Public Service and Government Employees —
Apply Now for Student Loan Forgiveness Under a Federal Program!
Limited time waiver expires October 31, 2022
If you work or have worked in a government agency, including public schools and public higher education institutions, or a nonprofit organization, you may be eligible to have your federal student loans forgiven.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program was created in 2007 and is administered through the U.S. Department of Education. Many borrowers may not have initially qualified due to the program’s rules.
Through October 31, 2022, many of the rules are relaxed so that more borrowers qualify for PSLF. But you must apply by October 31, 2022, to take advantage.
Upcoming Information Sessions
Employees of state agencies and public institutions of higher education in Texas can use our resources:
- View a PSLF overview video
- Text questions or schedule an appointment with Trellis: (512) 359-8838
- Email questions or schedule an appointment with Trellis: email@example.com
- Attend any of the four live virtual PSLF Program “Question & Answer” webinars that the Employees Retirement System of Texas is hosting with Trellis experts. During the sessions, attendees can ask PSLF Program questions:
What’s Different through October 31, 2022?
Under the temporarily relaxed rules, you can apply for loan forgiveness through the U.S. Department of Education even if you:
- are no longer employed full-time or not employed by a qualifying employer at the time of application,
- were in the “wrong” repayment program,
- made late payments during your public service, or
- don’t (or didn’t) have the “right” type of loan during your public service period.
But you have to apply by October 31, 2022, to take advantage of the relaxed rules.
Regular program rules apply if you submit your application after the deadline.
What To Do Next
Go to the PSLF Help Tool on the Department of Education website. It can answer questions and guide you through the PSLF application. The tool helps you:
- Understand more about the PSLF Program and what is needed to participate and possibly have loans forgiven;
- Assess whether an employer qualifies for PSLF;
- Assess whether your loans qualify for PSLF;
- Complete the PSLF form; and
- Determine other actions you should or must take to receive PSLF, based on information on your federal student loans.
You will need your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) to complete the PSLF form. You can find the EIN for your employer on your paystub or your W-2 tax form.
Borrowers who want to consolidate their federal student loans and borrowers who have outstanding FFEL or Perkins loans and want to take advantage of the Limited PSLF Waiver must consolidate into Direct Loans on or before October 31, 2022, and submit a PSLF form. Here’s the link to consolidate your loans.
Answer each of these questions to understand what action you need to take next.
Do you now, or did you at any time after October 1, 2007, work for a government agency or a 501(c)(3) or other qualifying nonprofit organization?
- Yes – Continue to the next question.
- No – You must be working or have worked at a qualified employer to be eligible for PSLF.
- Unsure – Visit the Employer Search page to confirm if your employer is qualified for the program. You will need your employer’s Federal Employment Identification Number (EIN) on your paystub or your W-2 tax form.
Do you work or have you worked full-time at the qualified employer?
- Yes – Continue to next question.
- No – You must be working or have worked full-time at a qualifying employer to be eligible for PSLF. If you have part-time jobs, you must work a combined average of 30 hours per week, and all your part-time jobs must meet the eligibility requirements.
Do you have Direct Loans or a consolidated Direct Loan?
- Yes – Continue to next question.
- No – You will need to consolidate other types of federal student loan(s) before October 31, 2022, prior to applying for PSLF. Here’s the link to consolidate your loans. After you consolidate your eligible federal student loans, you must submit a PSLF form for all periods of qualifying employment by October 31, 2022.
- Unsure – Login to your student account at www.studentaid.gov using your FSA ID and password, select ‘view details’ and go to ‘loan breakdown’ at the bottom of the page to view the types of federal loans you have to determine your next steps.
Did you make payments on your loans (after Oct. 1, 2007) under an income-driven repayment plan while working at a qualifying employer?
- Yes – Based on your responses, you may be eligible and should submit your PSLF form right away to take advantage of the waiver.
- No – During the waiver period, past periods of repayment will now count whether or not you made a payment, made that payment on time, for the full amount due, or on a qualifying repayment plan. Paused payments count toward PSLF and TEPSLF as long as you meet all other qualifications. You will get credit as though you made monthly payments. In order to get credit for payments under the PSLF waiver, you must submit a PSLF form for all periods of qualifying employment by October 31, 2022.
What is the PSLF Program and What is Required?
(some of these are waived through October 31, 2022)
Under the regular PSLF program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the balance of their Federal Direct Student loan(s) after they have made 120 monthly payments and must meet the following criteria:
- Must not be in default on the loans for which forgiveness is requested.
- Must have a Federal Direct loan or Federal Direct Consolidation loan.
- Must have made 120 separate, full monthly payments beginning after October 1, 2007, on the Federal Direct loans.
- You must repay your loans on an income-driven repayment plan. Each of the 120 monthly payments must be made for the full scheduled monthly amount within 15 days of the due date. (exception during the limited waiver)
- Must be employed full-time by a public service organization:
- While making the required 120 monthly loan payments
- At the time the borrower applies for loan forgiveness (exception during the limited waiver), and
- At the time the remaining balance on the borrower’s eligible loans is forgiven (exception during the limited waiver)