Many people who work full-time in a public service job may be eligible for loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program to help pay for their college loans. Here are some of the basics about the PSLF that you need to know.
The primary reason for the existence of the PSLF is to encourage people to enter into and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their direct loans, but only after making 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full-time by certain public service employers.
What types of employment are eligible for the PSLF?Qualifying employment is any employment with a federal, state, or local government agency, entity, or organization, or a not-for-profit organization that has been designated as tax-exempt by the IRS under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. The type of work or your position with the organization doesn't matter in order to be eligible for the PSLF program, neither do the type of services that these public service organizations provide.
What loans are eligible for the PSLF?
The only loans that are eligible for the PSLF are through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Any loans received under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, the Federal Perkins Loan Program, or any other student loan program are not eligible for PSLF. However, if you have a FFEL program or Perkins Loan, you may be able to consolidate them into a direct consolidation loan in order to be eligible for the PSLF.
It's important to note that a not-for-profit employer that is not a tax-exempt organization may still qualify for the PSLF if it provides certain specified public services such as: Public interest law services; early childhood education; public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly; military service, public safety, or law enforcement services; public health services; public education or public library services; school library and other school-based services.
If you still have questions, The Department of Education provides more information about the PSLF program, or to learn more about options to pay for college.