Candidly, the student debt management platform, has announced the release of its automated Public Service Loan Forgiveness tool.
According to the firm, the adoption of this new tool reduces complexity for borrowers, lowers the administrative burden on resource-strapped employers and ensures error-free applications for review by the U.S. Department of Education and associated student loan servicers.
PSLF is the most generous loan forgiveness program offered by the DOE; unfortunately, it is also significantly underutilized, says a Candidly press release about the new service. The forgiveness program was created for borrowers who work in the public interest—teachers, hospital workers, government workers and those working for nonprofits are all likely to qualify for PSLF. Yet student debt continues to cause high stress and churn among the people in these roles.
For example, 50% of nurses see student debt as their largest and most important financial concern. The issues arise in determining eligibility and a complicated application process. Borrowers must confirm if they work for a qualifying employer, if their employment status grants them program eligibility and which of their student loans are eligible for the program. Then they must identify and educate the necessary HR administrator so that the administrator can certify the application before borrowers send it to their loan servicer and the DOE. As a result, only 6.7% of those eligible for PSLF have even applied for the program and only 2.1% of those who have applied have been approved.
Candidly’s PSLF tool seeks to address these problems. For borrowers, checking whether or not they are eligible for PSLF requires a straightforward process of connecting their loans to the platform. The tool handles all of the PSLF eligibility checks on the borrower’s behalf—including the new expanded-access PSLF waiver requirements—to simplify the application so that it only takes borrowers an average of 90 seconds to submit their application. Candidly’s service provides guidance and immediate actions that borrowers can take to maximize loan forgiveness in the long term.
This guidance—such as consolidating loans and/or switching to a different repayment plan—is context-aware and incorporates the temporary PSLF expansions, according to the firm. Employees can also track their eligibility status and payment history, request important certification forms digitally and receive automated reminders for annual recertification.
For employers, Candidly has digitized and automated key elements of the PSLF application process, reducing operational overhead. In addition to providing employees and HR administrators with a knowledge center to learn about PSLF, Candidly has created an HR administrator portal.