Attorney General Bonta Co-Leads Coalition in Support of Department of Education Efforts to Expand Access to Student Loan Forgiveness

Monday, August 15, 2022
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta, co-leading a multistate coalition with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, filed a comment letter in support of the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) continued efforts to improve access to several critical student loan discharge programs, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) programs. The letter builds on the Attorney General’s ongoing efforts to improve access to student loan forgiveness. Last week, Attorney General Bonta announced that the California Department of Justice will take part in the California Student Loan Debt Challenge to encourage Californians to take advantage of the PSLF Limited Waiver before the October 31 deadline.

“In California, we've seen firsthand how a broken system and predatory actors have left millions of students weighed down by mounting debt and broken promises,” said Attorney General Bonta. “The Biden Administration has taken much-needed action to improve the administration of student loan discharge programs, but there is more that needs to be done. I urge the Department of Education to strengthen its regulations to better protect our students and ensure eligible borrowers receive the relief they are entitled to.”

Last year, ED implemented the PSLF Limited Waiver Opportunity that runs through October 31, 2022, allowing eligible borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify under the PSLF program. This move followed a lawsuit and yearslong advocacy by state attorneys general and others urging ED to take robust action to fix the broken PSLF program. However, many eligible borrowers still have yet to receive relief. And many other students, defrauded by for-profit colleges like Ashford University, continue to face roadblocks to securing loan forgiveness, despite court judgments obtained by state attorneys general finding that these colleges violated the law.  

In the letter, the attorneys general commend ED’s continued efforts to improve access to student loan discharge and forgiveness, but propose additional revisions to allow ED to better protect borrowers and taxpayers. Specifically, the attorneys general encourage ED to:

  • Clarify that borrowers can rely on judgments obtained by state attorneys general as the basis for borrower defense claims and ensure fair treatment of borrowers with pending and approved claims;
  • Take additional regulatory steps to ensure the PSLF program reaches all borrowers who serve their communities as nurses, firefighters, teachers, and more, and that the process by which borrowers may participate in the program is as simple and automated as possible; and
  • Clarify the mandatory nature of borrower relief, as well as the relevant timelines, for borrowers who attended a school that closed before they could complete their degree. 

In filing this comment letter, Attorneys General Bonta, Raoul, and Healey are joined by the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, as well as the State of Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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