Public Service Loan Forgiveness


Information for Borrowers

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Information for Employers

Learn more about your role in PSLF.

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  The Waiver Ended on Oct. 31, 2022. What now?

On Oct. 31, 2022, the limited PSLF waiver ended, and beginning Nov. 1, 2022, the normal program requirements for both PSLF and TEPSLF went back into effect. If the date signed by your employer's authorized official is on or after Nov. 1, 2022, the normal program requirements for PSLF and TEPSLF apply.


Frequently Asked Questions for the PSLF Limited time Waiver that ended Oct. 31, 2022

What if I’m waiting on ED to review my employer’s eligibility?

As a result of the incredible response to the limited PSLF waiver, we are experiencing high volumes of employer reviews. Many factors contribute to review times including the complexity associated with determining if an organization provides a qualifying service, the accuracy of the information submitted (e.g. EIN and employer name), and your employer’s organizational structure. Once the U.S. Department of Education (ED) completes its review of your employer’s eligibility, you will be notified.

As long as you used the PSLF Help Tool on or before Oct. 31, 2022, and a review is pending, you will receive the benefits of the limited PSLF waiver if ED determines the employer is eligible.


What if the processing of my consolidation is not complete by Oct. 31, 2022?

If you have FFEL, Perkins, or other loan types that are not Direct Loans, your consolidation application must have been submitted online through StudentAid.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 31, 2022, in order for you to receive the benefits of the limited PSLF waiver.


What if I submitted my PSLF form and I’m waiting for a response?

Due to the flexibilities offered under the limited PSLF waiver and this rare opportunity, there are unprecedented volumes of PSLF form submissions and consolidation applications. It will take time for MOHELA to process all of the form submissions and make adjustments to your accounts.

We expect that it may take at least 90 business days for MOHELA to process these forms. Many factors impact processing times, including if your loans were with another servicer and require a transfer, if the form had any missing fields such as an employer’s EIN, the number of PSLF forms we receive, and if ED is reviewing your employer’s eligibility, among other factors.

If the processing of your form is not complete until after Oct. 31, 2022, you will still receive the benefit of the limited PSLF waiver if your form is later approved.

In the meantime, you may receive several auto-generated communications from MOHELA’s system to inform you of intermittent actions such as your employment has been approved, the transfer of your loans is complete, or your consolidation has been processed. For the most up-to-date status of your payment count, we recommend periodically checking MOHELA’s borrower portal for real-time actions.

To learn more about the limited PSLF waiver, please visit StudentAid.gov/pslfwaiver.

PSLF Overview

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program allows you to receive forgiveness of the remaining balance of your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full time for a qualifying employer.

There is also the potential for forgiveness under the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) opportunity. If some or all of the payments you made on your Direct Loans were under a non-qualifying repayment plan for PSLF, you may qualify for TEPSLF if you meet the other requirements. For more information, visit the TEPSLF information page.

  KEEP IN MIND


  • To receive forgiveness, you must remain employed with a qualifying employer at the time you submit your Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) & Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF) Certification & Application AND receive forgiveness for your loans.

  • Moving forward, all PSLF forms will be reviewed for eligibility under the PSLF and TEPSLF programs.

PSLF Form Status

To check your PSLF form processing status, please input the required information below.


Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Seven Steps for PSLF Success

The PSLF Program takes ten years of payments and employment. The loans you're paying on, how you pay them, and the work you do all play a part in determining whether you reach forgiveness. It's important to understand how the program works to avoid pitfalls along the way that could delay forgiveness or even make you ineligible. Review the seven steps to forgiveness under PSLF to make sure you're on the right track.


  • 1

    Verify Employment

  • 2

    Review Loan Eligibility

  • 3

    Check Your Repayment Plan

  • 4

    Confirm Your Qualifying Payments

  • 5

    Make Qualifying Payments

  • 6

    Track Your Payments

  • 7

    Submit Your PSLF Form for Forgiveness

1

Verify Employment

1. Verify Employment

The first step is to see if your employment qualifies for the PSLF program.


Qualifying Employment

Only employment with the following types of organizations qualifies for PSLF/TEPSLF. If you're unsure whether you work for a qualifying organization, ask your employer.

  • A government organization, including volunteering with AmeriCorps or Peace Corps

  • A 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization

  • A not-for-profit organization that is not a 501(c)(3) organization and which provides certain qualifying services


SEARCH TO SEE IF YOUR EMPLOYMENT QUALIFIES.


