What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) allows qualifying federal student loans to be forgiven after 120 qualifying payments (10 years), while working for a qualifying public service employer.
How to learn more about PSLF
Working in public service, such as government service (federal, U.S. Military, state, local, or tribal) or certain non-profit organizations may qualify you for PSLF. Your employment may also qualify if your employer provides certain types of qualifying public services.
Here’s what to do if you want to learn more:
1. Understand your choices
Only federal Direct Loans qualify for loan forgiveness. You may consolidate most other federal loans into a new Direct Consolidation Loan in order to qualify.
Student loan borrowers must be enrolled in a qualifying payment plan. Income-driven repayment plans are your best option to pursue PSLF. Income-driven repayment plans are based on your income that let you pay less now and set you up to have more forgiven later.
- Visit the Department of Education’s Aid Summary resource to determine what type of federal student loans you have at studentaid.gov/aid-summary .
- Use the PSLF Help Tool to figure out your personal next steps for pursuing forgiveness at studentaid.gov/pslf .
2. Enroll and certify
Once you have a qualifying loan, you need to enroll in a qualifying payment plan, and certify that you work in public service.
- Enroll in a qualifying payment plan. Get started at studentaid.gov to learn more about qualifying repayment options such as income-driven repayment plans.
- Fill out the PSLF form for all your qualifying employment and certify that you work for a public service organization. Use the PSLF Help Tool to fill out the form or you can fill out a paper form and submit it to MOHELA, the federal student loan servicer that handles PSLF.
You may mail the form to this address:
U.S. Department of Education
633 Spirit Drive
Chesterfield, MO 63005-1243
You may also fax your PSLF form to MOHELA at 866-222-7060.
If MOHELA is already your servicer, you may upload your form on MOHELA’s website .
- Set a reminder to submit an updated PSLF form each year to verify that you are still on track to receive PSLF.
3. Follow up with your servicer
Once you submit the PSLF form, the company that services your loan may change to MOHELA, the servicer that manages accounts for borrowers pursuing PSLF. If you don’t know who services your student loans, you can find out by visiting the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website . Through this website you can access information about your federal student loans, including your federal student loan servicer.
Things to consider
- Keep proof of your payments. Every time you make a payment, you should have the option of a PDF or email confirmation. The previous month’s payment should also be reflected in your account statements. Save those!
- Check your payment tally. The PSLF Help Tool helps you stay on track to 120 qualifying payments. Each time you submit your PSLF certification form, you will receive a count of the number of qualifying payments you have made. Make sure it matches your records. You do not have to make the 120 qualifying payments consecutively.
- Lump-sum payments. You can make future payments (or prepayments) to your qualifying federal student loans, and they will be counted toward your PSLF qualifying payment count if all other program criteria are met. Prepayments will count for up to 12 months or the next time you’re due to recertify for your income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, whichever is sooner.