Are you looking for ways to reduce your student loan debt? Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a federal program that can help you do just that. But before you can take advantage of this program, you need to know what loans are eligible for PSLF. The good news is that only loans that are part of the federal Direct Loan Program are eligible for PSLF. This includes federal Direct Loans, federal loans that were consolidated into a federal consolidation loan, and any previous payments made while working for a qualifying employer.
Unfortunately, private student loans, federal family education loans (FFEL) and federal Perkins loans are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness. If you have a combination of FFEL loans and Direct Loans, you can consolidate other types of federal student loans, federal family education loans, or Perkins loans to make them eligible for PSLF. Active duty service members may also qualify for student loan deferrals and deferrals that help them during periods when the service inhibits their ability to make payments. To qualify for PSLF, you must work full time for a qualified employer or at least 30 hours per week.
Once you are ready to apply for PSLF, you will need to complete and submit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Application and Certification Form. The Department of Education offers a public service loan forgiveness aid tool to assist borrowers with their applications. You will then need to verify that you work for an eligible employer and file a PSLF form before October. If the Department previously said that your employer was not eligible for PSLF, then you must submit a new form through the PSLF Help Tool to see if you can receive credit for forgiveness.
The Department estimates that the limited exemption alone will help more than 550,000 borrowers who had previously consolidated their loans to automatically see their progress toward PSLF grow, and the average borrower will receive 23 additional payments. Refinancing student loans can save you money and help you get rid of debt faster by lowering your interest rate. Many borrowers report discrepancies in their PSLF payment counts, and PHEAA, the student loan servicer responsible for processing PSLF payments, has reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Attorney General to review PSLF applications for possible errors.Colin Beresford is a student loan writer at NerdWallet and aims to help people make the best possible decisions when paying for an education. If you want to take advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, make sure you understand what loans are eligible and how to apply.