How I Got My Student Loans Forgiven: Public Defender in Florida

Beth Bourdon, an assistant public defender at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office in Orlando, Florida, was used to her student loans not qualifying for relief that other federal loans did.

She had Family Federal Education Loan Program, or FFEL, loans. They’re an older type of federal student loan that may be owned by the federal government or a private company. This type of loan generally doesn’t qualify for the benefits that come with federal direct loans. Those benefits include income-driven repayment, loan forgiveness or, most recently, the federal student loan payment pause.

“When everyone else’s student loan payments were paused for COVID, mine weren’t paused. I paid every month,” says Bourdon. “When everyone else’s interest rate dropped down to zero, mine didn’t drop down.”

She finally caught a break with the help of a temporary waiver for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The waiver, which includes FFEL loans, counts past payments toward the total needed for…

Continue Reading →

This article was written by Anna Helhoski and originally published on