OCTOBER 7, 2022 / 3:23 PM

Teachers, government workers and people employed by nonprofits have only days remaining to apply for a one-time waiver that could help them erase or reduce their student debt.

The so-called "limited Public Service Loan Forgiveness waiver" was designed by the Biden administration last year to fix a major problem with a long-running program designed to ease the college debt of public servants. Under the waiver, public sector workers can apply to receive credit for past repayments that haven't previously qualified for loan relief.

The deadline for applying for the waiver is October 31 — which means public workers have only about three weeks remaining to secure the relief.

President Biden's student-loan relief effort, which will erase up to $20,000 in student debt for qualified borrowers, has received significant attention, but there's been less of a spotlight on the administration's efforts to help public servants with their college debt burdens.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was set up in 2007 with a noble goal: To forgive the student debt of Americans who work in public service jobs — as teachers, government employees or in nonprofits — for at least 10 years. But the program became notorious for its byzantine regulations, as well as misleading guidance from some loan-servicing companies that hampered the ability of many public servants to get relief. ...

What does the waiver do?

The waiver reverses some of the restrictions on which types of loans and payments qualify for the program.

The Department of Education says that "any prior period of repayment will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan program, repayment plan or whether you made the payment in full or on time." ...

How do I find out if I qualify?

The Department of Education has a website where you can learn about the program's requirements, which remain complicated.

One important restriction is that you'll have to have worked for a qualifying employer, such as a public school or government agency, to get approval for the waiver. Only payments that were made while you were working for a qualified employer will count. ...