement to income driven repayment plans), is it really on the top of his list?

I believe that the fear is that Trump is merely going to serve as a rubber stamp for Congress that has expressed hostility towards...well... everything.


ed-focused blogs reference some speech he gave in sept where he implied that he'd get rid of employment based repayment distinctions.


who knows what he'll actually do, but looks like he has proposed making the IBR even more forgiving? I have no idea how these programs work, but maybe this article will help?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/10/13/trump-just-laid-out-a-pretty-radical-student-debt-plan/?tid=pm_pop

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:01 pm
by NCGuy
When I consolidated my loans, the promissory note said that the remaining balance will be forgiven after 120 on-time payments using a qualified payment plan. I feel like current borrowers are safe but future ones might get screwed.

https://static.studentloans.gov/images/ApplicationAndPromissoryNote.pdf

Relevant quote:
A Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is also available. Under this program, we will forgive the remaining balance due on your eligible Direct Loan Program loans after you have made 120 payments on those loans (after October 1, 2007) under certain repayment plans while you are employed full-time in certain public service jobs.


You could certainly weaken this through the regulatory structure (get rid of the definition of "certain public service jobs" and "certain repayment plans") but it seems like more effort than the Trump Administration would want to go through.