Haley Aveno and her husband Christopher Aveno are both serving their community. Haley is a nurse and Christopher Scottsdale is a firefighter. Both were able to get out of school with the help of student loans, which they hoped would be forgiven through the federal government’s public service debt waiver program, which is expected to provide debt relief to public servants.
Getting help through the program is extremely challenging. “For the past 18 months, for some reason, even though they told him it was approved, his pardon has not been enforced,” Haley said. “There were 18 payments that should have been implemented and they weren’t.”
The program, which began in 2007, had a number of problems, with thousands of teachers, police officers and health and government employees applying for a waiver – only to be denied – for a classification of reasons. Strict requirements and tedious application process are the problems.
But the situation is likely to change. The U.S. Department of Education recently announced a major overhaul of the program that would relax the rules and make it easier for borrowers to get loan waivers. Marisol Garcia, with the Riz Rizona Education Association, thinks it could be a gamechanger for many teachers living in Pechek to Pechek. “It gives them the ability to add to the economy, but it also adds to their ability to focus on their family and spend more time with family,” Garcia said. “It’s a really good part of the strategy.”
One of the most important new guidelines is to allow borrowers to use previous loan payments to calculate for debt forgiveness. This will allow us to use the extra money to go to the grocery store or gym membership, Haley said. “I think it would be extremely beneficial.”
Borrowers still have to show that they are working in a public sector job or working full time when applying for debt relief. 120 Timely student loan payments are no longer required.
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