Qualifying Employment Status

Not only does your place of work need to be a qualifying employer for PSLF/TEPSLF, the amount of time you work also needs to meet the requirements. You must be considered a full-time employee to qualify for PSLF/TEPSLF. You're considered full-time if you meet one of the following:

  • Work full-time as defined by your employer, or at least 30 hours per week, whichever is higher

  • Teach full-time

  • Work for more than one qualifying employer for a total of more than 30 hours per week


Don't qualify for PSLF?

If your employment does not qualify for PSLF/TEPSLF, you still may be eligible for loan forgiveness under an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan. IDR plans offer loan forgiveness after you make a specific number of payments! Check them out today.

2

Review Loan Eligibility

2. Review Loan Eligibility

Only certain loans qualify for PSLF/TEPSLF. If your loans don't qualify, consolidation may make them eligible.


Eligible Loan Types

The following loan types are eligible:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans (including TEACH Grants that were converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans)

  • Direct PLUS Loans for graduate or professional students

  • Direct Consolidation Loans


If you do not know what type of federal loans you have, visit StudentAid.gov and find out.


Non-eligible Loans & Consolidation

If your loan type isn't listed above, you can consolidate your non-eligible federal student loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to make them eligible for PSLF/TEPSLF. Consolidating can make your loans eligible as long as you meet all other program requirements.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CONSOLIDATION


Have you already made qualifying payments on your Direct Loans?

If you have made qualifying PSLF payments on Direct Loans and then consolidate those loans, you’ll lose credit for any PSLF payments. You’ll need to start over and make 120 qualifying payments on the new Direct Consolidation Loan. For this reason, if you’ve made qualifying PSLF payments on your Direct Loans and you’re thinking of consolidating those loans along with loans you received under other federal student loan programs, you should leave your Direct Loans out of the consolidation and consolidate only your loans from other federal student loan programs.


Are You Ready to Consolidate?

If you decided that consolidation is the right option for you, apply online now at StudentAid.gov!

APPLY NOW

3

Check Your Repayment Plan

3. Check Your Repayment Plan

Only certain repayment plans qualify for PSLF. To get the most benefit from the program, you should switch to an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan if you're not already on one.


To benefit from PSLF, you should consider one of the following IDR plans, which generally base your loan payments on your income, family size, and loan debt.

The IDR plans are:

  • Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)

  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR)

  • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)


If you do not know what repayment plan you are on for your Direct Loans, visit StudentAid.gov and find out.


Is PSLF and an IDR plan right for me?

IDR plans provide a lower monthly payment amount for borrowers who have high student loan debt relative to their income. However, in some cases an IDR plan might give you a higher monthly payment than you want to pay, and your monthly payment might be lower under a traditional repayment plan. In that case, PSLF may not be right for you.


What about the 10-Year Standard Repayment plan?

Although the 10-year Standard Repayment plan is eligible, if you were to stay on this plan, your loans would be paid in full by the time you made all 120 qualifying payments. If you are seeking PSLF and you are currently on the Standard Repayment plan, you should switch to an IDR plan as soon as possible.


What if I am not on an IDR plan?

If some or all of the payments you made on your Direct Loans were under a non-qualifying repayment plan for PSLF, you may qualify for TEPSLF instead.

Qualifying repayment plans for TEPSLF include the qualifying repayment plans for PSLF, as well as the Graduated Repayment Plan, Extended Repayment Plan, Standard Repayment Plan for Direct Consolidation Loans, and Graduated Repayment Plan for Direct Consolidation Loans.

  KEEP IN MIND


  • Any other repayment plan is eligible for PSLF if the monthly payment is equal to or greater than the amount you'd pay on the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan.

  • Alternative repayment plans do not qualify for PSLF.


Do you have a Direct PLUS Loan?

Direct PLUS Loans for parents are not eligible for IDR plans that allow borrowers to benefit from the PSLF program. Therefore, you should consider consolidating your Direct PLUS Loans for parents into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Once consolidated, the new Direct Consolidation Loan can then be repaid under the ICR plan, which is a qualifying repayment plan for PSLF. The ICR plan is the only available IDR plan for a Direct Consolidation Loan that includes a PLUS Loan made to a parent borrower.

  KEEP IN MIND


NOTE: Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans, which include PLUS Loans made to parent borrowers before July 1, 2006 must be re-consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify for repayment under the ICR plan. However, this loan type may only be re-consolidated if combined with another loan.

