Horace Mann encourages educators to pursue federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness before 2022 deadline

US Department of Education’s October 2021 action spurring more educators to seek assistance

SPRINGFIELD, IL (December 16, 2021) –- The expansion of the US Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is already having a big impact on many educators, but the rest have to act in order to benefit. On the heels of the Limited Waiver Opportunity announcement two months ago, Horace Mann Educators Corporation (NYSE:HMN) has seen demand for its Student Loan Solutions program triple. The program is complimentary and helps public school educators navigate PSLF toward successful financial outcomes. Educators who have applied for PSLF are seeing results.

“After being told [by the Department of Education] that my loan payments didn’t count toward forgiveness because they were with the wrong loan provider, I felt defeated. But my Horace Mann agent Gary Havir told me to keep moving forward and not to lose hope. With the changes to the PSLF program, I received a letter saying I have reached my qualified 120 loan payments and I’ve had $87,000 in debt forgiven,” said Molly Constance-Devich, a sixth grade math teacher at Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet in Saint Paul, Minnesota. “It’s a huge weight lifted, a noticeable release of tension.”

Managing the burden of student loan debt remains one of educators’ major financial concerns, with 60% having outstanding student loans.1 An overwhelming majority - 88% -- said having their student loans forgiven would make them more likely to stay in education. Seventy percent said a lower monthly payment also would make them more likely to stay, according to a 2020 Horace Mann survey.

“We’ve seen it thousands of times. It’s life-changing. Educators can see their loan debt forgiven and their monthly payments lowered. The Limited Waiver Opportunity makes the process faster and even more generous. But educators must act. It’s not automatic.” said Tom Kammerer, Vice President for Horace Mann’s Student Loan Solutions program. “For the past five years, we have helped guide more than 13,000 educators through the qualifications for loan forgiveness. From that group, over 90% are on the path to an average of $52,000 in total loan forgiveness. And 50% are finding out how they can lower their monthly payment as well, saving an average of $280 per month.”

Announced in October, the Limited PSLF Waiver Opportunity expires October 31, 2022. It allows borrowers to receive credit for past loan payments that would otherwise not have qualified for PSLF. PSLF started in 2007 and forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after 120 qualifying monthly payments from an employee who works full-time for a qualifying employer and has a qualified repayment plan.

“After several attempts at PSLF before, I tried again through Horace Mann’s Student Loan Solutions program shortly after the waiver was announced. They walked me through the process and helped make sure I had everything filled out correctly,” said Erin Terry, a special education teacher at East Greenwich High School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. “I have already received notification that I owe nothing on my loans. Not only did I have enough qualifying payments but I am getting refunds for payments I had already made. I’ve saved close to $20,000.”

“We urge educators with federal student loan debt to take action now to apply for forgiveness, and to make sure they get credit for the loan payments they’ve already made,” added Kammerer. “Educators have been under enormous stress during this pandemic, and by helping them unlock these financial benefits, we show our appreciation for what they do every day.”

Horace Mann's Student Loan Solutions program is a complimentary, easy-to-use suite of resources to help educators manage student loan debt and get guidance on the federal student loan forgiveness program. Account holders can track their student loans in one place through direct links to loan servicers. They also receive assistance with the process of qualifying for loan forgiveness opportunities. Find more on the Student Loan Solutions program at www.horacemann.com/student-loan-debt-help.

(1) The Student Loan Debt Effect: Good Teachers are Leaving Education, Insights from the Horace Mann Educators 2020 Student Loan Debt Study

About Horace Mann

Horace Mann Educators Corporation (NYSE: HMN) is the largest financial services company focused on providing America’s educators and school employees with insurance and retirement solutions. Founded by Educators for Educators® in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Illinois. For more information, visit www.horacemann.com, or follow us @HoraceMann on Twitter and LinkedIn, and @HoraceMannInsurance on Facebook.

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