Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Photo of financial documents being worked onED Announces Limited Time Waiver for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Requirements Through October 31, 2022

If you have student loan debt or will soon, I share with you some good news from the Department of Education. This important news for one and all – prospective students, current students, and our alumni.

Federal Student Aid announced a time limited waiver of certain requirements to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The PSLF program has never quite lived up to the promises from when it was launched. It has had a difficult history with strict federal adherence to its many regulatory requirements, and federal contractors (loan servicers) who either misled or did not inform borrowers who may have otherwise been eligible. The original scope of the program left many borrowers from considering participation in the program if their federal loans were not Direct Loans. 

Congress (via the HEROES Act) and the Department of Education have responded with temporary provisions to “benefit student loan borrowers, particularly the public service workers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.” During this PSLF waiver period which expires after October 31, 2022 students with non-Direct Loans may consolidate their Perkins loans and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) into a new Federal Direct Consolidation Loan and include those in their PSLF application. The Department has created an information webpage for the limited PSLF waiver which will be updated as new information becomes available. There are several key flexibilities:

  • For a limited time, you may receive credit for past periods of repayment on loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF.
  • If you have FFEL, Perkins, or other federal student loans, you’ll need to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify for PSLF both in general and under the waiver. Before consolidating, make sure to check to see if you work for a qualifying employer.
  • Past periods of repayment will now count regardless of whether you made a payment, made that payment on time, for the full amount due, on a qualifying repayment plan.
  • Counts loan payments made under non-income driven payment plans
  • Counts any qualifying payments and qualified employment retroactive to October 2007
  • Periods of deferment or forbearance, and periods of default, continue to not qualify.

APA Division 18 – Psychologists in Public Service recently hosted a very informative webinar which you may view here on YouTube. I strongly recommend this recorded webinar with great information on PSLF in general, the temporary PSLF waiver, and touching on some other federal loan repayment options through the National Health Service Corps and the Veterans Administration.

 

Roger Maki-Schramm is Director of Financial Aid and Development at MSP.

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