How to Use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool
Chances are you’ve at least heard of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, but do you know if your loans qualify? Or, how to apply? If not, we’re here to help!
First, what is PSLF? PSLF is a program that forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan, while working full-time for a qualifying employer. However, your loan will only be forgiven if you meet all of the PSLF Program eligibility requirements.
To qualify for PSLF, you must
- work for a government agency or for certain types of nonprofit organizations;
- work full-time for that agency or organization;
- have Direct Loans (or consolidate other federal student loans into a Direct Loan to qualify);
- repay your loans using an income-driven repayment plan; and
- make 120 on-time qualifying payments.
We know it can be overwhelming to work through all of the eligibility requirements, so we created the PSLF Help Tool. The tool will help you navigate the PSLF application process. It saves time and helps prevent submission errors when it comes time for your loans to be forgiven.
The PSLF Help Tool was created to
- help you understand the PSLF Program—what you need to do to participate and possibly have your loans forgiven;
- help you assess whether your employer and loans qualify for PSLF;
- help you decide which PSLF form to submit;
- generate a partially completed form for you to take to your employer to sign, and then for you to submit to FedLoan Servicing, the U.S. Department of Education’s PSLF servicer; and
- use the information we have about your federal student loans to explain other actions you should or must take if you want to receive PSLF.
We strongly encourage all PSLF applicants to use the tool annually and any time they switch jobs to ensure they’re staying on track. Here are four steps to use the PSLF Help Tool:
1.) Log in with your account username and password (FSA ID). The tool will automatically retrieve your loan information (you can’t use the tool if you don’t have any loans with a remaining balance).
2.) Check to see if your employer qualifies for PSLF.
3.) Check to see if your loans qualify. If they don’t, the tool will walk you through your options.
4.) Preload your information into a form that you can print and submit. The PSLF Help Tool will NOT submit the form for you.
To complete the process, you must take the PDF document that the tool generates, sign it and have your employer sign it, and then submit the form to FedLoan Servicing. We’ll remind you of this information when you print your form. After you submit your Employment Certification Form, it takes approximately 10 business days to be processed.