Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
You may be eligible to receive loan forgiveness of the remaining balance of your Direct Loans * under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program if you meet the following criteria:
- You are employed by:
- A United States-based Federal, State, local, or Tribal government organization, agency, or entity, including the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard;
- A public child or family service agency;
- An organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC);
- A Tribal college or university; or
- A nonprofit organization that—
- Provides a non-governmental public service, attested to by the employer on the PSLF form; and
- Is not a business organized for profit, a labor union, or a partisan political organization.
A non-governmental public service employer that is not a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRC may be a qualifying public service organization if it has devoted a majority of its full-time equivalent employees to working in at least one of the following areas: emergency management, civilian service to military personnel, military service, public safety, law enforcement, public interest law services, early childhood education, public service for individuals with disabilities and/or the elderly, public health, public education, public library services, school library, or other school-based services.
Wondering if your employer falls into one of these categories? Use the StudentAid.gov PSLF employer search to help determine if your employer may qualify you for PSLF. If you apply, make sure your employment certification history reflects all periods of public service employment.
- You work full-time. which means working in qualifying employment in one or more jobs:
- A minimum average of 30 hours per week during the period being certified,
- A minimum of 30 hours per week throughout a contractual or employment period of at least 8 months in a 12-month period, such as elementary and secondary school teachers, in which case the borrower is deemed to have worked full time; or
- The equivalent of 30 hours per week as determined by multiplying each credit or contact hour taught per week by at least 3.35 in non-tenure track employment at an institution of higher education.
- You make 120 qualifying payments or the equivalent (or receive credit for payments).
- You have Direct Loans or consolidate other federal student loans into a Direct Loan. *
- You are working for a qualifying employer at the time you submit the form for forgiveness and at the time the remaining balance on your eligible loan(s) is forgiven.
Learn more by using the PSLF Help Tool to search for a qualifying employer, determine what actions you may need to take to become eligible for PSLF or TEPSLF, and generate a PSLF form to submit to MOHELA, the PSLF loan servicer.
*Any loan received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program qualifies for PSLF.
Loans from these federal student loan programs don't qualify for PSLF: the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program. However, they may become eligible if you consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Please note: under normal PSLF Program rules, if you consolidate your loans, only qualifying payments that you make on the new Direct Consolidation Loan can be counted toward the 120 payments required for PSLF. However, if you apply to consolidate your FFEL Program loans into a Direct Loan by the end of 2023, you will get PSLF credit for qualifying payments made on your FFEL Program loans when FSA conducts the one-time IDR account adjustment. For more specific information on the IDR account adjustment and its effects on PSLF, visit StudentAid.gov/idradjustment.
Student loans from private lenders do not qualify for PSLF.
Servicing for the PSLF Program is managed by another federal student loan servicer (MOHELA).
Once you’ve completed and submitted your PSLF form to MOHELA, you can check the status of your request by logging in to StudentAid.gov. selecting your name in the top right corner, and selecting My Activity from the drop-down menu. You’ll be able to see whether your PSLF form is open (in progress), closed, or completed. You can select a form and learn:
- If review of your employer’s eligibility has been completed.
- If your employer has electronically signed the PSLF form.
- What next steps need to be taken.
If you’ve been approved to participate in PSLF, your eligible loans will be transferred from Nelnet to MOHELA. If your loans have already been transferred to MOHELA, you can log in to their borrower portal to track your PSLF progress and payment counts.
Income-Driven Repayment Account Adjustment Effects on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program Applicants
The U.S. Department of Education announced that they will begin conducting a one-time revision 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,