FSA Urges PSLF Borrowers to Be Patient While Updated Payment Counts Are Processed

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

Federal Student Aid (FSA) is committing to clearing out “thousands” of requests made by borrowers enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, but is urging applicants to be patient as the process unfolds.

The remarks come from Richard Cordray, chief operating officer at FSA, who in a recent tweet called on borrowers to utilize online resources to best review updates to the status of their application.

In urging borrowers to refrain from “flooding” phone lines, FSA indicated that the office would be better equipped to implement its work in overhauling the program — made possible by the Department of Education’s (ED) recent PSLF waiver — if borrowers tracked their repayment status using FedLoan’s borrower portal.

While the department continues to process these claims, it is also tasked with sorting through how to handle the eventual wind-down of the payment pause for federally-held student loans, which is currently slated to expire after May 1. 

Another extension could be offered and would enable ED to continue to deliver more targeted debt relief before having to restart repayment on the loan portfolio, which has undergone changes in servicing and faces a host of challenges in ensuring that borrowers are aware of their need to make payments.

Since the pandemic’s emergency declaration has been extended by President Joe Biden, the administration could further utilize its previously implemented authority to offer another extension, but the continued short-term extensions will make it more difficult to discern when the benefit will actually expire and how borrowers can best prioritize their repayment options. 


Publication Date: 3/2/2022

Gloria D | 3/4/2022 10:25:05 AM

I agree with the previous responder. It has been about five weeks since I submitted my application and I have not received an acknowledgement of the application. Fedloan is not my loan servicer and I am not able to check the status. It would be nice to receive some type of update on my application or when I can expect it to be reviewed.
Jean D.

Ryan W | 3/2/2022 5:29:37 PM

This communication was helpful. It would be nice if they could give some estimate of where they are in processing. I only just applied under the recent rule change as I wasn't eligible before so my loans aren't serviced by FedLoan Servicing. I did get a confirmation about 6 weeks after my application was received that it was there, but since I don't have an account on FedLoan I can't really log in and track it but just have to assume they haven't gotten to mine yet. A better communication method (even something as rudimentary as "we're working on applications submitted before June, 2021" posted to a webpage) would help them not have jammed phone lines.

Michelle P | 3/2/2022 2:54:49 PM

I am a previous student loan borrower and finaid administrator for the past 18+ years. I've educated students on PSLF since its inception and could have sworn I was also doing the right thing to eventually qualify for PSLF myself, however, the counts are WAY off . I haven't seen anything change on my personal "count" portal for months. It is disheartening to not be able to speak to a live person or receive a response on an email while trying to square away your finances and put things in place for future payments, etc. I see minor issues that are greatly impacting my count, and can only imagine the grief that similar issues may be causing other people in repayment limbo. All we can do is sit patiently and HOPE that someone makes the appropriate adjustments. If our offices just stopped answering the phones, heads would roll. My two cents.

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