Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) just announced significant changes. These changes are projected to impact millions of borrowers and result in billions of loan forgiveness. If you work in a school, government, or non-profit and have Federal student loans taken out before 2010; then these changes could be game-changing for you.
Many borrowers will get months or even years of additional credit, and some will qualify for immediate forgiveness.
- For example, if you have worked for an eligible employer for at least the last ten years and made 120 payments, you could apply and have your loans FORGIVEN immediately.
What was Fixed?
- Counting all previous payments:
- Payments made on the wrong repayment plan
- Payments made on FFEL Loans
- Payments made on previous Direct Loans
- Review Denied PSLF Applications and Identify and Correct Errors in PSLF Processing
- The PSLF Waiver expires on 10.31.2022, so you must have everything submitted by that date. But I would not wait.
What type of loans do I have?
- It’s common for borrowers not to know what kind of federal loans they have. You can see what loans you have by logging into your account on StudentAid.gov, going to the My Aid page (StudentAid.gov/aid-summary), and scrolling down to the Loan Breakdown section. There, you’ll see a list of each loan you borrowed, even if you have paid the loan off or consolidated it into a new one. Direct Loans begin with the word “Direct.” Federal Family Education Loans start with “FFEL,” and Perkins Loans include “Perkins” in the name.
- This program does not cover loans taken out by parents (Parent Plus).
What if I have private student loans?
What do I need to do?
- What loan type do you have?
- If all your loans are already Direct Loans, then you can move on to step 2.
- If you have any FFEL or Perkins loans, you must submit a consolidation application of all your loans to a Direct Consolidation Loan. After the consolidation is complete and all your loans are on the Direct Loan program, move on to step 2.
- Submit a PSLF Application
- The PSLF Help Tool is being updated in the coming months to process applications for users with FFEL and Perkins loans. In the meantime, you can request a loan consolidation, but a PSLF application through the tool may not be available in the short term.
Please help me share this news with friends and colleagues that work at schools, governments, and non-profits as you have to apply to benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I expect to see a change in my qualifying payment count?
- Updating borrower account information to reflect the new payment count may take several months.
Do I need to be currently employed at a qualifying employer to get forgiveness?
- No. Although under standard PSLF Program rules, you must be employed at a qualifying employer when you receive forgiveness, that requirement is waived during this limited-time opportunity.
How can I determine which payments now qualify for PSLF under this limited-time opportunity?
- If you have previously filed a PSLF form, you can see what payments are eligible under this limited PSLF waiver by logging into your account with FedLoan Servicing in the coming months.
- If you have never filed a PSLF Application, you need to do so by October 31, 2022, to see what payments are eligible under this limited-time opportunity.
This change will give me more than 120 qualifying payments. What happens next?
- If you made more than 120 payments on an existing Direct Loan, you would automatically receive a refund for the qualifying payments you made more than 120. In addition, you’ll receive a notification when your loans are forgiven, provided you’ve had your employment certified for those 120 qualifying payments. If you have not had your employment certified, you should submit a PSLF form for each employer. To receive forgiveness, if you still have FFEL or Perkins Loans, you must consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan by October 1, 2022.
What if I already received forgiveness under PSLF? Can I get a refund for payments that did not count toward my forgiveness but that count under this limited-time opportunity?
- If you have already received forgiveness, you are not eligible for a refund of prior payments.
How do I determine if my past or current employer qualifies for PSLF?
- You can use the PSLF Help Tool to access the employer database, which provides information on which employers meet PSLF Program requirements.
How can I tell if I have already submitted an ECF or PSLF form?
- If you FedLoan is your loan servicer, you can log in to your account to see your progress toward PSLF so far. If you have a loan servicer other than FedLoan Servicing, you have not submitted an ECF or PSLF form.
I think there is a mistake with my payment count. Who should I contact?