Student Loan Debt Relief for Social Workers
NASW is committed to advocating for policy changes that address the critical issue of student loan debt. NASW is disappointed that on June 30, 2023, the Supreme Court
struck down a plan for student
loan cancellation by the President through Executive Action. Recognizing the profound impact of student loans on social workers and the broader public service workforce, NASW consistently monitors the political landscape for opportunities to make progress and create meaningful impact.
On August 22, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration launched
the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan to help student loan borrowers
lower their monthly student loan payments. The SAVE plan is an Income-Driven
Repayment (IDR) plan which calculates monthly payments based on income and
family size. It also prevents student loan debt balances increasing due to
unpaid interest. The SAVE plan allows student loan debt to be forgiven after
10-25 years, depending on the amount of the loan balance. The Administration
about the SAVE plan. More information about the SAVE plan and how to
apply can be found on the
In recent years, NASW achieved a substantial victory by helping to secure a Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver, which offered crucial relief for social workers pursuing careers in public service. This accomplishment underscores NASW's dedication to supporting its members and ensuring their financial well-being.
As part of its ongoing efforts, NASW actively participates in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness coalition and maintains a close partnership with the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC). Through these collaborations, NASW works towards expanding student loan debt relief options, strengthening the PSLF program, cancellation measures, employer-sponsored relief, and other means, including scholarships.
One of NASW's key objectives is to broaden PSLF eligibility to encompass social workers employed by nonprofits and for-profit organizations that currently do not qualify. This pursuit is not without its challenges, but NASW remains resolute in its commitment to advancing the interests of social workers and expanding their access to critical student loan benefits.
NASW responds to Department of Education (ED) requests for comments, and also actively engages with external organizations to provide support on this issue. As an example, NASW was one of 261 organizations calling on members of Congress to reject Republican efforts to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to retroactively reverse the federal student loan payment pause and block President Biden’s debt relief plan. NASW's proactive involvement in these collaborations help ensure we are shaping the dialogue surrounding student loan debt relief and ensuring the interests of social workers are represented in advocacy on student loan debt relief measures.
Through its continuous monitoring, strategic partnerships, and active engagement in policy discussions, NASW demonstrates its unwavering commitment to addressing the challenges posed by student debt and championing the needs of social workers nationwide.
Read "Student Loan Payments to Resume: What You Need to Know" to learn more.
NASW Policy Efforts on Student Loan Debt Relief