Ms. Svitavsky completed two master’s programs, creative writing and library sciences, which along with her bachelor’s degree left her with more than $97,000 in loans by the time she began her job at the Puyallup Public Library just outside Tacoma, Wash., in 2008. She consolidated those loans, per the program’s requirements, and began following the steps toward debt forgiveness.
Or she thought she had.
“It’s deeply frustrating, because you know you’re done, and you’ve jumped through all these hoops,” Ms. Svitavsky said. “It feels like a broken promise.”
A mix of factors combined to derail the program, including poorly written legislation, neglect by multiple administrations, mismanagement by servicers contracted to carry it out and antipathy from conservatives—particularly in the Trump administration—who would prefer the program had never been created.