Public Service Loan Forgiveness? Yes please! | 01.31.12

Posted in News, PLUS Loans, Repayment, Stafford Loan, Student Loans By Student Loan Network Staff

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a federal program that rewards public service employees for working in their chosen professions. As you might suspect, the reward is forgiveness of your student loan balance, an offer that many seek but few are able to take advantage of.

The Department of Education has recently made improvements to the PSLF process. While the requirements remain the same, they are more clear, and there’s a variety of new documentation to help get you through the application process.

If you’re not familiar with Public Service Loan Forgiveness here’s a brief overview:

Who is it for?

Employees who have worked for a qualifying public service organization for a minimum of 10 years. This does not mean your specific role at the organization needs to qualify, you simply must work for a qualifying organization.

Qualifying organizations include:

  • Federal, state, or local government organizations/agencies
  • Non-Profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501©(3) of the IRS guidelines

How do I qualify?

You must make 120 on-time monthly payments (yes, this is equal to 10 years) on your Direct Loans under a qualifying repayment plan. (Only payments made after 2007 are eligible)

Qualifying repayment plans include:

  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
  • Income-Contingent Repayment
  • Standard, 10 year Repayment
  • Any other Direct Loan Repayment Plan where monthly payments meet or exceed the amount you would have paid under Standard Repayment

What’s new?

The Department of Education released an Employee Certification Package. These documents include specific information on how to qualify, directions for completing the certification form, as well as the form itself.

Hopefully, these updates to the PSLF information will help borrowers easily track their employment over the 10 years of payment. To learn more or to get the PSLF certification package, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

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2 Responses to “Public Service Loan Forgiveness? Yes please!”

  1. Renee Bielling says on March 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm:

    Please clarify: Is a parent who obtained the PLUS loan(for their son) eligible to apply for loan forgiveness if they have been employed as a teacher in the state of California for 20 years?

    Reply To This Comment
    • Student Loan Guru says on March 2, 2012 at 11:03 am:

      Yes, the only issue with a PLUS loan in this case is that PLUS loans are ineligible for income based or income-contingent repayment. This means that your loan will probably already be paid of in 20 years, so there will be nothing left to forgive. Eligibility for the program requires that you make monthly payments on the loan for the 20 years you are in public service, so you can’t retroactively apply your public service experience. You can, however, consolidate the loan, at which point you will be in repayment long enough to have some of the funds forgiven.

      Reply To This Comment

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