The Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness – PSLF, program allows public service employees – including federal employees and military personnel – to have federal student loan payments reduced, and that debt forgiven after making 120 qualifying payments.
For employees that owe more than they make annually, this underutilized program can mean tens of thousands of dollars forgiven (eliminated, with no cap on the amount), with monthly payments lowered by hundreds of dollars in some cases, which can be life changing.
With over 52 5-star ratings and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Student Debt USA takes pride in hands-on customer service in managing the process of consolidating your loans, enrolling in PSLF and making 120 payments on time so you can be free of student loan debt.
Here’s how the PSLF program works:
– Income versus debt
If you owe more on your federal loans than you make each year you most likely qualify for loan forgiveness. (Combined loan balances under $25,000 rarely qualify for PSLF.)
*Keep in mind that if combined household student loan debt is greater than household income you may also qualify.
– Qualifying loans
Qualifying loans for PSLF are any federal student loans you have taken out. Student Debt USA can help you consolidate different kinds of federal loans (Parent Plus, Stafford, FFEL, Perkins, etc.) into a direct loan eligible for the PSLF program.
– 120 payments
Once enrolled in an income-based repayment plan for that consolidated loan, participants must make a total of 120 on-time payments to have their balance written off.
– Qualified employer
Qualifying employers include government organizations at any level (federal, military, state, local or tribal), and some non-profits, as well as AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.
– Full time employment
To participate you must be working at least 30 hours per week, with one or more qualifying employers.
In order to stay on the plan, you must annually re-certify your personal information with the PSLF program (income, family size, employer, etc.). Student Debt USA will remind you and help you re-certify.
Other important criteria for eligibility:
- Private loans don’t qualify, only federal loans qualify;
- You cannot be actively enrolled in Public Service Loan Forgiveness if your loans are in default; but you can still become eligible by changing your default status. (Student Debt USA helps facilitate this process.)
- If you leave qualified public service for a non-qualifying job in the private sector, or you retire, for example, the payments you have already made at that point would only count toward a normal 240-payment quota (unless the balance is paid off before then) under normal income-based repayment.
To qualify for public service loan forgiveness you need to consolidate your federal student loans through the federal student aid website [https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/].
Unfortunately this can be a difficult process for some borrowers to navigate and large loan servicers often behave as little more than towering collection agencies. Eligibility for enrolling in PSLF is very specific, so are requirements for staying enrolled, and it pays to have someone on your side that knows the ropes and to keep you on track.
With Student Debt USA in your corner you won’t have to stress out about whether you have applied correctly and are doing what you need to do and can begin making qualified payments as soon as possible.
Every month not participating is a missed opportunity to make one of your 120 payments toward the finish line.
Note: You do not need to work with a company like Student Debt USA to participate in the PSLF program, but there are a lot of people that need help applying and staying on track to benefit from the peace of mind of worry-free, hands-on assistance.