Missed Opportunities: Teachers and Student Loan Forgiveness
By David Gourley, CSLP®
I want to share my experience from doing a student loan presentation at a school district in Indianapolis recently.
We had close to 50 teachers who came to the presentation to get information on student loans and student loan forgiveness. Once the presentation was over, I invited these teachers to meet with me one-on-one if they wanted to ask questions about their personal situation and so that we could look over their student loan data file.
Over the next two days, I met with about 13 teachers. Of those teachers, 8 qualified for IMMEDIATE forgiveness totaling $632,079.
I was so pumped for them!
But the more I thought about it, the sadder/more disheartened I became.
I happened to do a presentation for a school district and these teachers happened to attend. We can get the paperwork submitted for them and they will have a new life ahead of them without student loans, but what about the thousands of teachers who don’t have access to this information?!
There are teachers in every school in the country who, right now, are sitting on a winning lottery ticket (student loan forgiveness) and don’t even know that they qualify!
The Department of Education has stated that there will be a hard deadline of October 31st, 2022 on the PSLF Limited Waiver.
There are lots of people who are trying to get this information into the hands of people who need it, but the truth is that we (the collective “we”) just aren’t doing a good enough job.
The fact is that the PSLF Limited Waiver has been out since October of 2021, and in September of 2022 I can meet with 13 teachers and 8 of them qualify for immediate forgiveness. This is wrong!
These teachers should have been given information on this well before September 2022!
I meet with many teachers each week, and every time I tell someone that they qualify for forgiveness of their loans I see their face light up and usually some tears are involved.
Most of these people thought they were in for a life-sentence on their loans and there was no way they were going to be able to pay them off or get forgiveness (often they have been denied more than once before they meet with me).
And after each meeting, when the excitedness wears off, I get to thinking about the other teachers who I don’t get to have the conversation with.
So please, if you have read this, talk to the people within your district, ask your administration to push out information, and try to get this information into the hands of teachers across the country.
My fear is that November is going to come and there will be so many people who could have had help/relief, but no longer qualify.
Right now, all I can do is try to get this information into as many hands as possible, because I’m not ready to have the conversation explaining that they can’t use the Limited Waiver any longer.
If you need help, sign up for a call below or find another CSLP® who can help as time is running out!
As always, you Teach, we’ll Plan, you Retire!
David Gourley, CSLP® is a Financial Planner with Teach Plan Retire, an independent financial planning firm specializing in finance for teachers. He served for eight years as a high school mathematics teacher before transitioning into the financial services industry. He joined Teach Plan Retire in 2022 and his passion for serving as a fiduciary for teachers and a student loan planning expert runs deep, as his wife and several other family members have served as educators for years. He's a proud member of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City.