The Changes Made Under the PSLF Limited Waiver
We have seen quite a few questions regarding the Department of Education's temporary changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. What has changed? Who does it apply to? Let's get you updated on those details.
What is the PSLF Waiver?
On October 6th, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a change to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program rules for a limited time as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency.
Now, for a limited period of time, borrowers may receive credit for past periods of repayment that did previously qualify for PSLF.
New Rules for Qualifying Student Loan Payments
The new temporary rules: any prior period of repayment will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan program, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time. Note that qualifying employment is still a requirement. If you already have direct loans and you haven't submitted any PSLF forms in the past, but you had payments that were ineligible due to being late or partial payments, you'll need to submit a PSLF form to certify your eligible employment
This can be done here.
This change will impact Direct Loan borrowers, including those who have already consolidated into the Direct Loan Program and those who consolidate into the Direct Loan Program by October 31, 2022.
The restricted PSLF waiver only covers repayments made under FFEL, Perkins, or other, older non-direct federal loans if you consolidate these loans into a Direct consolidation loan. This has to be done by October 31, 2022. Once you consolidate, you'll submit a PSLF form for each qualifying employer you've worked for since October 2007.
You can log into your account here if you're not sure what types of loans you have.
Look at your financial aid summary to find out how many loans you have and what types they are. Before you consolidate make sure that you have qualifying employment with a government or not-for-profit organization. If you're not eligible for the waiver, consolidation may not be the best option for your situation. Speak with your financial advisor to see if consolidation may benefit you. Your loan servicer will send you an account update through email or letter if your prior payments are eligible. Note that this could take several months so it's best to get started on the process as soon as possible.
Note: These previous requirements still apply:
- Make 120 qualifying payments
- Be employed by the government or not for profit organization
- Be employed full-time
- Have direct loans or consolidate into direct consolidation loans and certify your qualifying employment for PSLF.
Here’s What’s Changed And What Has Not
- For a limited time, you may receive credit for past periods of repayment on loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF.
- If you have FFEL, Perkins, or other federal student loans, you'll need to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify for PSLF both in general and under the waiver. Before consolidating, make sure to check to see if you work for a qualifying employer.
- Past periods of repayment will now count regardless of whether you made a payment, made that payment on time, for the full amount due, on a qualifying repayment plan.
- Periods of deferment or forbearance, and periods of default, continue to not qualify.
- The qualifying employment requirement has not changed.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!