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Steps to Follow for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness, PSLF, is available to borrowers with student loans from the Federal Direct Loan program (Direct Loans). Once all of the requirements are met, the Department of Education will forgive (or cancel) the remaining balance of interest and principal.

The Steps to obtain Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Step 1: Make ineligible loans eligible by consolidating them into a Direct Consolidation Loan ( External Link) and choose FedLoan Servicing as your servicer, they are the servicer for PSLF

Step 2: Request a qualifying repayment plan

Step 3: Submit a completed Employment Certification Form PDF External Link (ECF) for Public Service Loan Forgiveness annually

Step 4: Begin making the 120 qualifying payments while working in a qualifying position

Step 5: Establish an online account with FedLoan Servicing to track payments and enroll in Direct Debit to ensure on-time payments

Step 6: Upon completion, apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Terms to Know for PSLF

Qualifying Work: Full-time Employment (at least 30 hours per week) in a qualifying public service position. The employer will be one of the following:

  • public service organization - a private organization providing a public service
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (i.e., many teaching hospitals)
  • federal, state, local or tribal government organization, agency or entity (i.e., county hospitals and clinics, etc.)
  • military service

Qualifying Payments: In addition to working in a qualifying public service position, you must also make 120 on-time monthly payments. (Payments do not need to be consecutive)

Eligible Repayment Plans: These repayment plans are eligible for PSLF:

  • Income-Based Repayment
  • Income-Contingent Repayment
  • Pay As You Earn Repayment
  • Standard Repayment (or a plan where the payment is not less than the monthly amount required under the 10 year Standard Repayment Plan)

Eligible Lender: Direct Loans is the only eligible lender for PSLF. If federal student loans were disbursed by another lender, a Direct Consolidation Loan can be used to convert these loans into eligible loans. For more information about consolidation, visit External Link.

Eligible Loans: Only the following non-defaulted loan types are eligible*:

  • Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

*Private loans and any consolidation loan containing a spousal consolidation are not eligible.

A Note About Other Loans: Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, and certain Health Professions Loans are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness IF they are consolidated into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. All payments made prior to the consolidation will not be counted toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

This information is intended as a general guideline only. For more detailed information about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and to obtain the Employer Certification form visit Federal Student Aid - Public Service Loan Forgiveness External Link.

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