‘A clean slate’: Hochul approves student loan forgiveness legislation for New York’s public servants

Isabel Song Beer

September 15, 2022

Originally published in AMNY on September 15, 2022.

Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation Thursday aiming to help public servants get student loan relief in order to focus on their careers, not their debts.

The governor was on hand at the Borough of Manhattan City College (BMCC) with several other elected officials to officially sign the bill that will allow tens of thousands of public servants in New York to apply for significant debt forgiveness.

“$16.3 billion in student debt will be canceled in this state alone,” said Hochul during the Sept. 15 press conference. “That’s a clean slate, that means New Yorkers can rebuild their lives. Over 2.2 million New Yorkers will see some type of relief and that’s life-changing.” 

State Senator Kevin Thomas emphasized how important this debt relief would be, especially following the pandemic. 

“As you know, student loan debt in the United States has grown exponentially in recent years and is now one of the largest forms of consumer finance in this country,” said Thomas. “At the end of 2020, about 43 million U.S owed nearly $1.6 trillion in federal student loans. Approximately $90 billion of that outstanding debt is owed by 2.4 million New Yorkers. We are in major debt, tuition is outpacing students’ ability to pay and the share of students taking out loans to finance their degrees has also risen dramatically. When the federal government is asleep at the wheel, states must step up to protect [their] student borrowers.”

To see if you are eligible for this relief, visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness site at https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service and apply before the deadline on Oct. 31.

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