GAO has said that the DoD should better inform its civilian employees—as well as military personnel—about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, given that some 94 percent of applications under the program have been rejected.
“More information from DoD could help potential applicants be aware of all eligibility requirements,” a report said, noting that the most common reasons for the denials were not enough qualifying payments and missing information on the form, followed by not having the type of loan that qualifies under the program, which is operated by the Education Department.
GAO added that it “previously found that many borrowers were confused by the PSLF program’s requirements.” But it found that DoD provides only “limited” information through sources such as benefits websites and financial literacy training, adding that management officials are “generally unfamiliar with the program.”
“Increasing awareness about benefits is one of the key talent management strategies identified in our recent work about federal agency management of the workforce,” it said.
The program, established in 2007 as a recruitment and retention tool for public service employment, erases student loan dept under certain federal student loan programs for those who have made at least 10 years worth of monthly loan payments while working in qualifying public service jobs and meeting other requirements.
It is separate from the student loan reimbursement program that provides up to $10,000 yearly, with a lifetime maximum of $60,000, for federal employees to pay off student loans, also as a recruitment and retention incentive. That program, while government-wide, has been mainly used by a relative handful of agencies and in a limited number of occupations.
ask.FEDweek.com: Student Loan Repayment Help Federal Employees
Many federal jobs qualify for student loan debt repayment help up to $10,000 per year. Under 5 U.S.C. 5379, agencies may repay the student loans of federal employees in order to attract or keep highly qualified individuals. These repayments may not amount to more than $60,000 in total…