SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Christine Shae is a licensed mental health professional who works for nonprofits and schools in the Bay Area. She got her masters in 2015.
“I am a first-gen student, and I'm about $180,000-plus in debt," Shae said, "And that's just to complete my schooling necessary to work in the field of mental health.”
She is one of nearly a million Californians who qualifies for federal student loan forgiveness.
“Hopefully, (I'll) see these loans forgiven at some point, because it certainly isn't something that I wouldn't be able to pay off within 10 years if I didn't have this program available to me,” Shae said.
She helped launch a new challenge Monday to help other Californians who are eligible for federal student loan forgiveness. While nearly a million qualify, only about 10,000 have received help so far.
High-ranking officials from Governor Gavin Newsom to Attorney General Rob Bonta pledged Monday to do their part to educate people that they only have a few more months to apply for the loan forgiveness.
It applies to all teachers, city employees, non-profit workers and all other public servants of ten years.
“We understand the average amount forgiven per borrower through the PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) waiver is over $60,000 per borrower," Consumer Reports Programs Director Chuck Bows said. "So this is a tremendous benefit we hope to bring to hundreds of thousands of other Californians.”
However, the clock is ticking.
“If you work in public service and you didn't know about this, here's the good news," Governor Newsom weighed in. "You've got till Oct. 31.”
So what exactly is this challenge? As an employer, you must send out newsletters, emails and offer assistance to your employees to let them know this is available to them because once the deadline passes, that’s it.