The Department of Education recently announced an overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. After years of breakdowns and mismanagement, millions of public service workers who have been struggling under the weight of student loan debt now have a path to relief. In short, borrowers who were previously ineligible because they had the wrong loan, were making payments on the wrong payment plan, or were knocked off track due to processing errors can now receive credit toward forgiveness for those years worked in public service.
While this is a huge victory for borrowers — made possible by the tireless efforts of an amazing network of advocacy organizations and individual borrowers across the country — a lot of questions remain about how the process will work. Below, borrowers can find information and resources. As announcements are made, we will continue to update this page to ensure all borrowers have timely, accurate information.
Getting Started: What All Borrowers Need to Do:
- Where do you work? Determine whether your employment qualifies.
- What kind of loan do you have? Find out if you have the right type of loan or if you need to consolidate your loan(s) to qualify.
- Take action before October 31, 2022! Borrowers must apply before the deadline to access this relief.
(Use our guide below to determine the answers to 1 & 2)
Remember: Even if you were previously ineligible, you now may qualify for credit toward PSLF for public service work done since 2007.
Guide to Navigating PSLF
The videos below can provide you with updates on changes to the PSLF program and instructions for applying for PSLF.
Overview of PSLF and Program Changes
Confirming Your Employer Qualifies for PSLF
Identifying Your Student Loans for PSLF
Consolidating Your Loans for PSLF
Certifying Your Employment for PSLF
Frequently Asked Questions on PSLF
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions that might help provide you additional information on your PSLF eligibility. We will update this page with relevant information as more details become public and it’s clear what the next steps are for individual borrowers.
Q: Who can qualify for PSLF?
A: Student loan borrowers pursuing PSLF must be employed by a qualifying public service employer to take advantage of the program. These employers are generally:
- Government employers
- 501(c)3 organizations
- Other non-profit organizations
- Private, for-profit employers currently do not qualify for PSLF.
The Department of Education (ED) generally requires public service workers to file an Employment Certification Form (ECF) to document their employment with a qualified employer. During the current waiver period, ED will engage in data matching with other federal agencies to verify employment for federal government employees and members of the U.S. federal military, but all other borrowers seeking PSLF will need to file an ECF if they have not already done so.
Q: How do I know if I’m eligible for PSLF?
A: During the current waiver period, the Department of Education is allowing borrowers to receive credit toward loan forgiveness for any months since October 1, 2007, during which:
- They worked full-time for a qualifying public service employer, AND
- They were in repayment on any federal student loan they took out for their own education.*
You do not have to be currently employed or working full-time to receive loan forgiveness. If you have accrued 120 months of public service employment while your loans were in repayment since October 1, 2007, you can qualify to have your debt cancelled, regardless of what repayment plan you were in, and regardless of whether you actually made a payment for a given month, as long as your loan was not in a deferment, forbearance, or default.
* Parent Plus loans and Spousal FFEL Consolidation loans are not included in the waiver.
Trouble Getting on Track for PSLF? We Want to Hear From You.
For borrowers having problems navigating PSLF, please fill out the form below. We want to hear about your situation and roadblocks you have faced in order to help identify and address recurring problems.
State-Based Resources for Borrowers
Below is a list of state-based resources as well where borrowers can submit complaints.March-2022-State-Student-Loan-Ombuds-Resources