4

Confirm Your Qualifying Payments

4. Confirm Your Qualifying Payments

To receive confirmation that your loans, employment, and payments qualify for PSLF, you must submit a PSLF form.


Submit Your First PSLF Form

The PSLF form is a form both you and your employer must complete for us to verify that your loan payments were eligible and that you made the payments during periods of qualifying employment. We recommend you submit your first PSLF form after you are confident you:

  • Have qualifying loans

  • Work full-time for a qualifying employer

  • Have made some qualifying payments


Once your qualifying employment is approved, we will begin tracking your progress towards completing the 120 qualifying payments each time you submit a new PSLF form. All PSLF forms will be reviewed for eligibility under both the PSLF/TEPSLF programs.

We recommend that you submit a PSLF form annually. This will help you track your progress in the PSLF/TEPSLF program, and ensure that any repayment or employment missteps are caught sooner rather than later.


Not a MOHELA borrower?

If your loans are not currently serviced by MOHELA — that's OK. You should still fill out a PSLF form and return it to our office. If your qualifying employment is approved, your federal student loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education will automatically be transferred to us and we will begin tracking your progress towards completing the 120 qualifying payments each time you submit a PSLF form.


Complete your PSLF Form Online

The Department of Education created the PSLF Help Tool to walk you through completing the PSLF form.

  TIP: We recommend you have the following information before starting:


  • Your most recent W-2 or your organization's Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

  • The dates of your employment

  • The type of employer you work for (for example, a government organization)

  • If your employer is a not-for-profit organization, the type of tax-exempt status that your employer has, if any (for example, a 501(c)(3) or a 501(c)(4) status)


5

Make Qualifying Payments

5. Make Qualifying Payments

You must be actively paying on your loans.


Qualifying Payments

To receive loan forgiveness under PSLF, you must make 120 qualifying payments. All payments must be made:

  • After October 1, 2007

  • Under a qualifying repayment plan

  • For the full amount due as shown on your bill

  • No later than 15 days after your due date

  • While you are employed full-time at a qualifying employer

  NOTE:  Qualifying monthly payments do not need to be consecutive.

Payments are only considered qualifying during periods when you are required to make a payment. Therefore, payments made during the following loan statuses are not considered qualifying.

  • In School

  • In Grace

  • Deferment

  • Forbearance*

  • Default

* Payments covered by the COVID-19 suspension of payments will be considered qualifying with approved certified employment.


What payments qualify for TEPSLF?

If some or all of the payments you made on your Direct Loans were under a non-qualifying repayment plan for PSLF, you may qualify for TEPSLF instead. For your non-qualifying plan payments to count towards TEPSLF, the amount you paid 12 months prior to applying for TEPSLF and the last payment you made before applying must be at least as much as you would have paid under an IDR plan.


Prepayments

You may prepay your loans (make lump sum payments) and have those payments count towards forgiveness. Each prepayment will only count for up to 12 qualifying payments. In order for the prepayment to qualify for subsequent months you must:

  • Pay an amount to fully satisfy future billed amounts for each month you wish to prepay

  • Make one or more prepayments that pay your loan ahead, but if you are on an Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plan, you may not prepay past your next annual recertification date. Your annual recertification period is the 12 month time period when your payments are based on your income

  • Have qualifying employment that covers the due date for each month you prepay

  • Multiple prepayments made within the same year will not afford you more than 12 months of qualifying payments


Eligible payments vs. qualifying payments

A payment period is tracked as eligible when your payment meets all of the following payment eligibility requirements:

  • Your payment is made under a qualifying repayment plan

  • For the full amount due as shown on your bill

  • Received no later than 15 days after your due date


An eligible payment becomes a qualifying payment when you certify your employment and all or part of your employment period is approved. Eligible payment periods that correspond to approved employment periods are tracked as qualifying. These payments count toward the 120 required for loan forgiveness.

6

Track Your Payments

6. Track Your Payments

Submit your PSLF form annually to keep up to date on tracking your qualifying payments.


Submit Your PSLF Form Annually

Because you have to make 120 qualifying monthly payments, it will take at least 10 years for you to become eligible for PSLF/TEPSLF. We recommend that you submit a new PSLF form annually. This will help you track your progress in the program. Each time we approve qualifying employment, we will update your count of qualifying payments.

  KEEP IN MIND:


  • We encourage you to submit the PSLF form whenever you change jobs to ensure your employment is still eligible.

  • If you do not periodically submit the PSLF form, then at the time you apply for forgiveness you will be required to submit a PSLF form for each employer where you worked while making the required 120 qualifying monthly payments.



