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Think You Might Qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Ginnie Baker

The U.S. Department of Education is implementing new rules and regulations for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (“PSLF”) program starting July 1, 2023, making it easier to qualify for loan forgiveness for those who work in public service, and eligible borrowers who have not enrolled in PSLF may qualify for a one-time adjustment for payments made and potentially be eligible for forgiveness if they meet all other requirements, with the adjustment being applied to most borrowers’ accounts in 2024 for eligible loans held by the Department of Education.

What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness (“PSLF”)?

PSLF is a program for people who work in public service in federal, state, tribal, or local government, or for a non-profit organization to have the balance of their student loans forgiven after making 120 regular payments and working for a qualified organization for 10 years.  Historically, the PSLF program has been extremely difficult to qualify for. Since its inception in 2007, more than 98% of borrowers who applied for the PSLF program have been denied.  The U.S. Department of Education is working to improve the PSLF program and will begin implementing new rules and regulations on July 1, 2023.

If you have not already enrolled in the PSLF, depending on your current student loan structure and details, you may qualify for a one-time adjustment for payments made and potentially be eligible for PSLF, assuming you meet all of the other requirements.

Assuming you have eligible loans, and are able to submit a consolidated application by the end of 2023, the adjustment will count periods of your repayment prior to consolidation towards Income Driven Repayment (“IDR”) forgiveness and PSLF, for eligible borrowers.  The adjustment will be made to most borrowers’ accounts in 2024 and will be applied only to Direct and Federal Family Education Loan (“FFEL”) Programs loans held by the Department of Education.

As part of this discovery, we recommend you search for your employer’s name in order to determine this prerequisite is satisfied: https://studentaid.gov/pslf/employer-search

The PSLF Help Tool is also useful in determining eligibility: https://studentaid.gov/pslf/. The help tool takes about 30 minutes to complete and must be done in a single session.  You will need your W2, or your employer’s federal identification number.

After reviewing these links, we recommend you speak with your student loan servicers. It is their role to advise you on next steps, e.g., consolidation, PSLF application.

Unfortunately, this process is laborious and detailed, but could be worth it if you are able to have some of your student loans forgiven.

If you have any questions, please contact your Beaird Harris advisor.

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