Last fall, the U.S. Department of Education announced changes to PSLF program rules for a limited time as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. Millions of educators, school leaders, and nonprofit and government employees have federal student loans that may now be eligible for loan forgiveness or additional credit toward forgiveness through the limited PSLF waiver.
Under temporary changes to the program, through October 31, 2022, federal student loan borrowers may receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF.
Under normal PSLF rules, borrowers must make 120 payments on a Federal Direct Loan while on a qualifying repayment plan and while employed by a qualifying public service employer. Under the limited PSLF waiver:
• Borrowers who have Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), Perkins loans, or other federal student loans can consolidate their loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan and receive PSLF credit for periods of repayment prior to consolidation. Periods of repayment on parent PLUS loans are not eligible under the limited PSLF waiver. Before consolidating, borrowers should check to see if they work for a qualifying employer using the PSLF Employer Search.
• Past periods of repayment will now count regardless of whether a borrower made a payment, or made that payment on time, for the full amount due or on a qualifying repayment plan.
• Teachers who have received Teacher Loan Forgiveness can also count the period of service that led to their eligibility toward PSLF if they certify PSLF employment for that period. Educators should consider certifying all periods of service for consideration of the PSLF waiver.
Interested borrowers must consolidate their non-Direct federal student loans if they carry such loans and submit a PSLF form—the single application used for a review of employment certification, payment counts, and processing of forgiveness—on or before October 31, 2022, to have previously ineligible payments counted. After October 31, 2022, normal PSLF rules will apply.
This item is compiled from information authored by the US Department of Education.