Dear Senators Menendez and Braun,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for S. 1331, the “Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Payment Completion Fairness Act.”
This bill is a broad measure aimed to aid our nation’s public servants, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders, by forgiving the remaining balance of their Federal direct student loans after ten years of qualifying public service and payments.
An officer’s route for advancement is highly dependent on education, which can be a large hurdle for entry level officers who may not be able to afford higher education. In fact, a 2017 survey of 958 police agencies found that only 51.8% of officers had two-year degrees, 30.2% had four-year college degrees, and 5.4% had graduate degrees.
The PSLF Payment Completion Fairness Act would eliminate a technicality in the law that requires an applicant to be employed in a public service job at the time of forgiveness. Correcting the statute in this way would enable our nation’s public servants, who serve and protect their communities, to receive a better education and, in turn, will help them to be better law enforcement officers, first responders, and teachers.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you two for your leadership on this issue. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.