PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS (PSLF): Program Expansion
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was designed to relieve the federal student loans of public service workers. Student borrowers who work for the government or at a non-profit after 10 years of qualifying payments have the balance of their loans forgiven. However, the program has been inaccessible to most borrowers. To fix this, recent changes to the PSLF program will give hundreds of thousands of people access to the promised loan forgiveness. In October 2021, the Department of Education announced an overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program which included the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF). Previously, only the following borrowers qualified:
- Those who work for a qualified employer(s), Government Agency, 501(c)(3), other non-profits.
- Those who made monthly on time full payments.
- Those who paid on a qualified repayment plan (Standard or Income driven)
- Those who have Direct Federal loans (Parent loans do not qualify)
The expansion (TEPSLF) now includes:
- Must still have worked for a qualified employer(s).
- Payments made late qualify.
- Payment made not paid in full will qualify.
- Payments not made under the Covid Student Loan Pause will qualify.
- Payments made on a previously unqualified repayment plan qualify.
- Direct loans are the only loans considered but Perkins and FFEL that are consolidated into a Direct Loan by December 31, 2023, will now be eligible.
- Perkins and FFEL loan consolidation applications must be submitted by December 31, 2023. They do not have to have been finalized by the cut-off date to count toward forgiveness.
- Parent loans do not qualify.
If qualified, borrowers should take the next steps.
- If it is necessary to consolidate other loans, fill out the application form ASAP at Consolidate Your Federal Student Loans | Federal Student Aid.
- Borrowers who have Direct Loans but did not qualify for the PSLF but do qualify under TEPSLF should apply.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Help Tool | Federal Student Aid
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) | U.S. Department of Education
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness - The White House