Promises made, Promises broken

Uncertainty damages business … and people too. Too bad about the student loan forgiveness plan.

18820225526_884e6b752d_zI remember (in 2012) when the Bush tax cuts of 2003 were scheduled to expire. Republicans raised a hue and cry about the “uncertainty” that this cast upon our economy. Businesses didn’t know how to plan – should they expect those tax cuts to be extended? or will taxes be restored? or raised? or lowered? What to do?

Yet, now, these same Republicans are reveling in a new world of uncertainty – one that makes every rule and every law an uncertain rule or law. Every day, the Republican Congress is voting on another rollback or another repeal. Rules that applied yesterday may not apply tomorrow. Promises made are being broken. Businesses don’t know how to plan – what to do?

Well, here’s today’s uncertainty and this time it is being cast on those with student loans.

Last week, the Education Department started a process which could invalidate a loan forgiveness arrangement for over half-million public service workers.

In 2007, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program allowed students to have their high loan balance reduced or canceled in return for 10 years of service in government or non-profit jobs. Although millions qualify for this program, about 553,000 participate.

Under new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the participants have been notified that they need to re-apply – their employment may not be qualified for the program.

The decision is retroactive – if the employment is disqualified now, any employment time already spent will not count toward the 10-year requirement.

With this sudden rule change, someone might have spent the last 9 years working in a low-paying public service or non-profit job, expecting savings on their student loan payments. They might have turned down other job opportunities with higher pay, in order to keep their program going.

And now they are being told “Too bad! Rule change! Start over.

Only this is certain – no one is safe from this new administration.

[Photo credit: Dialysis Technician Salary]