Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

by MAtthew RossJune 17th, 2019

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a program that was created for students who started their careers in Public Service like teachers, military, or government. After 10 years worth of payments, you qualify to have tax-free student loan forgiveness. This program is perfect for students who are committed to having a career in public service. Kristin Bhaumik, an associate director in the financial aid office at the University of Michigan. “Ten years is a very long time for most people to plan out their future just for loan forgiveness,” she says.

How to get into the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Many students are not accepted into the program because they don't meet the requirements to enroll. However, you can get your loans forgiven if you meet the requirements for the program. Only loans that are part of the federal Direct Loan Program are eligible for PSLF. Private student loans aren’t eligible.

The Issue?

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program started in 2007, that means the primary group of students became eligible for relief in 2017. Less than 1% of students have had their loans discharged as of March 2019, in step with information from the Department of Education.

Over 35 million student loan borrowers hold approximately $1.2 billion in Direct Loans.

How to get into the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

To count toward PSLF, your payments must be made on the standard 10-year plan or on one of the four income-driven repayment plans.You’ll save the most money if you make all qualifying payments on an income-driven plan. If you make all payments on the standard plan, you’ll pay off the debt by the time you’ve made enough payments to qualify for PSLF.

The first thing you must do is consolidate your other federal student loans to be eligible for the public service loan forgiveness program. The reason for this is because after you consolidate, the progress you've made on these loans restart.


It is also possible to get forgiveness after 5 years of public service if you are eligible for the Perkins loan cancellation.
The following is a more precise requirement of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program:

  • Government Organizations at any level.
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
  • AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps
  • Nonprofit organizations that don’t have 501(c)(3) status but provide a qualifying public service as their primary purpose.

The next thing you must do is submit a form that qualifies your employer to confirm that your employer does qualify for the program. Submit the form to your FedLoan, Next a representative for the department of education will accept the application. When the form is processed, your loans will be transferred to FedLoan to be serviced going forward.

You will have to recertify every year so you will need to submit a new application every year, or whenever you change your job to make sure you still qualify for the program. You’re not required to submit the form every year, but it’s a good idea to do so for your records.

You must work for your qualifying employer full time, which is equal to 30 hours a week. You could also have to eligible jobs and employers, as long as you work for 30 hours a week you will still qualify.