Most federal loans were suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And that has already provided some relief to many students. However, it’s temporary even if it’s been postponed many times.
However, you can still qualify for permanent relief through federal programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness. But the PSLF comes with strict requirements, and that’s why many borrowers who apply get rejected.
So if you think you qualify for PSLF, knowing and understanding everything is essential before repay your student loans. This guide will help you with that.
What Is Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?
Those who work in specific public and nonprofit positions are eligible for PSLF, a government program that forgives student loan debt. After you’ve made 120 qualifying payments while working for an eligible nonprofit, your federal loans will be erased.
For most borrowers, this means waiting 10 years before PSLF will forgive their debt. But, of course, if you pay off your debt in 10 years, the amount you owe will be much lower than when you took out the loan.
The PSLF Is Still An Option
Despite this, the PSLF forgiveness can still be a significant financial benefit if you have a lot of student debt.
Loan forgiveness can only be obtained by consistently completing the program’s requirements. Unfortunately, ten years later, some borrowers have discovered that they didn’t meet all of the requirements for PSLF. For this reason, if you’re interested in pursuing PSLF, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the requirements.
Changes in program policy should also be monitored closely to ensure that the program’s integrity is not jeopardized. The Trump administration, for example, has advocated repealing PSLF numerous times in recent years.
Even if the program no longer exists, current applicants may still be considered eligible (hopefully). However, there’s no guarantee for this.
If you want to impact legislation, contact your political officials and express your views on PSLF.
What Type Of Jobs Qualify For PSLF?
Even though many people ask about the PSLF employment opportunities, the more relevant inquiry is regarding the companies that offer these positions. Employees of the following organizations are eligible for the PSLF program:
- State, local, federal, or tribal government companies
- Not a 501(c)(3) organization, but one that fits other criteria linked to public service.
- A 501(c)(3) nonprofit
- AmeriCorps (in a full-time role) or the Peace Corps
If the company or agency you work for falls under one of the following categories, it doesn’t matter what your exact position entails.
However, if you work for a qualified organization and do religious work as part of your duties, those hours are not counted against your total.
It’s possible that “time spent on religious teaching, worship services, or any form of proselytizing” will not be acceptable (the U.S. Education Department emphasizes this).
You don’t need to work for the same company for 120 months. You must, however, work a minimum of 30 hours per week on an annual basis or the number of hours your employer considers full-time labor.
How To Apply For The PSLF
Complete and submit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification form when ready to apply for PSLF. You’ll need to submit your whole job history during the period in which you made eligible payments.
An online tool provided by the U.S. Education Department assists borrowers in applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. In addition, you can utilize the tool to see if your employer is eligible.
Should You Consider Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Consider how much of your student loans will be forgiven after 10 years of repayment before deciding whether or not to participate in this program.
You should take advantage of this program if you have a lot of student loan debt compared to your wage. It’s doubtful that you’ll have much of your debt erased after a decade if your loan balances are low.
It’s possible to pay off most of your loans in 10 years if you earn a lot and don’t qualify for reduced payments.
Comparing several student loan repayment programs and calculating your residual balance after 120 installments will show you where you stand. Next, calculate how much you could save by using a PSLF calculator.
There is no guarantee of your qualifying or the amount of debt that will be forgiven by using this calculator.
If you have a qualifying job, the PSLF program is now more accessible than ever. In addition, a national payment pause and the PSLF forgiveness for student loans provide additional help.