Reporting shows that at least 29,000 future teachers, nurses, and public servants who took out student loans from the government would have qualified for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, if not for Department of Education record-keeping failures. To qualify for the program, participants must make at least 120 qualifying payments. But a payment system riddled with errors in which borrowers’ payments frequently “went unrecorded, were mis-recorded, or were applied in the wrong amount or to the wrong borrower account,” meant that instead, the Education Department effectively financially upended thousands of Americans’ lives.
CREW has submitted a comment recommending that the Department of Education thoroughly update its PSLF record-keeping system to be in accordance with the Federal Records Act. CREW also urges the Department to remediate borrowers who were harmed by record-keeping errors, including crediting payments that failed to be properly documented.
This mismanagement of records is unacceptable, but with the implementation of robust record-keeping practices, the Department of Education can ensure that future borrowers will not have their finances jeopardized by PSLF and Department of Education lapses.