What it’s for: Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) encourages borrowers to go into public service or the nonprofit sector by forgiving their federal student loan balance after 120 eligible payments made while working full time with an eligible employer.
Your employer can complete this form each year to help you track your eligibility for forgiveness. However, it is ultimately up to you to prove that you worked full time in an eligible job for the full 10 years. You can either send in the completed certification form each year to your loan servicer or you can keep it in your personal files—just don't lose it!
Eligible loans: Non-defaulted loans made in the Direct Loan (DL) program are eligible. These include:
- Direct subsidized Stafford loans
- Direct unsubsidized Stafford loans
- Direct PLUS loans
- Direct Consolidation loans
Perkins loans and some health professions and nursing loans are also eligible if consolidated into the DL program.
Student loans in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) are not eligible for forgiveness unless you consolidate them into DL, and no payments made before the consolidation will count toward the 120 needed for forgiveness.
Eligible payments: You must make all payments while working full time at an eligible employer. Your 120 payments must be on time, full, and separate, as well as made on or after October 1, 2007, under one of the following repayment programs. (Any combination of payments under these programs would be eligible, and the payments do not need to be consecutive.)
- Income-based repayment (IBR)
- Income-contingent repayment (ICR)
- Pay As You Earn repayment
- Standard 10-year repayment
Keep in mind that the standard 10-year repayment schedule works by splitting your loan amount into 120 equal payments (or 12 payments per year for 10 years). You may not have a balance left to be forgiven if you make most of your 120 payments under the standard 10-year plan unless you make some reduced payments under IBR, ICR, or Pay As You Earn.
Eligible employer: Forgiveness is employer specific, not job specific. So, anyone working for an eligible employer (from the CEO to the secretary) who meets all the other criteria is eligible. To qualify, the employer must be one of the following kinds of organization
- Tax-exempt nonprofits under 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code
- Government, including federal, state, local, and tribal agencies, the military, and law enforcement
- Tribal colleges or universities
- Public child or family services agencies
- AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps
- A not-for-profit organization that provides one of the following public services:
- Public safety or emergency management
- Public interest law services
- Early childhood education
- Public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly
- Public health
- Public education, including school-based educational services
- Public and school-based libraries
You cannot work for a labor union, partisan political organization, or an organization that provides religious instruction, worship services, or proselytizing.
What you’ll need: Proof of employment in one of the many fields listed above.
Send the form to: Your servicer (the company that sends you the bills). If you don’t know who that is, you can go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) to find out.
Note: Your servicer may change after you file this form, because the Department of Education has assigned one servicer to work with all Public Service Loan Forgiveness candidates.