Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Temporary Changes

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About

If you are or have been employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or nonprofit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, or the Temporary Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program (TEPSLF). 

 

Temporary Changes to Qualifiers

The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

Previously, many applicants applied for this program, only to discover they were ineligible due to a variety of circumstances. On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a limited-time change to the program rules as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. Now through October 31, 2022, many student loan borrowers who previously did not qualify may receive credit and qualify for past periods of repayment.

 

Previous Qualifiers for PSLF

Previously, to qualify for PSLF, you must:

  • Be employed by a qualifying employer during the time of payment. Qualifying employment for the PSLF Program isn’t about the specific job that you do for your employer. Instead, it’s about who your employer is, the list of which is more extensive than you may realize. Some examples include government entities, nonprofits, schools, military, libraries, and many nonprofit law enforcement, public safety, public health, and childcare employers.
  • Work full-time for that agency or organization (meeting your employer’s definition of full-time, or working at least 30 hours per week, whichever is greater).
  • Have Direct Loans, or consolidate other federal student loans into a Direct Loan.
  • Repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan.
  • Make 120 qualifying on-time payments (no later than 15 days past the due date), for the full amount due. Payments must be made after October 1, 2007, and periods of deferment, forbearance, or default do not qualify.
  • Be working for a qualifying employer at the time you submit the form for forgiveness and at the time the remaining balance on your loan is forgiven.

 

Changes to Qualifiers Under TEPSLF

While many of the above qualifiers have not changed, some rules have been temporarily suspended through October 31, 2022.

  • For a limited time, you may receive credit for past periods of repayment on student loan types that would previously not qualify (i.e. Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Graduate PLUS Loans). If you have FFEL, Perkins, or other federal student loans, you'll first need to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify (both in general and under the temporary waiver). Parent and spousal loans still do not qualify, and private loans are excluded.
  • Past periods of repayment will now count regardless of whether you made a payment in full or on time.
  • If you surpass 120 qualifying payments due to this limited-time waiver, you do not currently have to work at a qualifying employer to apply or receive forgiveness, provided you apply before October 31, 2022.
  • Borrowers whose loans are forgiven and made more than 120 qualifying payments on an existing Direct Loan will automatically receive a refund for the qualifying payments they made in excess of 120. Borrowers who paid off their student loans prior to the October 6, 2021 announcement do not qualify.

 

How to Apply

Whether you have made 120 qualifying payments or are working toward it and completing your employer certification, you should submit the application. They’ll use the information you provide to let you know if you are making qualifying PSLF or TEPSLF payments.

You can get started by using the PSLF help tool to:

  • Help you understand more about these programs and what you need to do to participate and possibly have your loans forgiven.
  • Explain other actions you should or must take if you want to receive PSLF or TEPSLF.
  • Help you assess whether your employer qualifies for PSLF. Note: several employers that do qualify may initially be listed as “likely not to qualify.” If you think your employer qualifies anyway, make sure to continue the process (i.e. Monroe County Public Library continues to be listed as “likely not to qualify,” but was confirmed as qualifying).
  • Generate the form you need. At this time, the PSLF help tool won’t allow you or your eligible employer(s) to electronically sign the form that the tool will generate for you. Therefore, after you complete the PSLF help tool process, you will need to print the PDF document that the tool generates, sign it yourself, have your employer sign it, and then submit the form to the PSLF servicer as instructed on the printed PDF document (uploading online is easy and available). Should your employer not immediately be listed as a qualifying employer (see the previous bullet), you can get a blank form to complete and submit here.
  • Note: If you don’t periodically submit the PSLF form, then at the time you apply for forgiveness, you will be required to submit employment certification for each employer where you worked while making the required 120 qualifying monthly payments.

 

Contact for PSLF Questions

If you have more questions, you can review the PSLF FAQ page. If your questions aren't covered on that page, contact FedLoan Servicing at 855-265-4038. Please note that call volumes are high.