Getting Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you work for a government or a non-profit organization, you may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Now is the time to apply and benefit from this program.

How do I qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program? 

PSLF forgives the balance of your federal student loans after you make 120 (10 years) “qualifying payments”.  Forgiven balances are not subject to income tax. You qualify for PSLF if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are in a “Direct Loan” program
  • You are enrolled in an Income-Driven-Repayment (IDR) plan
  • Your payments are made on time and in full while working full time with a qualifying employer
    • A qualifying employer includes government agencies at any level (Federal, State, Local, Tribal), 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, or serving as a full time volunteer for Americorps or the Peace Corps.

Note: The 120 payments are cumulative. They do not have to be made consecutively.

I filed the PSLF/TEPSLF Certification & Application Form, what now?

  • It will be reviewed. It is taking weeks or months in some cases to get a final determination. Your loans will go through a couple of reviews. The first review is to see if you qualify under the “original” PSLF program and the second is to determine your eligibility and payment count under the Waiver.
  • Once your PSLF/TEPSLF Certification & Application Form is reviewed, you will get a notice letting you know the number of payments that have counted and the number outstanding for PSLF eligibility.  Don’t panic if you get an initial notice not giving you all the qualifying payments you expect. Chances are, your loans are still in the process of being reviewed under the waiver.
  • If you feel you got a final determination and don’t agree with the outcome, you can file a request for reconsideration with Federal Student Aid, or file a complaint with your servicer. Don’t give up, reach out to EDCAP if you need help filing a complaint.

Tip: Submit the PSLF/TEPSLF Certification & Application Form every year and when you change jobs to make sure your payments are being counted.

How do I know if my loans are direct loans?

  • Your loans will say so.  It will say “Direct….” If you took out loans after July 1, 2010, chances are they are direct loans.
  • If you took out loans prior to July 1, 2010, they may be what are known as FFEL loans. You may also have Perkins loans. To qualify for PSLF, you would need to consolidate non-direct loans into a new direct loan.

Is there one specific Income Driven Repayment plan I must enroll in?

  • There are four Income Driven Repayment plans: Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment (REPAYE), Pay As  Your Earn (PAYE), Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR) and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR).
  • Your specific loans will determine which IDR plans you qualify for. As long as you enroll in one of these plan(s), you will meet this requirement.

Is my Parent Plus loan eligible for PSLF?

  • Parent Plus loans were not eligible for the waiver relief but will be eligible for PSLF credit during the IDR Account Adjustment period. If you consolidate your Parent Plus loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan on or before May 1, 2023, you will not lose qualifying payment credit towards PSLF or IDR Forgiveness accumulated prior to the consolidation.
  • Direct Consolidation loans containing ANY Parent Plus loans are only eligible for the Standard or Graduated Repayment plans and the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan.
  • If you have both Parent Plus loans and your own student loans, get help. You should not consolidate both your own and Parent Plus loans together without getting expert advice.
  • Contact EDCAP for a one-on-one consultation.

What’s next?

If you have not done so, file the PSLF/TEPSLF Certification & Application Form. This is the best way to know if you qualify for the program and benefit from the temporary waiver relief. 

Call us if you have questions or are encountering hurdles qualifying for PSLF.