Have you taken a loan under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL)? If so, you may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness or PSLF.
The FFEL program gave student loans from private and state lenders to borrowers. Such loans were assured by the federal government, which means that they would shoulder the payment in case a student borrower defaulted.
Unfortunately, the FFEL Program ended in 2010 and is no longer in effect. This has resulted in many borrowers being unsure whether or not the federal government has secured their loans. No additional loans under the program have been made since then.
Will I Get Relief for My FFEL Loan?
You could be eligible to get relief via the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
However, you need to make sure that the loan has been converted as part of the new federal Direct Loan Program. This program became the replacement for all federal student loans. An FFEL loan needs to be placed under it to be eligible for forgiveness.
The Department of Education has recently made significant changes to the PSLF Program. It is now letting FFEL loan borrowers who have taken on a government or non-profit role in the past to be cleared from their loans.
There are three important requirements for students to be qualified. First, they need to consolidate their loan through the Student Aid website. Next, they need to have completed at least 10 years of payments. Finally, they should confirm their non-profit or government employment using the PSLF help tool before October 31, 2022.
After completing all these requirements, they will assess your payment history and an account containing the latest updates will be forwarded to you.
Those who have qualified can have their loan balances wiped clean. Taxes will also not be a problem since these should be forgiven as well.
How Can I Tell If My Student Loan is Under the FFEL Program?
One of the biggest indications that your student loan is under the FFEL Program is if you signed up for it before 2010. Although most of its loans are managed by private companies, some of them are also held by the federal government. These federal loans are called ED-held FFEL loans.
You can visit the StudentAid.gov website to determine whether your existing loan is under a private company or the federal government.
What FFEL Program Loans Will Be Eligible for PSLF?
The following loans will be eligible for forgiveness after being consolidated:
- FFEL PLUS loans
- FFEL Parent PLUS loans
- FFEL Consolidation loans
- Stafford loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized)
Borrowers who have signed up for the FFEL Spousal Consolidation loans cannot benefit from the PSLF Program. The main reason for this is that it cannot be converted as part of the Direct Loan Program.
You might be able to obtain the appropriate forgiveness if you decide to refinance an FFEL Spousal Consolidation loan with a private lending agency.
So, are FFEL loans eligible for public service loan forgiveness? Yes, they are eligible.
However, borrowers of such could obtain forgiveness through the PSLF Program if they have been consolidated under the Direct Loan Program of the federal government.
If you’re unsure if your loan is under the FFEL program, then you can visit the StudentAid.gov website to find out.