30,000 People Applied for Federal Loan Forgiveness. Only 96 Got it, Report Says

November 19, 2018, 11:23 PM UTC

Of the 30,000 applicants for federal student loan forgiveness, the U.S. Education Department has released less than 100 from their debt, CNBC reports.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, signed into law in 2007, aims to forgive the remaining balance of loans after debtors make 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full time for the government or a nonprofit. Since it takes 10 years of payments to qualify, 2017 was the first year of eligibility, and new data provided by the education department showed that only 96 people received relief, CNBC reported.

Many worked in public service for 10 years and thought their loans would be forgiven, but later found out they didn’t qualify, according to the news source.

While one-fourth of Americans were meant to be eligible, the newly released numbers show that less than 1% of applicants were forgiven of their loans, the news source reported.

Debt from student loans has grown dramatically over the past decade, collectively adding up to $1.4 trillion, and the crisis shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

Earlier this year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed cuts to the loan forgiveness program, a move that would make it harder to receive loan forgiveness for students who are defrauded by universities.