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UFT-AFT student debt clinic

Getting advice about school loan programs
New York Teacher
Seminars
Jonathan Fickies

The AFT’s Chris Hicks (standing) takes a question.

Lynn Czaporowski, a social worker at Passages Academy in the Bronx, looks over m
Jonathan Fickies

Lynn Czaporowski, a social worker at Passages Academy in the Bronx, looks over material.

For the third year in a row, the UFT and the AFT teamed up this winter to offer student debt clinics in each of the UFT’s borough offices. More than 400 members attended the six clinics, which were held on Jan. 30, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. As public employees, UFT members who are paying off student loans may be eligible for free federal programs that can help lower monthly payments or even get student debt forgiven. Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, for example, employees working in public education can have their student loans erased after 10 years of qualifying, on-time payments. Members who attended the clinics had the opportunity to learn about income-driven student loan repayment programs and other ways to reduce or eliminate their student loan debt. “The most helpful part was learning about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and its five criteria for eligibility,” said Jennifer Keynan, an ELA teacher at Pathways College Preparatory School in St. Albans, Queens. “The presenters at the clinic were very knowledgeable about loan types, repayment options and available resources.”

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