Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program was created by Congress to encourage individuals to enter lower paying, but vitally important, public sector jobs such as military service, law enforcement, public education and public health professions. The PSLF Program provides that Federal Direct Loan borrowers who make 120 separate, on-time, monthly payments in certain repayment plans while working for a public service organization may have any remaining balances on their Federal Direct Loans forgiven.
After the borrower makes 120 qualifying payments, the borrower will need to submit a PSLF application to receive loan forgiveness. The application is under development and will be available prior to the date when the first borrowers will be eligible for PSLF Program forgiveness, in October 2017.
However, Federal Direct Loan borrowers may immediately begin submitting the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). The form can be obtained on the Department of Education’s website. Borrowers may also request a copy of the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form from Federal Loan Servicing or their Direct Loan Servicer.
Upon submission of a completed Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form to Federal Loan Servicing, the borrower will be informed if the employment reported on the form meets the qualifying employment standards for PSLF. Federal Loan Servicing will also provide the borrower with information that will help the borrower keep track of their qualifying employment as well as their qualifying payments on their Federal Direct Loans.
While use of the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form is not required, the Department of Education will only keep track of a borrower’s progress toward meeting the PSLF eligibility requirements if the borrower submits the form to Federal Loan Servicing. If the borrower does not periodically submit the form, the borrower will be required, when submitting an application for forgiveness, to submit an Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form for each employer that he or she wants considered for PSLF employment qualification.