If you work in public service and have federal student loans, you might be able to get additional debt relief through recent, time-limited changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The PSLF program offers complete federal student loan forgiveness after making 120 qualifying payments while working in public service.
On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a set of improvements to the PSLF Program. These improvements include waivers of certain program requirements, which will be available to borrowers until October 31, 2022.
Here are some of the key improvements available under the Limited PSLF Waiver:
- Borrowers can receive credit for past periods of repayment on loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF.
- If you have FFEL, Perkins, or other federal student loans, you will need to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify for PSLF both in general and under the waiver. Before consolidating, make sure to check to see if you work for a qualifying employer.
- Past periods of repayment will now count whether or not you made a payment, made that payment on time, for the full amount due, on a qualifying repayment plan.
- Periods of deferment or forbearance, and periods of default, still don’t not qualify.
Please note that the qualifying employment requirement has not changed. PSLF-eligible employers include federal, state, local, or tribal governments, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and other nonprofit organizations that provide certain qualifying services.
Remember: this opportunity is time sensitive. Some borrowers will need to consolidate their loans and/or submit a PSLF form. It’s important for you to take the steps necessary to qualify for the Limited PSLF Waiver before October 31, 2022.
Finally, most federal student loan borrowers have had their payments paused since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 emergency but that pause is set to end on May 1, 2022. This means student loan borrowers will have to start making payments after this date. You can learn more about steps you can take to prepare for payment to restart at StudentAid.gov/coronavirus.
The U.S. Department of Education wants to help all public servants get the PSLF credit they are entitled to, and I want to make sure you have the support and resources you need to do so. This waiver takes time to implement but more borrowers will see updated payment counts or have their loans discharged in the coming months. To find the most up-to-date information about this limited-time opportunity, please visit StudentAid.gov/announcements-events/pslf-limited-waiver.
· PSLF Waiver Offers Way to Get Closer to Loan Forgiveness | Federal Student Aid – PSLF Waiver landing page
· Fact Sheet: Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program Overhaul
· Become a Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Help Tool Ninja
· How to Use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool
· 6 Things to Know About Public Service Loan Forgiveness During the COVID-19 Emergency
· 6 Ways to Prepare for Student Loan Repayment to Begin Again
· StudentAid.gov/consolidation – The landing page for the consolidation application