Why and When to Submit the Employment Certification Form
To help you track your progress toward qualifying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), we recommend that you submit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Employment Certification Form (often referred to as the ECF) annually or when you change employers. It will make it much easier once you are ready to apply for forgiveness after 10 years of employment in public service!
Submitting the form annually will let us track and verify how many qualifying payments you make while working full-time for a qualifying employer, among other PSLF eligibility requirements.
Your employment can be certified by an official who has access to your employment or service records and is authorized by your employer to certify your employment or your service as an AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer. This will often be someone in the human resources department, though in some cases your direct supervisor or another individual may be authorized to certify your employment. Check with your organization to see who is allowed to certify your Employment Certification Form.
If you do not submit the Employment Certification Form annually, then at the time you apply for forgiveness, you will be required to submit an Employment Certification Form for each employer you worked for while making the required 120 qualifying monthly payments.
How to Fill Out and Submit the Employment Certification Form
You can fill out the Employment Certification Form (ECF) in one of two ways:
- You can use the PSLF Help Tool to start the form. Once you enter your information, you’ll be able to print the partially completed form for you and your employer to sign.
- Or, you can download the Employment Certification Form and complete all sections on your own before submitting it.
Either way, we’ll use the information you provide on the form to let you know if you are making qualifying PSLF payments. This will help you determine if you’re on the right track as you progress toward forgiveness.
Once you’ve filled out the Employment Certification Form, you can send it, with your employer’s certification, to FedLoan Servicing.*
You may mail the form to this address:
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
You may also fax your Employment Certification Form to 717-720-1628.
If FedLoan Servicing is already your servicer, you may upload your form on FedLoan Servicing's website.
*FedLoan Servicing, one of the federal loan servicers, administers the PSLF Program on our behalf.
What Happens After You Submit the Employment Certification Form
We will take the following actions after we receive your Employment Certification Form:
- We will review your form to ensure that it’s complete and to determine whether your loans and employment qualify for the PSLF Program.
- We will notify you if the form you submitted is incomplete or if we can’t determine, based on the information provided on the form, whether your employment qualifies. We may ask you to provide additional information or documentation to help us verify whether you were employed by a qualifying employer.
- If we verify that your employer is not a qualifying employer, we will notify you that your employment does not qualify. If you believe that your employer qualifies, you will have the opportunity to provide additional information.
- If we verify that you do not have eligible loan types, we’ll notify you that your loans do not qualify.
- If we verify that your loans and employment qualify, we will notify you.
- If we verify that your employment qualifies, and if some or all of your federal student loans that we own are not already serviced by FedLoan Servicing, those loans will be transferred to FedLoan Servicing. If your loans are transferred, we will notify you.
- If we verify that your employment qualifies, we will then review your payment history (including any payments you made to another federal loan servicer before your loans were transferred) to determine how many payments made during the period of employment certified on the Employment Certification Form are qualifying monthly payments for PSLF. We’ll then notify you of the total number of qualifying payments you’ve made, and how many payments you must still make before you can qualify for PSLF.
- Don’t forget to submit the Employment Certification Form annually. If you’re on an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, you can make it a habit to submit your form at the same time of year as you renew your IDR plan.