The Department of Education recently expanded the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program which may forgive the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 monthly payments under a repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer such as VA.
To qualify for PSLF, you must:
- Work for a government agency or for certain types of nonprofit organizations;
- Work full-time for that agency or organization;
- Have Direct Loans (or consolidate other federal student loans to qualify);
- Repay your loans on an income-driven repayment plan; and
- Make 120 qualifying payments.
- Qualifying employment for the PSLF program is not about the specific job held, rather it is about the employer. Employment with the following types of organizations qualify for PSLF:
- Government organizations at any level (federal, state, local or tribal)
- Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501c (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Serving as a full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer also counts as qualifying employment for the PSLF Program.
- Other types of not-for-profit organizations that are not tax-exempt under Section 501 c (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, if their primary purpose is to provide Emergency Management, Public Safety or Public Health.
- A qualifying loan for PSLF is any non-defaulted loan you received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Only Direct Loans are eligible for PSLF.
- If you borrowed before July 1, 2010, some or all of your loans may have been made under an older program called the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.
- Loans from these programs do not qualify for PSLF, but they may become eligible if you consolidate them into a Direct Consolidated Loan.
- Only qualifying payments that you make on the new Direct Consolidation Loan can be counted toward the 120 payments required for PSLF.
- Any payments made on the FFEL Program Loans or Perkins Loans before you consolidated will not count toward PSLF.
How to Apply:
If you have made 120 qualifying payments:
- Download and complete the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Certification and Application (PSLF) Form.
- Send the completed PSLF Form to your HR representative and ask them to certify your employment.
- For those serviced by VHA HR only. For employees not serviced by VHA HR, please contact your servicing HR department.
- Send the completed, certified PSLF Form to the below address or upload the form via your FedLoan Servicing Account:
- U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
If you are working toward PSLF:
- You should follow the above process and submit the completed, certified PSLF Form annually, or when you change employers.
- If you do not periodically submit this form, then at the time of application, you will be required to submit a form for each current and prior employer where you worked during the required 120 qualifying monthly payments.
- After the 120th qualifying monthly payment, you must submit a PSLF Application for Forgiveness to have the remaining debt forgiven.
For more information on the PSLF program, please visit the Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) website.
- Federal Student Aid Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Help Tool
- PSLF Borrower Fact Sheet
- PSLF FAQs
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