If you’re a federal student loan borrower who has worked full-time in public service at any point since 2007, one date you need to remember is October 31, 2022. This date is the deadline for submitting your Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver, which gives you credit for payments that weren’t previously qualified for PSLF or Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF).
The PSLF waiver allows federal student loan borrowers to credit 120 qualifying payments (QPs) much quicker than they would be able to under the old PSLF rules. While this may mean nothing for those not associated with the PSLF program, to those who have been working in PSLF-eligible jobs and making PSLF-qualifying payments, this waiver could be life-changing.
If you’re qualified for forgiveness through the PSLF waiver, make your move before October 31, 2022. Continue reading for more information about the PSLF program, the PSLF waiver, and how you can submit this waiver before it’s too late.
What is the PSLF Program?
Before diving deeper into the PSLF waiver, we’ll begin with a brief overview of the PSLF program itself. The PSLF program is a debt forgiveness program for federal student loan borrowers who work in PSLF-eligible jobs. To qualify for PSLF, you must make 120 qualifying payments (QPs) while working full-time in an eligible job. QPs are payments made towards your loans after October 1, 2007, under a qualifying repayment plan, while employed full-time by a PSLF-eligible employer. PSLF-eligible employers include:
- Most government organizations at the local, state, or federal level
- Nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
- Other types of not-for-profit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public services
Loans under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program qualify. However, loans from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program don’t, unless they are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
Basically, every QP you make is one step closer to loan forgiveness. After you’ve made 120 QPs, the remaining balance on your Direct Loans will be forgiven. Usually, it takes about ten years to reach this point. With the PSLF waiver, however, you may be able to get there much sooner.
What is the PSLF Waiver?
The PSLF waiver is an important, limited-time opportunity that allows you to get PSLF credit for past payments that only weren’t PSLF-qualified because they were not made under an income-driven repayment plan. If this credit brings you up to 120 QPs, then the PSLF waiver could be your ticket to complete loan forgiveness.
The waiver is available for a limited time only. You have until October 31, 2022 to submit an application and receive PSLF credit for eligible past payments. If you’ve put your years into full-time Public Service and your payments towards your student loans, you can take advantage of the limited PSLF waiver to get the most from your money.
How is the PSLF waiver an answered prayer to PSLF borrowers? The waiver introduces changes to the standard PSLF rules, including:
- Past repayments on loans that weren’t PSLF-eligible can be credited.
- Past repayments are counted regardless of the time of payment and whether or not they were for the full amount due or on a qualifying repayment plan.
- Forbearance periods of at least 12 consecutive months or at least 36 cumulative months are counted under the waiver.
An important thing to remember is that the qualifying employment requirement remains the same: you must work full-time for a PSLF employer during the entire period you’re requesting PSLF credit.
The waiver will work for borrowers with direct loans and plans consolidated into the Direct Loan Program. If you still haven’t consolidated into the Direct Loan Program, you have until October 31, 2022, 11:59 P.M. Eastern time to submit a consolidation application.
How to Make the Most of the PSLF Waiver
It’s not too late to get PSLF credit for your public service. Take the following steps to take advantage of this opportunity before it’s too late:
1. Confirm Your Employer’s Qualification.
You’re good to go if you work for the government, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, or another PSLF-eligible employer. If you’re unsure whether your employer is PSLF-eligible, you can use the PSLF Help Tool to find out.
2. Learn About and Consolidate Your Loans.
Make sure you know your loan types and get them into the Direct Loan Program if they’re not there already. Remember: FFEL and Perkins Loans won’t count unless you consolidate them first! You’ll want to get all of your repayments counted to maximize your PSLF credit. The only way to do that is to know and understand your own loans.
3. Understand the Changes Made by the PSLF Waiver.
The PSLF waiver makes some significant changes to the PSLF program; to make the most of it, you’ll need to know how it works and how it can help you. Read up on the PSLF waiver to learn exactly how it works and what changes it brings so you can make informed decisions about your finances.
4. Hurry Up!
You have until October 31, but don’t wait too long. Get your PSLF waiver application in as soon as possible to get PSLF credit for your public service. If you start now, you’ll know how much work you need to put in to consolidate your loans and get your PSLF-qualified payments in before the deadline.
Take the Shortcut to Forgiveness
If you’ve put the time into your public service positions, you deserve to receive your loan forgiveness as soon as possible so you can put your hard-earned money towards the things you care about. With the PSLF waiver, you can get the credit you deserve for your QPs and take a leap closer to the end of your PSLF journey.
There’s no time like the present to get your PSLF waiver in, and we’re here to help you sort things out. Learn more about the PSLF waiver with us today!