It is estimated that nearly 3.5 million public servants could get $145 billion in student loan forgiveness if they consolidated and applied for the Public Service Loan Relief (PSLF) waiverwhich expires October 31, 2022. Unfortunately, many people do not attempt to use this waiver because they are simply unaware of it and the extensive rules that could make them eligible for student loan forgiveness.
Meagan Landress, consultant at student loan planner and Certified Student Loan Professional®, had a lot to say on this issue. “I have nightmares about people missing out on the PSLF waiver. The waiver is a limited time offer, so people only have until October 31, 2022 to claim that past payments ineligible for PSLF are factored in. This is a big deal because if someone doesn’t know and it applies to them, they may not have their past payments count towards the 120 PSLF payment threshold. or even to have their entire balance canceled!
As the October 31 deadline approaches, it’s important to understand whether or not you qualify and what steps you need to take to submit your information on time.
Who is eligible for this pardon?
To qualify, you must have federal loans held by the Department of Education. Private student loans are not eligible. You must also be currently or have been employed full-time (as a W2 employee) by an eligible employer.
These eligible employers can be any U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government agency, which also includes employers such as the U.S. military, public elementary and high schools, public colleges and universities, agencies public child and family services and special government districts. . Qualifying nonprofit organizations include organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and organizations that are not tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Code, but provide an eligible service.
You can also check the Ministry of Education website PSLF Helper Toolwhich will help you determine if your current or past employer is considered an eligible employer under the PSLF program.
While working full-time for an eligible employer, under the current exemption:
- Any repayment status after October 1, 2007, of any payment amount, may be considered for PSLF, regardless of Ministry of Education loan type and repayment plan,
- Any adjournment before 2013 can count for the PSLF (but not the school adjournment),
- Any prolonged abstention (12 consecutive months or more, or 36 months or more in total) can be taken into account for the PSLF.
There is a problem of awareness and access
The main source of communication regarding the PSLF waiver from the Ministry of Education and the loan officer was via email. They use the registered email address, which if incorrect or not updated creates a big outreach problem. Additionally, this time-limited waiver requires action on the part of the borrower, such as submitting applications and contacting former employers. This process also requires a computer to complete a consolidation application and generate the Employment Attestation form, which many people may not have easy access to.
However, the Ministry of Education created useful resources who can guide you through the process.
How can you act now?
Even though the deadline is fast approaching, you can still take steps to benefit from this waiver. As long as your employer has signed your forms before October 31, you will be eligible for the waiver. Learn more to see what steps you need to take to get your form reviewed and hopefully approved.
To sign up for PSLF or update your payment account:
- First, confirm your start and end dates of employment, if applicable (use MM/DD/YYYY format) for ALL eligible employers.
- Obtain the Employer Identification Number (EIN) from your employer, which can be found on previous W2 forms, or you can confirm this with your Human Resources department.
- Complete it Online PSLF Help Tool for your eligible employers.
- Print and bring the automatically completed Employer Certification Form (ECF) to these employers for their signature.
- Send or upload the signed form(s) to Mohela (the PSLF agent).
Be sure to submit the ECF by October 31, 2022 to receive the benefits of the current PSLF waiver.
According to Meagan Landress, if you are not eligible for the rebate at this time, to maintain your PSLF eligibility, you must:
- Work full-time for a qualified employer
- Have direct federal loans
- be on a income-based repayment plan
- Make 120 qualifying payments
So even if you don’t qualify for full forgiveness right now, you can still take steps to have your student loan debt forgiven in the future.