IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - For information about the Biden-Harris Student Debt Relief Plan, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) limited-time waiver expiring October 31, 2022 and Income Driven Repayment (IDR) CLICK HERE.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Deadline is Fast Approaching
Until Oct. 31, 2022, federal student loan borrowers can get credit for payments that previously didn’t qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF).
Under the limited PSLF waiver, you can get credit for past payments even if you
- didn’t make the payment on time,
- didn’t pay the full amount due, or
- weren’t on a the right repayment plan.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is available only for federal loans held with the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan Program. If you have federal education loans with VSAC (which are part of the Federal Family Education Loan Program or FFELP) you will need to consolidate with the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan Program.
Private education loans are not eligible for the PSLF program.
The PSLF program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
Typically, payments made on your FFELP loans with VSAC (or any other FFELP servicer) do not count toward the 120 qualifying monthly payments for PSLF, however, on October 6, 2021, the Department of Education announced a change to PSLF program rules for a limited time. As a result of the COVID-19 national emergency, past periods of repayment for your FFELP loans will be allowed to count if you were working full-time for a qualifying employer and you consolidate your FFELP loans into the Direct Loan Program by October 31, 2022. After you consolidate, you will also need to submit a PSLF form to your new loan servicer by October 31, 2022.
- Any federal loans that you have with VSAC (or any other FFELP servicer) do not currently qualify, but your prior periods of repayment while working full-time for a qualifying employer, beginning from October 1, 2007, may qualify for credit toward PSLF or the Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF) if you receive or apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan on or before October 31, 2022;
- Regardless of the limited waiver, your loans must be consolidated into the Direct Consolidation Loan Program to qualify for PSLF or TEPSLF, but prior periods of repayment will not qualify for credit toward these programs if consolidated after October 31, 2022;
- To see if your employer qualifies, use the PSLF Employer Search which will guide you through the process to determine if your employer qualifies. You will need your employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number which you can find on your IRS Form W-2.
- If your employer is a qualifying employer or you aren’t sure, but want your loans to qualify for PSLF, TEPSLF, or the limited PSLF waiver, you should apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan on or before October 31, 2022 (if you aren’t certain if your employer is eligible, please call your loan servicer if you haven’t already to review the pros and cons of loan consolidation)
- Under the Department’s limited PSLF waiver:
- You do not need to be employed currently for a public service organization to receive prior PSLF credit.
- If you received Teacher Loan Forgiveness, the period of service that led to your eligibility will count toward PSLF if you certify your employment for PSLF for that period.
- There are special rules for counting payments made on loans. Periods of repayment on parent PLUS loans are not eligible under the PSLF waiver. Please visit the StudentAid.gov/PSLFWaiver page for more information.
- If you have federal loans with VSAC and you apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, we will work with your consolidating servicer to consolidate your loans expediently; and
- After your consolidation loan is made, you should go back to the PSLF Help Tool on or before October 31, 2022 to certify all periods of qualifying employment.
For more information on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Limited Waiver Opportunity and the October 31, 2022 deadline, visit the Department of Education’s website at StudentAid.gov/PSLFWaiver.
- StudentAid.gov/pslf/employer-search - the Employer Eligibility Search page where you can see if your employer is a qualifying employer for PSLF (you'll need your employer's Federal Employer Identification Number, which you can find on your IRS Form W-2)
- StudentAid.gov/pslf – the landing page for the PSLF Help Tool, where you can search for a qualifying employer, learn what actions you need to take, and submit a PSLF Form
- StudentAid.gov/publicservice – an informational page about PSLF
- StudentAid.gov/fsa-id/create-account – go here to get an FSA ID, which will allow you to use the PSLF Help Tool and consolidate your loans
- StudentAid.gov/aid-summary - you can log in to your account, using your FSA ID, to see how many or what types of loans you have taken out. Once you've logged in, scroll down to the Loan Breakdown section to see a list of each loan you have taken out. If you expand View Loans, then click the View Loan Details arrow next to a loan, you will see a more detailed name for that loan.
- StudentAid.gov/consolidation – the landing page for the consolidation application
- ED Press Release and Fact Sheet
You may also call the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid at 1-800-4-FEDAID if you have additional questions about the limited PSLF waiver. Please note that this call center is not equipped to inform you about how the waiver will or will not affect you individually.
Remember that you never need to pay to pursue federal student loan forgiveness! Check out our blog post for more information and resources to avoid being scammed.
VSAC provides free counseling to all borrowers. VSAC’s financial aid experts walk you through your loan terms, advise you on repayment plans, and much more. For questions about student loans, call 888-802-8722, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by email at email@example.com. For information on college and career planning and help with financial aid, call 800-642-3177, go to www.vsac.org/FAFSAfirst and check out the online workshops and events.
This story is produced by Vermont Student Assistance Corp., created by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 as a public nonprofit agency, to advocate for Vermont students and their families to ensure that they achieve their education goals. Our vision is to create opportunities for all Vermont students, but particularly for those—of any age—who believe that the doors to higher education are closed to them. We begin by helping families save for education with Vermont’s state-sponsored 529 savings program. To help Vermonters plan and pay for college or career training, our counselors work with students in nearly every Vermont middle school and high school, and again as adults. Our grant and scholarship programs attract national recognition, and our loan programs and loan forgiveness programs are saving Vermont families thousands of dollars in interest.