Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Account Adjustment and Effects on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Applicants
The U.S. Department of Education announced that they will began conducting a one-time adjustment of payment counts for eligible borrowers in Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans. These changes may also benefit borrowers in PSLF by increasing your payment counts.
For more specific information on the IDR account adjustment and its impacts on PSLF, visit StudentAid.gov/idradjustment.
The one-time account adjustment will count time toward IDR forgiveness for eligible borrowers including:
- any months in which you were in a repayment status, regardless of the payments made, the loan type, or the repayment plan;
- 12 or more months of consecutive forbearance or 36 or more months of cumulative forbearance;
- months spent in economic hardship or military deferments after 2013;
- months spent in any deferment (with the exception of in-school deferment) prior to 2013; and
- any time in repayment on earlier loans prior to consolidation of those loans into a consolidation loan.
Please note: If you have applied or will apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), these changes may benefit you by increasing your qualifying payment count under the PSLF Program.
Read on to find out whether you could benefit from this one-time account adjustment.
Who is eligible and how do I take advantage?
This one-time IDR payment count revision applies automatically to borrowers with Direct Loan Program and federally managed Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans (that is, your Nelnet account starts with E).
If you have commercially held FFEL loans (that is, your Nelnet account starts with D or J), you can also benefit from the account adjustment, but only if you consolidate into the Direct Loan Program. See StudentAid.gov/idradjustment for more information.
This one-time payment count revision applies automatically to all PSLF-eligible Direct Loan Program loans, including consolidated and unconsolidated parent PLUS loans. If you believe you might benefit, you should update your employment certification history to reflect all periods of public service employment.
If you have FFEL loans, you can also benefit from the account adjustment, but only if you consolidate into the Direct Loan Program. See StudentAid.gov/idradjustment for more information.
What are the benefits?
If you’re a borrower with loans that have accumulated time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years (that is, 240 or 300 months’ worth of payments) — even if you are not currently on an IDR plan — you’ll see automatic forgiveness. If you have made qualifying payments that exceed forgiveness thresholds (20 or 25 years), you will receive a refund for your overpayment.
Any PSLF borrower who has accumulated time in repayment of at least 10 years (that is, 120 months’ worth of payments) and certified employment will see automatic forgiveness.
If you haven’t been in repayment long enough to be eligible for forgiveness at the time the payment count is updated, you’ll receive more months of repayment credit, putting you closer to forgiveness under IDR or PSLF, as applicable.
Please note: PSLF payment counts will not reflect this credit until the one-time account adjustment occurs.
How do I find out more details?
Here are resources on this one-time adjustment:
- Visit StudentAid.gov/idradjustment, and
- Download this informative fact sheet on the applicability of this one-time adjustment to borrowers seeking PSLF.