Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

November 9, 2022

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The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 established the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program which offers loan forgiveness for borrowers meeting all required eligibility requirements.

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Program Summary

This federal program provides forgiveness for the remaining Direct Loan balance after a borrower makes qualifying payments covering 120 separate monthly payments, while working in a qualifying public service position. 

There have been many recent changes and updates to the program and additional changes are anticipated in 2023.  For updates, visit the Federal Student Aid website. 

Eligibility Requirements

There are three areas of qualification that need to be met simultaneously, over a period of 120 months or 10-years. Progress towards PSLF can be halted and/or resumed as needed – meaning the 120 months of payments and work do not have to be consecutive during the 10-year period. To qualify for forgiveness borrowers must have eligible loans, make required payments while enroll in an eligible repayment plan and working for an eligible employer.

Eligible Loans: Any non-defaulted loan made under the Direct Loan program may be eligible, including:

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans (for graduate/professional students)
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

Other federal student loans that could be made eligible, by including in a Direct Consolidation Loan, include the following:  

  • Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Certain Health Professions and Nursing Loans

Only payments made towards eligible loans will count toward the 120 payments needed for forgiveness.

Eligible Payments: Borrowers are required to make payments to cover 120 separate monthly payments while enrolled in an eligible repayment plan. Eligible repayment plans include the following plans:

Additional PSLF Resources:
PSLF Checklist
Income-Driven Repayment Plans and PSLF
PSLF Videos/Webinars
Federal Student Aid FAQ
PSLF Eligible Employer Search
PSLF Form

Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF)
In 2018, the Consolidated Appropriations Act provided limited, additional conditions under which borrowers may be eligible for loan forgiveness if some or all payments made on their Direct Loans were under a nonqualifying repayment plan. To find out more about this limited funding opportunity and to see if the TEPSLF applies to you, review the TEPSLF information on the Federal Student Aid website.

Qualifying Work:
Borrowers must be employed full-time (at least 30 hours per week) in a qualifying public service position (a) during the period in which he or she made 120 monthly payments, (b) at the time of application for loan forgiveness, and (c) at the time the remaining principal and interest are forgiven.

Qualifying public service employment includes work in 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, government organizations, and/or other not-for-profit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public service. This type of employment could include work at qualifying medical schools and teaching hospitals, employment with AmeriCorps or Peace Corps, military service, public health, public safety, and other similar types of employment. For more information regarding qualifying employment visit the Federal Student Aid website.

A Question to Consider When Evaluating Residency Programs
Does the residency program qualify as an eligible employer?
 

The best way to find out is to ask during your interview. The answer you receive may help you decide where you want to do your residency. The PSLF Help Tool may also help you with determining if your potential employer may qualify as an eligible employer.

Once you start your residency program, you should complete the Public Service Loan Forgiveness form annually. If you should change positions, you will want to also complete the form immediately before and after any change in employment. Completing the form, indicates your interest in the program and the form will help the PSLF servicer verify and track your eligibility.

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Disclaimer:

This fact sheet provides a summary of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  The information in this document is based on federal regulations and is subject to change.

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