January 17, 2020

Ace Your Application for Public Service Loan Forgiveness


What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?

Public Service Loan Forgiveness started in 2007 to help talented workers in public service reduce the burden of their federal student loans by forgiving their balance after ten years. While this act was well-intentioned, ten years later, more than 99% of applicants have been rejected - but this doesn’t have to happen to you!

What do you need to do to get forgiveness under PSLF?

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness application requires that you certify you have these five things in place: the correct kind of loans, full-time work at a qualifying employer, are enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan and have made 120 on-time payments, plus submit your PSLF application. Let’s walk through these requirements in a bit more detail:

1. Make sure you have the correct kind of loans

Only federal direct loans are eligible for forgiveness. FFEL loans and private loans are not eligible. However, you can consolidate other federal loans into direct loans.

2. You must work full-time for an eligible employer

This includes government organizations, non-profit organizations, 503(3)(c)s, and a few non-profits that are not 503(3)(c)s, but which provide service in fields like early childhood education. The best way to know for sure if your employer qualifies is by searching for your employer in our employer search located in the Profile section of your Chipper dashboard. If you work at two part-time jobs, don’t fret; if your weekly hours worked at eligible employers add up for 30 hours or more, you can still qualify.

3. Enrollment in an income-driven repayment plan

Most people are automatically enrolled in the standard 10-year repayment plan after they graduate. PSLF, however, requires that your payments be made under an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. IDR plans include IBR 2009 (Income-Based Repayment for loans taken out between 2009 and July 1, 2014), IBR 2014 (for loans taken out after July 1, 2014), REPAYE (Revised Pay As You Earn), PAYE (Pay As You Earn), and ICR (Income-Contingent Repayment). Learn more about which IDR plan is best for you here.

4. 120 on-time payments

You must make 120 on-time payments (no later than 15 days past the due date) in order to meet this requirement. These payments do not need to be sequential - you can make some of these payments, then move to a non-qualifying employer where your payments don’t count toward PSLF, then go back to working for a qualifying employer, to make more qualifying payments. Note, payments for PSLF can not be made while under deferment, grace period, or any other period when payments aren’t required.

5. Submitting the PSLF application

You'll need to submit the application for PSLF along with the Employment Certification Forms for each employer you've worked for during the last 10 years of your public service. When you are confident that you have made the 120 qualifying payments, submit your request online or with a mailed form. If you haven’t yet submitted any PSLF Employment Certification Forms, you will need to back track to each employer you worked for while you were making qualifying payments. Don't worry though, we can help you submit your application correctly AND help you get your ECFs signed by contacting past employers for you.

What if you don’t qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

If you applied for PSLF and were one of the 99% that were not accepted, we can help you appeal through the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) program!

There are other options for you beyond PSLF and TEPSLF. There are other federal and state forgiveness programs that may forgive some or all of your loans- for example, the Perkins Loan Cancellation program or the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program. There are also paths toward forgiveness available for borrowers under Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans. Be sure to take the time to see which plans and programs are best for you!

Use Chipper for Lower Payments

Chipper can help you find a student loan repayment plan that actually fits into your budget. You simply fill out your information and link your student loan account for us to generate your options in seconds. We help the average student loan borrower save over $300 a month off their student loan monthly payment. Lowering your monthly payment plan can game changing for your personal finance and can be done in minutes! Sign up for Chipper today to get on track with your student loans.

Use Chipper for The Best Path to Forgiveness

Finding your path to student loan forgiveness is easier than ever before. Chipper helps members find better Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans every day. Once enrolled in an eligible repayment plan, we can help you explore your forgiveness options and understand your path towards forgiveness. Sign up with Chipper today and get on track with your student loans.

Use Chipper for Round-Ups

Paying off your student loans doesn’t have to be a long and painful journey. Round-Ups are a way to directly pay off your loans with your everyday spending! By tracking your linked spending account(s), we will calculate the rounded up amount from each transaction in a week (IE spending $4.28 would add $0.72 to the weekly amount). We then initiate a payment towards your student loan for the weekly amount. Get chipping away on your student loans with Chipper today.

Use Chipper for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was created to provide relief to borrowers aiding the public sector. Unfortunately, 30% of applicants are denied due to incorrect paperwork. We can help! Chipper was created to solve this issue by assisting borrowers in understanding their options as well as allowing forgiveness eligible users enroll into the best forgiveness program available. Sign up for Chipper today to see your student loan forgiveness options and get the forgiveness you deserve.

Use Chipper for Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF)

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program was created to enable teachers working in Title 1 schools to receive student loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 (depending on their teaching subject). Chipper has helped teachers from all over the country qualify for TLF program and can help you get the forgiveness you deserve today. Find out if you qualify for forgiveness in minutes with our employer search tool.

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