April 8, 2021

Is Student Loan Forgiveness Real?

Yes, student loan forgiveness is real! Although many borrowers are denied forgiveness or are discouraged from applying due to the multiple requirements each forgiveness program has. Having to work in the public sector disqualifies many borrowers and the repayment period obligations of five years for Teacher Loan Forgiveness and 10 years for Public Service Loan Forgiveness disheartens many. The key is determining your best student loan repayment/forgiveness plan early on and letting family and friends know too, that deciding and getting ahead of their student loans will only save them money and time later on.


Do you work in the public sector? If you do, keep reading. If you don’t, check out our Income-Driven Repayment plans + IDR forgiveness blog here.


So you work in the public sector and have federal loans, great! You’re eligible for student loan forgiveness! If you’re a Title 1 school teacher you’ll qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, read more about that program here.


But for the purposes of this blog, we’ll just focus on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. 


What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program?


The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is for full-time (at least 30 hours per week) public sector employees. Borrowers must have Federal Direct Loans, be enrolled in an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plan, and make 120 on-time payments. If these requirements are met, the remaining student loan balance will be completely forgiven!

 

However, many eligible borrowers are denied PSLF or are discouraged from applying due to the several strenuous requirements needed in order to apply and get approved. But, if you’re a public sector employee with federal student loans, Chipper can help you meet the other prerequisites for PSLF, getting you the forgiveness you deserve!


Most common reasons applications are denied and how Chipper can help


99% of PSLF applications are denied due to the borrower having ineligible loans, incorrectly filed forms, and/or not meeting all of the requirements for PSLF.


Reason #1: Ineligible Loans


For the PSLF program, you must have Federal DIRECT Loans. Most federal loans are direct, however, FFEL Loans nor Perkins Loans qualify for the PSLF program. But, you can consolidate FFEL Loans into a direct consolidation loan in order to qualify for PSLF. And you can do this directly through your Chipper Dashboard. 


When you consolidate your FFEL Loans your new balance will be the sum of your FFEL Loans and the new interest rate will be the average weighted interest of your FFEL Loans being consolidated. In other words, your FFEL Loans will be added up, the combined interest will be averaged, and you will have a single loan that will render you eligible for not only the PSLF Program, but income-driven repayment plans as well.


Perkins Loans can not be consolidated into a direct consolidation loan. There are programs for cancelling Perkins Loans that you may be able to take advantage of instead. 


Reason #2: Incorrectly Filed Forms


For PSLF, you’ll need to get the Employment Certification Form signed by each employer within your 10 years of public service employment. Fedloan (the servicer that handles the PSLF program), is very finicky about how and when these forms are submitted. Leaving items blank, inconsistencies, and correction errors (signifying with an initial to approve changes on the application, etc.) are all errors that will get you denied. It’s best to have a student loan expert (US) manually review all of your forms and applications before you submit them. 


Reason #3: Not Meeting All of the Requirements


55% of people who applied for PSLF did not meet all the requirements for the program. These include not being enrolled in an Income-Driven Repayment Plan and not having made the 120 on-time payments. If you have made 120 on-time payments, but were just paying under a non-Income-Driven Repayment plan, you could apply for the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) program! 


Regardless, Chipper can make sure you meet all of the requirements for PSLF before you apply, as well as making sure your PSLF or TEPSLF application is correctly filled out and submitted!


Student Loan Forgiveness is Real!


Chipper has successfully helped dozens of public sector employees apply and get approved for the student loan forgiveness program that was best for them! We'll make sure your loans are eligible, manually review all of your forms and applications, and make sure all of the requirements for your chosen forgiveness program are met! We offer Chipper at a Pay-As-You-Can price. We know people are struggling right now due to Covid and want to offer Chipper to as many people as possible. The default tip is $20 for a year’s worth of our help, but you can pay as little as $1. It may sound crazy, but we're betting that if we continue to offer the value that is Chipper, our members will pay what they can/what they deem is fair. 


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