January 20, 2020

Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Qualify, Learn More


So, what is Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

Good news! If you are employed by a non-profit organization or the government, you could be eligible to have your student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. This includes educational institutions.

Your PSLF Checklist:

Having your loans forgiven sounds pretty nice, right? Ensure that you receive PSLF by checking off these 5 mandatory requirements:

1. Do you have qualifying employment?

It’s important to make sure your place of employment is actually eligible for PSLF. If you work full-time for the below organizations, you are good to go:
  • Government organizations at the local, state, tribal or federal level
  • Tax exempt not-for-profits under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • AmeriCorps or Peace Corps
Other not-for-profit organizations that are not tax-exempt under Section 502(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, so long as the org provides at least one of the following services:
  • Emergency management
  • Military service
  • Public safety
  • Law enforcement
  • Public interest law services
  • Early childhood education
  • Public service for individuals with disabilities
  • Public service for the elderly
  • Public health
  • Public education
  • Public library services
  • Other school-based services

IMPORTANT: Employment under the below organizations are NOT eligible for PSLF:
  • Labor Unions
  • Partisan political organizations
  • For-profit organizations (even for-profit government contractors)

The only way to know for sure that your employer qualifies is by searching for your employer's name in our employer search box.

2. Do you have the right kind of student loan?

Any non-defaulted Direct loans accepted after 2010 (when the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program was initiated) qualify for PSLF. Examples of these loans are:
  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans (Parent Plus)
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

If you accepted loans before 2010 under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, you can become eligible for PSLF if you consolidate these loans into a Direct Consolidation loan first. Don’t wait; only monthly payments made after consolidating count to the total 120 needed to receive PSLF!

3. Are you on a qualifying repayment plan?

Any Income-Driven Repayment plan is a qualifying repayment plan. If you are seeking PSLF and are not already on an IDR, you must switch to one to qualify for PSLF! 

Federal loan holders are free to change their repayment plans at any time. See what your monthly payments would be by securely linking your loans and inputing the requested profile info. Get started here: https://web.chipper.app/register.

4. Have you made 120 qualifying payments?

120 qualifying payments must be made to your Direct Loans in order for you to receive PSLF. Qualifying payments just mean that they:
  • Were made after October 1st, 2007
  • Under a qualifying repayment plan
  • For the entire amount that was due
  • On time or no later than 15 days after the due date
  • During full-time employment with (an) eligible employer(s)
IMPORTANT: Your payments do NOT qualify if they are made during the below times:
  • Grace period
  • Deferment
  • In-school status
  • Forbearance

This is because payments are only eligible during times when payment is required.

5. Have you applied for PSLF?

Last, but certainly not least, you have to APPLY! You can apply for PSLF after you have completed 120 eligible payments. You will also be required to submit an ECF (Employment Certification Form) for every employer you worked at over the time span in which those 120 qualifying payments were made. Apply for PSLF online through us, Fedloan, or complete and mail the application for forgiveness and your ECFs to The U.S. Department of Education at:

U.S. Department of Education

FedLoan Servicing

P.O. Box 69184

Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

Whew! That was a lot…

PSLF is a lengthy process (to say the least) and there is a lot of room for these details to slip through the cracks. If you’re interested in a free way to check if your student loan(s), repayment plan(s), and employer qualifies for PSLF, create your Chipper account!

Here are some pro tips to make sure you stay on track once you’ve gotten your loans and repayment plan in order:

  • Annually: submit an ECF to ensure you’re making qualifying PSLF payments under an eligible employer
  • Annually: log onto your FedLoan Servicing account to view qualifying payments (If you don’t already have an account, you will be assigned one once you’ve submitted an approved ECF form)

What if you don’t qualify for forgiveness?

If you were one of the 99% of applicants rejected for PSLF who made 120 payments, you can apply for reconsideration through the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) opportunity.

If PSLF or TEPSLF are not options for you, know that you can reduce your student loan payments and even receive forgiveness through income-driven repayment plans (IDRs). There are also many job-specific and region-specific forgiveness programs; few people know this– but now you do. Do your research, and see what’s right for you- it may prove worth your time.

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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