Public Service Loan Forgiveness

You may be on track to qualify for complete loan forgiveness from the U.S. government! Here’s what you need to know:

  • Forgives remaining balance after 120 qualifying payments under qualifying payment plan while working for a qualified employer
  • Try to keep professionals in public service
  • First loan payments that were eligible were paid beginning Oct. 1, 2007

The original PSLF program was very confusing, however, and a lot of people who thought they’d qualify did not. Two extension programs have been passed since:

  • TEPSLF which allowed borrowers who were misguided by their loan servicers into incorrect payment plans to have payments retroactively qualified
  • Biden’s Limited Waiver which allows periods of repayment on student borrow FFEL Loans, Perkins Loans and Direct Loans will count towards PSLF
    • Biden’s Limited Waiver expires on October 31. In order to qualify, you need to [1] consolidate your loans (if they are not already direct loans) and [2] submit employment certifications by Oct. 31

When Biden’s Limited Waiver expires, PSLF will return to its original form. In it’s original form, you will qualify for PSLF if the following criteria are met:

  • Your loans are:
    • Direct subsidized
    • Direct unsubsidized
    • Graduate PLUS
    • Consolidated direct
  • Your payments are:
    • Made after Oct. 1, 2007
    • Under Income-Driven Repayment Plan
    • For full amount
    • No later than 15 days after due date
    • While you are still employed at the time of application and forgiveness


Does my employer qualify?

Use this search tool to find out! Qualifying organizations are U.S. local, state, federal, or tribal government agencies and non-profit organizations. You are allowed to working for different qualifying agencies, but a payment only counts if made when employed by one of those agencies.

What if I have not made 120 qualifying payments yet?

That’s okay! Submit the PSLF form anyway and the check the box that says, ” I just want to find out how many qualifying payments I have made or if my employer is a qualified employer.” Go through this process annually so you can keep track of which of your payments qualify (and if the government is actually giving you credit for qualifying payments).

What if my loan does not qualify?

Under Biden’s Limited Waiver, FFEL and Perkins Loans count in addition to Direct Loans. If you have a Direct PLUS or Parent PLUS loans you will need to consolidate them and select an income-contingent repayment plan. Unfortunately, this will reset the count of payments toward your loan forgiveness.

How do I stay on top of this?

Keep track of your employment history! Regularly submit inquiries using the PSLF form so you can see how many payments are being counted. Use the PSLF Help Tool when completing the form and make sure to hand-sign (not digitally sign) the PSLF form and employer verifications.

What if I am rejected?

The PSLF program is poorly organized and a lot of people have had frustrating experiences receiving forgiveness even when they seem to qualify. This is why it is very important to document everything. Keep track of your employment periods and payments made while employed there. Record every interaction you have with the DOE. Use your receipts to appeal, appeal, APPEAL!

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