Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program
The Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program allows you to cancel the balance of your student loans under certain conditions. To qualify, you must have a qualifying loan and be on an income-driven repayment plan. There are several ways that borrowers might qualify for cancellation of their student loan debt under this program, including working in public service or as a teacher in an underserved area.
What student loans are eligible?
To qualify for forgiveness, your federal student loan must be in repayment on or after October 1, 2007 and you must meet the following criteria:
- Have been a full-time employee of a qualifying employer for at least three years.
- Your employer must be a non-profit organization, small business employing less than 100 full-time employees (including part-time students), or public agency that qualifies as tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). You may work for multiple qualifying employers during the time period you are working to receive education debt relief.
- The job must have been in an eligible occupation for each year you worked toward forgiveness. An eligible occupation is one that requires certain state licensing or certification as a condition of employment such as teachers, nurses, doctors etc., certain positions at not-for profit organizations including those serving communities with high concentrations of low income individuals who lack access to affordable financial services including community health centers and rural clinics; or positions directly providing services related to public safety including law enforcement officers assisting victims of trafficking and domestic violence; attorneys working on behalf of low income families facing foreclosure on their homes; attorneys specializing in civil litigation cases seeking damages against corporations contributing to environmental contamination; paralegals helping low income people resolve disputes with creditors through bankruptcy proceedings; legal aid lawyers providing help with family law matters like custody decisions where mothers were abandoned by fathers only caring about themselves rather than their children’s well being — they are all considered eligible occupations!
What are the requirements?
- You must be a full-time employee of a not-for-profit organization.
- You must have a direct student loan balance of $30,000 or less.
- You must have been employed by your employer for at least 3 years (the 3 years don’t have to be consecutive).
- You cannot already participate in this program if you’ve participated before and received forgiveness on your loans.
- If you’re still paying off your loans, they must first be consolidated through the Federal Direct Consolidation Program before you can apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
How do I apply?
To apply, you simply need to fill out the form below. There’s no paperwork to fill out and no need to wait for an invitation. You can apply right now!
You can still get a substantial amount forgiven even if you haven’t heard of this program before. Don’t miss out on your opportunity by waiting for one of those rare tax refunds or having your employer help with their company’s contribution – sign up now and start saving!
Do I need to renew my application every year?
You need to renew your application every year, at least six months before the deadline. We’ll send you a reminder email before the renewal period begins. If you don’t renew, we’ll stop paying on your loans and they’ll go into default. You can renew your application at any time by submitting an updated income report and a new form (even if you don’t have any changes) or just by submitting a new income report (if there are no changes).
Can I be fired for participating in the Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program?
No. The Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program is a government-funded program that is not affiliated with any private sector employers. There is no law preventing an employer from terminating an employee for participating in the Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program.
While you cannot be fired for your participation in this program, it’s important to check with your employer before enrolling in it to make sure they will not terminate your employment due to this activity. Your employer has the right to terminate employees at any time and for any reason or no reason at all—and it may be prudent of you not to risk losing your job if there are other factors involved that could lead them to fire you (for example, if they believe their productivity would suffer as a result).
What happens if I have more than one job at once or change jobs during the year?
If you have more than one job at once or you change jobs during the year, you must apply for federal student loan forgiveness each year. This means that if you work a total of 120 hours in your first job, then switch to a second job and work more than 40 hours per week for the remainder of the year, those additional hours will be eligible for forgiveness.
For example: Let’s say that in 2019 I worked 60 hours at my first job (30+30) and then got hired full-time by another company with similar requirements. The first 30 hours worked on my new position would not count toward forgiveness because they were already accounted for under my initial application; however, any additional time worked at this point would qualify as eligible toward PSLF.
Can the Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program help me if I work part-time or am self-employed?
If you are working part-time or are self-employed, the Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program can still help you. In order to qualify under these circumstances, however, you will need to provide additional documentation.
To qualify for the program if you are working part-time:
- You must be employed at least half-time (20 hours per week) in an eligible public service job such as with a federal health or human services agency; state or local government agency; nonprofit organization; Historically Black College/University (HBCU); Tribal organization; Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) eligible employer (for example, AmeriCorps); or other qualifying public service organization approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
- You must be employed at least 30 hours per week while enrolled in your undergraduate degree program and through 120 days after the date on which you completed that degree program using an eligible educational institution’s designated loan servicer or student loan holder (if yours is not on their list) when it can reasonably be determined that those payments applied toward your debt cancellation eligibility period during which time they were made and documented properly before applying for PSLF status consideration.”
More information about the Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program is available online.
For more information about the Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program, visit www.studentloans.gov. You can find answers to commonly asked questions and instructions on how to apply for forgiveness in this section of the website.
The Federal Forgiveness Student Loan Program is an important benefit that helps students pay back their loans. If you have questions about how this program works, or if you would like to learn more about how it can help you pay off your student loans, please contact our office at (888) 888-8989.