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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches Toolkit to Help Teachers and Other Public Servants Tackle Student Debt
One in Four American Workers May Be Eligible For Student Debt Forgiveness
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched a toolkit to empower school districts and other public service organizations to help their employees pay off student loan debt. The CFPB is asking these employers to make a pledge to inform their employees of their options.
Up to a quarter of the U.S. workforce is in public service and may be eligible for existing student loan debt forgiveness programs, according to a CFPB report also released today.“Our young people should not be mired in debt because they stir themselves to the call of public service. They deserve to know all their options,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Our toolkit and pledge can be a win-win for employers, the public they serve, and their employees who are facing student debt loads that are imposing unprecedented burdens upon this generation.”
According to a report released today, the CFPB estimates that more than 25 percent of the U.S. labor force is in public service. This includes teachers, librarians, firefighters, military personnel, law enforcement, first responders, nurses, and social workers. There are a number of special loan programs to assist these workers.
For example, in 2007, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for public servants who pay their federal loans on time for ten years. People working at a nonprofit or those working for a federal, state, or local government are eligible for the program.
Many public service fields face major workforce shortages in the coming years. For many new employees in these professions, low starting salaries and low wage growth make repaying student debt a daunting obstacle.
A Toolkit to Help
To help employers provide information about loan forgiveness programs to their employees, the CFPB is unveiling a toolkit – the Employer’s Guide to Assisting Employees with Student Loan Repayment. The toolkit offers practical advice to public sector employers and employees, advising that an early start can make the difference of thousands of dollars.
Tips that the toolkit mentions:
The toolkit is available at: http:/consumerfinance.gov/f/201308_cfpb_public-service-toolkit.pdf.
An action guide for employees is at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201308_cfpb_pledge-action-guide-for-employees.pdf.
A Public Service Pledge
The CFPB is also launching a new public service pledge on student debt to empower thousands of public service employers to help their workers tackle student loans. The pledge asks employers to make a commitment to talk to their workers about student debt, help them understand their options, and assist them in enrolling in student loan repayment benefits. To start off, Richmond Public Schools in Virginia and the City of South Bend, Indiana, have signed on to the pledge.
Existing borrowers experiencing trouble with their student loans can learn more about their options by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov/students.
The Public Service & Student Debt report is available at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201308_cfpb_public-service-and-student-debt.pdf.
This announcement is part of the Bureau’s ongoing work to enlist the support of employers to improve financial capability in America. It also follows a number of CFPB initiatives to address student loan affordability. Last month, the CFPB announced that outstanding student debt exceeds $1.2 trillion.
Earlier this year, the CFPB published a report on the impact of high levels of student debt on the choices made by young consumers, identifying potential spillover effects on career choice, housing and homeownership, economic participation, entrepreneurship, and retirement savings.
TopicsCFPB, Congress, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, firefighters, Joe Pitts, law enforcement, Librarians, Military personnel, National Center for Education Statistics, Nurses, Paramedics, Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, social worker, Student Loans, Teachers, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Labor Force, washington d.c.
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