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A Year Before Public-Service Loan Forgiveness Kicks In, Uncertainty Looms

A program that would erase the federal loans of graduates who worked in public service for 10 years was passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2007. Its goal was to use the carrot of loan forgiveness to steer graduates toward careers in the public interest — to be public defenders, teachers, and the like. Next October, borrowers who learned of the program early on can be among the first batch to apply to have their loans forgiven. But as that deadline approaches, neither government officials nor borrowers know exactly what to expect.