What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program?
In 2007, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your eligible federal student loans after you have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers. Since you must make 120 monthly payments on your eligible federal student loans after October 1, 2007 before you qualify for the loan forgiveness, the first cancellations of loan balances will not be granted until October 2017.
What federal student loans are eligible for forgiveness under the PSLF Program?
Any non-defaulted loan made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan Program) is eligible for loan forgiveness. The Direct Loan Program includes the following loans:
NOTE: To qualify for forgiveness of a parent PLUS Loan you, the parent borrower, not the student on whose behalf you obtained the loan, must be employed by a public service organization.
How can other federal student loans become eligible for loan forgiveness under the PSLF Program?
Although loan forgiveness under this program is available only for loans made and repaid under the Direct Loan Program, loans made under other federal student loan programs may become eligible for forgiveness if they are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan. However, only payments made on the Direct Consolidation Loan will count toward the required 120 monthly payments. The following loans may be consolidated into the Direct Loan Program:
Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, which include:
NOTE: To consolidate a Federal Perkins Loan or Health Professions or Nursing Loan into the Direct Loan Program, you must also consolidate at least one FFEL Program loan or Direct Loan.
What are the borrower eligibility requirements for loan forgiveness under the PSLF Program?
What are the specific loan repayment requirements for loan forgiveness under the PSLF Program?
You must have made 120 separate monthly payments after October 1, 2007, on the Direct Loan Program loans for which forgiveness is requested. Earlier payments do not count toward meeting this requirement. Each of the 120 monthly payments must be made for the full scheduled installment amount within 15 days of the due date.
The 120 required payments must be made under one or more of the following Direct Loan Program repayment plans:
What types of public service jobs will qualify a borrower for loan forgiveness under the PSLF Program?
You must be employed full time (in any position) by a public service organization, or must be serving in a full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps position. Organizations that meet the definition of “public service organization” for purposes of the PSLF Program are listed below.