WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced bipartisan legislation to cut through red tape and make it easier for current and former military servicemembers to access the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. This program forgives student debt for qualified public servants including teachers, firefighters and military servicemembers.
In 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced they would automatically count military members’ service toward the PSLF program instead of requiring them to go through a lengthy and complicated certification process. However, the change was never implemented because the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Defense failed to finalize a critical data-sharing agreement.
This bill would require the Department of Education to complete a data-matching agreement with the Department of Defense, enabling automatic credit toward PSLF for military service members.
“The men and women in our military selflessly serve their nation, which entitles them to these benefits,” said Sen. Moran. “Streamlining the process to access loan forgiveness will help our military members receive their earned benefits and help them achieve financial freedom.”
“We should be making it easier for service members and veterans to get their loans forgiven after serving this country,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “My bipartisan legislation will remove barriers that are keeping too many military members and veterans from accessing benefits they’ve earned.”
“It can be surprisingly difficult for service members and veterans to have their military service honored for credit when working toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). While the Department of Education (ED) announced plans to work with the Department of Defense (DOD) to give borrowers automatic credit toward PLSF for their military service, those efforts have stalled,” said Justin Hauschild, Policy Counsel, with Student Veterans of America (SVA). “The bipartisan Ensuring Military Access to Higher Education Benefits Act of 2023 puts this initiative back on track by requiring DOD and ED to share existing information so borrowers receive automatic credit toward PLSF for their qualifying military service. SVA applauds Senators Cortez Masto and Moran for their leadership on this common-sense legislation to ensure military borrowers get the PSLF credit they have earned.”
The legislation is endorsed by Student Veterans of America and Veterans Education Success. The full bill text can be found here.