Track Your Payments

If you want to see your payments progress in the program, you can find this number by signing in to Account Access.


IMPORTANT: The number of qualifying payments does not automatically increase with each monthly payment. This number will only increase after you submit a new PSLF form providing your certified employment and that form has been approved.

Example:

Qualifying Payments
PSLF Payment Count Graphic
Eligible Payments
PSLF Payment Summary Graphic

How are eligible payments and qualifying payments different? Find out how!

7

Submit Your PSLF Form for Forgiveness

7. Submit Your PSLF Form for Forgiveness

Once you have made your 120th payment, submit a PSLF form to count your qualifying payments and apply for forgiveness.


After we receive your PSLF form, your loans will be reviewed for eligibility for forgiveness. If it appears you are eligible for PSLF/TEPSLF, your employer may be contacted before granting loan forgiveness. Additionally, the amount to be forgiven will be the principal and interest that was due on your eligible loan.

While your loans are being reviewed for loan forgiveness you have two options:

  1. Continue making your monthly payments while your account is being reviewed for forgiveness. If your form is approved any payments made after your final 120th qualifying payment will be refunded.

  2. Apply for a forbearance to postpone payments while your account is being reviewed for forgiveness.


  KEEP IN MIND:


  • You must be working for a qualifying employer at the time you submit your PSLF form applying for forgiveness AND at the time the remaining balance on your loan is forgiven.

  • Loans forgiven under PSLF are not considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service. As a result, you WILL NOT have to pay federal income tax on the amount of your loans that is forgiven.

  • Any amount you paid on your loan after you made your final 120th PSLF qualifying payment will be treated as an overpayment and those monies will be refunded to you.

  • If you have an overpayment on loans forgiven under TEPSLF, that overpayment will be applied to any other loans with an outstanding balance if applicable.


Still Have Questions

Additional Resources

View additional details of the PSLF Program at the Federal Student Aid Website.

PSLF HELP TOOL

Contact a PSLF Specialist

We are here to help you with every step of the process. Contact one of our Public Service Loan Forgiveness specialists at 855-265-4038 for more information.

Learn More About PSLF

Find the answers you're looking for in our FAQs.

GET STARTED

Learn More About the Qualifications

If you had a job or get a job at a government or eligible not-for-profit organization and repay your loans based on your income, you may qualify for forgiveness of your Direct Loans after 120 qualifying payments and employment. See StudentAid.gov/publicservice for more information and for a form you can fill out when you start working to receive confirmation that your employment qualifies for the program.

Employer Resource Center

An Employer's Role in the Process


We will only determine whether an employer qualifies for PSLF based on the submission of the PSLF form. This form requires you, the employer, to certify:

  • That you are a qualifying employer

  • The time frame the employee worked for your organization

  • Whether the employee was employed full time or part time


Your current or former employee may ask for your assistance defining your organization type in Section 3 of the PSLF form. Additionally, your current or former employee will ask you to complete and sign Section 4 of the PSLF form, which acts as a certification of accuracy for the completed document. Review the Employment Certification Documents section for an example of the PSLF form and completion instructions.

Employment Certification Documents

PSLF Form

Employer Eligibility in Completing the PSLF Form

Section 3 of the PSLF form can be completed by the borrower or an authorized official at the borrower's employer (see who is considered an authorized official in the following section). A borrower may need assistance retrieving all necessary information for Section 3, or may have an authorized official from their place of employment fill out this section. Section 4 of the PSLF form must be completed by an authorized official, and cannot be filled out by the borrower.

Authorized Officials

Section 4 of the PSLF form must be filled out by an authorized official. This official may include a party authorized by the borrower's employer to certify the employment status of a current or former employee or service member. This party should have access to the borrower's employment or service records, and is also authorized to assist in the borrower's completion of Section 3. Many employers designate the human resources or personnel office staff as authorized officials.

Recommended Frequency for Sending the PSLF Form

We recommend that employees submit a PSLF form once per year. Even though you and your employee already know whether the employment for your organization qualifies, an updated PSLF form is the only way for an employee to be sure that all of the payments made over the course of the last year of employment count toward PSLF.

Employer Best Practices

  • After you know that your organization qualifies for PSLF, use it as a recruiting opportunity!

  • Talk about PSLF with new hires.

  • Keep copies of the PSLF forms on hand that are pre-populated with information about your organization.

  • Remind your employees who previously submitted a PSLF form to submit a new PSLF form each year!