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Administration Urges Federal Employees to Apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness before 10/31

(July 26, 2022) — As the Biden Administration seeks public comment on a new set of proposals pertaining to student loan forgiveness, the Department of Education is encouraging qualifying employees, including all federal employees, to consider applying for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program that is already in place.

According to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, the PSLF waiver has “simplified the process of getting loan forgiveness.” However, Cardona asserts, “you have to be signed up by October. I encourage everyone – even if you have been denied before or used other benefits – to apply.”

In October 2021, the Department of Education announced a temporary period during which borrowers, who in the past did not qualify for PSLF, could now receive credit for payments. This limited-time waiver expires on October 31, 2022 — and those who do not consolidate their loans and apply by that date may not be eligible afterward.

What is PSLF?

PSLF is a federal program that offers tax-free student loan forgiveness for government and nonprofit employees after ten years’ worth of payments (for a total of 120 payments).

What temporary changes were made to PSLF?

The temporary waiver enacted in October 2021 revised previous rules, now stating any payments made toward federal loans will count toward PSLF, regardless of the borrower’s payment plan. Previously, only payments made on certain repayment plans would qualify. Additionally, payments in the past that were rejected because they were not considered on time now count toward PSLF. Previously declined applications will also be reviewed again by the Education Department in light of these temporary changes.

What kinds of loans qualify for PSLF?

The limited PSLF waiver applies to borrowers with direct loans, those who have already consolidated into a direct loan, and those who consolidate into a direct loan by Oct. 31, 2022.

Learn more about PSLF, the application process, and rules for eligibility here.


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