There is a federal program that is made to forgive student loan debt for employees or specific public and non-profit jobs. This kind of program is known as Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which is also more known as PSLF in short. By joining this program, the students who can be nurses, teachers, firefighters, military members, or the other public service workers, will be able to eliminate their student loans after making 120 qualifying payments while working for an eligible organization.
For those who think that there is a chance for you to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, it will be needed for you to understand the rules before deciding to apply.
How does the Public Service Loan Forgiveness or PSLF work? If you are one of the borrowers, it may mean you will have to work for 10 years before getting loan forgiveness from this program. After completing a total of 10 years of service obligation, your loan balance can be eliminated. However, if the amount is a lot, instead of getting eliminated, it can be reduced.
There are a few requirements that you have to meet if you want to get loan forgiveness. Knowing these requirements beforehand is important to prevent something unexpected from happening. In fact, some people have counted on this program only to discover that they did not meet all the criteria after 10 years. Once again, make sure to understand every single thing before applying for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness in order to make sure that you are on track for it.
In order to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, it is a must for you to be working full time for a qualified employer. Besides, you can also qualify if you work for a minimum of 30 hours per week. The kinds of loans that are eligible include federal Direct Loans and federal loans that were combined into a federal consolidation Loan. As for the ones that are not eligible for loan forgiveness, they include private student loans, Federal Family Education Loans or FFEL and Federal Perkins Loans.
If you want to get the advantage from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, it will be needed for you to change to an income driven repayment plan. They are the types of plans that offer a new monthly payment that is based on your income and extend your repayment term to 20 or 25 years. For those who remain in the standard repayment plan, you will need to pay off your loan in 10 years. For your information, the qualifying repayment plans include all income driven repayment plans, such as Revised Pay as You Earn Repayment (REPAYE), Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE), Income Based Repayment Plan (IBR), and Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR Plan).
After switching to an income driven repayment plan, your loan will be forgiven by Public Service Loan Forgiveness after you make a total of 120 qualifying payments.
You can tell that payments are considered qualified if you are working at an eligible job when these payments are made. However, the program will still count your previous qualifying payments if you end up working as a non-qualifying employer. From the statement, it can be concluded that it is still possible for you to have your loans forgiven if you return to eligible employment at a later date. For anyone who wants to keep track of your payment and eligibility, you can complete the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you have no idea where the form is, you can find it by clicking this link here.
What jobs qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness or PSLF? There are a number of jobs that qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. These jobs include emergency management, government (with the exception of time served as a member of congress), military service, public safety, law enforcement, public education, social work in a public child or family service agency, public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full time professionals that are related to the health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations, as terms are defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics), public interest law services (including prosecution or public defense or legal advocacy on behalf or low income communities at a non-profit organization), early childhood education (including licensed or regulated childcare, head start, and state funded prekindergarten), public service for the elderly, public service for individuals with disabilities, public library sciences, 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organizations, school based library sciences and other school based services, teaching as a faculty member of a tribal college or university, and teaching as a faculty member in a high need subject area or shortage area, including nurse faculty and foreign language faculty.
Aside from these, volunteering full time for the AmeriCorps or Peace Corps also include as the list who qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Then, what about the ones who are not eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness? What is the list of these employers? As for the employers who do not qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, the list includes for profit business, for profit government contractors (as opposed to directly working for a government agency), labor unions, partisan political organizations, and religious organization (with the exception if the job is unrelated to religious instruction, worship services or proselytizing).
How do you apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness.? If you want to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you will have to complete and submit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Certification and Application form that can be found here. This one is the same one for those who want to submit for employer certification. Do not forget to include your employment history for the whole time period when you made qualifying payments. If you are a borrower, there is a help tool offered by the Department of Education to help you with the application. Here is the link for the help tool: https://studentaid.gov/pslf/.