Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Congress Member Kids Pay Too

Congress members' kids don't get free ride

Once again the false claim that the children of U.S. senators and representatives don't have to pay their student loan debt has gone viral.

By Karen Datko Jan 17, 2013 7:03PM

So, you can't get your student loan debt waived simply because your mom or dad serves in Congress. But how can you get part of your federal student loan debt forgiven? Among the ways:
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This federal Web page  explains how workers in certain public service jobs can qualify.
  • Income-based Repayment Plan. You must have a "partial financial hardship" defined by a government formula. See this Web page for more information. Your monthly payments could be reduced under this plan, and you'll pay no longer than 25 years.
  • The new Pay as You Earn repayment plan, described in this U.S. Department of Education press release. Your monthly payment is capped with this plan as well, and any debt left after 20 years will be forgiven.
Another program allows federal agencies to make payments on employees' federal student loans to attract or keep highly qualified workers. Federal Times adds some details:
"The federal government paid nearly $85.7 million in employees' student loan debts in 2010, a 38% increase over the previous year, according to a report.
"Thirty-six agencies made the payments for 11,359 employees in 2010, a 34% increase in the number of employees helped, the Office of Personnel Management said in a report to Congress released Tuesday."
There's enough to be irritated with Congress about without believing erroneous or false claims. As for those mass emails you get or unsubstantiated Facebook posts you read, ignore them or go to the trouble of verifying the claims. Others you might have been tempted to share them with will thank you for not wasting their time.

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