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Understanding Pubic Service Loan Forgiveness: How can you qualify?

Melanie Meths Abangan|PSLF|February 28, 2024
Understanding Pubic Service Loan Forgiveness: How can you qualify?

Are you currently employed by a government or not-for-profit organization? If so, you might be on the path to a significant financial benefit through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. This program offers the chance to have the remaining balance on your Direct Loans forgiven after meeting specific criteria. Let's dive into what you need to know to take advantage of this opportunity.

Understanding PSLF Eligibility

To qualify for PSLF, several conditions must be met:

  1. Employment: You must work full-time for a qualifying employer, including U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal governments, as well as certain tax-exempt not-for-profit organizations.
  2. Loan Type: You must have Direct Loans, although other federal student loans can be consolidated into a Direct Loan to become eligible. If you have loan types like Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), or Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) you might want to look into consolidating your loans to access Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you have a Parent Plus Loan, we can help you do double consolidation to give access to loan forgiveness as well as access to lower student loan payments.
  3. Repayment Plan: Repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan or the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan.
  4. Payment Count: Make a total of 120 qualifying monthly payments while meeting the other requirements.

Changes to the PSLF Program

Recent updates to the PSLF program aim to simplify the application process and expand eligibility. Changes announced in April 2022, including adjustments to payment counts, may positively impact borrowers with federally managed loans seeking income-driven repayment forgiveness and PSLF.

How to Apply for PSLF

Applying for PSLF is straightforward. Start by submitting a PSLF form, preferably through the PSLF Help Tool. This tool streamlines the process by allowing you to check employer eligibility, request reviews, and prepare and sign the necessary forms electronically.

Top Tip: Remember to certify your employment annually and whenever you change employers to stay on track for loan forgiveness.

COVID-19 Payment Pause and PSLF

Paused payments due to COVID-19, are going to count toward your 120 qualifying payments, provided you meet all other criteria.

Understanding Qualifying Employment

Qualifying employment for PSLF focuses on the type of employer rather than the specific job role. Below is a list of eligible and ineligible employers for PSLF:

Eligible Employer Types Include:

  • U.S.-based government organizations (federal, state, local, or tribal)
  • Tax-exempt not-for-profit organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Other not-for-profit organizations with a majority of employees engaged in qualifying public services

Ineligible Employers:

  • For-profit organizations
  • labor unions, and
  • Partisan political organizations

Ensuring Qualifying Payments

To ensure your payments count towards PSLF, make sure they meet specific criteria:

  • Payments must be made while employed full-time by a qualifying employer.
  • Payments should be made under a qualifying repayment plan.
  • Ensure payments cover the full amount due on your bill.

Navigating the PSLF program can be complex, but with the right information and tools at your disposal, you can take full advantage of this opportunity for student loan forgiveness. Stay informed about program updates and ensure your payments align with the program's requirements to maximize your chances of success.

If you need personalized assistance or have questions about your specific situation, our experts at LoanSense are here to help. Visit our website at to learn more about our services and get in touch. You may also check out our YouTube Channel for more informative discussions and topics related to student loan debt.

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