The deadline is coming up soon to apply for a waiver meant to help student loan borrowers who work in the public and nonprofit sectors.
The deadline for the waiver, which is part of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), is Oct. 31, 2022.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was created to forgive student loan balances for government and nonprofit workers who met certain criteria. In 2020, about 98 percent of the people who applied for the program were rejected. Reasons varied for the rejections, but many had to do with flaws in the program’s design. The federal government has sought to address these issues, first through the Temporary Expansion of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF), and also with a temporary waiver.
The waiver allows student borrowers who work in the public or nonprofit sectors to count all payments made while in that full-time employment – even for those who no longer work in the field. This means that many who were previously denied this forgiveness are now able to take advantage of it. Payments, including partial and late payments, made on any repayment plan can now count toward the required 120 monthly installments required for loan forgiveness. Even payments made on previously ineligible loan types can now be counted (after those loans are consolidated into a new Direct Loan.)
“This waiver means that for a short time, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is functioning in the way that many public servants assumed it would,” said Lane Thompson, Oregon’s student loan ombuds. Thompson works for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.
More than 100,000 Americans have already been forgiven of more than $10 million in student loan debt during this temporary waiver, including nearly 3,500 Oregonians.
To learn more, and see if you may be eligible, visit https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/pslf-limited-waiver. The federally contracted loan servicer MOHELA is currently administering the PSLF waiver and can be reached at 1-855-265-4038 (toll-free). While public service loan forgiveness is a benefit guaranteed by the master promissory notes of all federal student loans made after 2007, this waiver is temporary, and set to end Oct. 31 – so act fast!
|Normal PSLF requirements||Included in limited PSLF waiver until Oct. 31|
|Direct Loan payments only||Payments on Direct, Perkins, or FFEL loans|
|Payments through Standard or Income-Driven Repayment plans only||Payments through any repayment plan (including graduated, extended, and others)|
|Full, on-time payments only||Late or partial payments|
|Must be employed full time by a qualified employer at the time of applying for forgiveness||Can get forgiveness if not employed by a qualifying employer at the time of applying for forgiveness|
|Period of service for Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) cannot also count toward PSLF||Period of service for TLF can count toward PSLF, as long as you certify employment for that period|