If you have federal student loans, you might be eligible for a government program that forgives the rest of your debt after 10 years. But getting there can be complicated and confusing. Follow these tips to make sure you’re eligible and keep track of all your paperwork as well as your monthly payments over the next decade so that when it comes time to receive forgiveness, everything goes smoothly!
How To Apply For Public Student Loan Forgiveness
1 Call your federal student loan servicer and ask if your loans are eligible for public service loan forgiveness.
If you’ve heard that public service loan forgiveness is available and think you might qualify, but aren’t sure how to get started, the first step is to call your federal student loan servicer and ask if your loans are eligible. If they are, they will tell you what types of payments or service periods can be counted toward qualification. You may also need to verify with them that you’re making payments on time so that the government knows where your money is going.
If it turns out that none of your loans are eligible for public service loan forgiveness at this time (or in the future), don’t despair: there’s still plenty of help available! We’ll take a look at some options below so keep reading!
2 If they aren’t, ask them what types of loans are eligible.
If you’re not sure if your loan qualifies for forgiveness, ask your loan servicer. If they aren’t able to tell you, contact the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) at 1-800-4-FED-AID or visit their website. The FSA has information about which loans are eligible for PSLF.
If you have federal loans and want to know whether those loans qualify for forgiveness, your best bet is to ask your loan servicer. If they aren’t able to tell you, contact the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) at 1-800-4-FED-AID or visit their website. The FSA has information about which loans are eligible for PSLF
3 If they are, ask when you have to start making payments to qualify for the program.
If you are considering taking part in a forgiveness program, there are some important things to keep in mind. First, make sure that you have made enough qualifying payments for the program before starting it. If they are, ask when you have to start making payments to qualify for the program. Second, find out if you need to be working at a public service job or organization when applying (as opposed to just having been employed by one at some point in your life). Third, learn what payment plans will be accepted by each specific loan forgiveness program; some require no payments while others require annual contributions before becoming eligible for forgiveness.
4 Ask your servicer if you qualify for income-driven repayment plans that could make your monthly payments more affordable.
If you have federal student loans, you may be eligible for income-driven repayment plans. These are flexible repayment options that can make your monthly payments more affordable by capping them at an amount determined by your income and family size.
You don’t need to apply for this option—your servicer will inform you if you qualify and enroll automatically. Once enrolled, any unsubsidized loan balance under $50,000 will be added together into one payment per month (as long as it doesn’t exceed the total amount due). If it does, then the servicer will divide up the payment based on how much each lender is owed.
If your loans are over $50,000 in total–and especially if they’re all private (non-federal) loans–you should speak with a financial expert about refinancing them into federal ones first before applying for income-driven repayment plans since there may be better options available to you through private lenders who offer lower interest rates and longer terms than those offered under IDR programs.*
If this sounds like something that could benefit you but isn’t clear enough yet on how exactly it works? Don’t worry! We’ll dive deeper into everything from eligibility requirements down below so keep reading!
5 Tell them you want to apply then fill out their paperwork.
Once you’ve told your loan servicer that you want to apply, fill out the paperwork and send it to them.
The Department of Education says: “We know that many borrowers have a lot of questions about Public Service Loan Forgiveness. We also know that it can be confusing to keep track of all the different requirements for applying.” To help students understand the process, they’ve set up a website with detailed information about how to acquire student loan forgiveness through PSLF. This includes directions on finding free counseling services in case you need additional guidance along the way.
6 Make sure to keep track of the documents you submitted, too.
While making sure you’re on track with your payments and paperwork, you’ll also need to keep track of the documents you submit. This will make it easier for the Department of Education to process your application and make sure that everything is as it should be.
If you want to keep things simple, find a folder or binder where all your documents are stored together in one place. If not, create a spreadsheet where all the information can easily be found by anyone who works on your case—and update it every time there’s an addition or change in status.
The best way to do this is by printing out all your supporting documentation (loan repayment records) and storing them in a binder or folder so they can easily be accessed if needed later on down the road when trying again through another channel such as applying again directly through their website instead.”
7 Make your monthly payments on time and in full.
- Make your monthly payments on time and in full.
- If you are late with a payment, it will be reported to the credit bureaus, which may affect your credit score.
8 Keep making payments for 10 years to receive forgiveness for the rest of your debt at the end of it.
You must make 120 payments to qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness. These payments must be made under a qualifying repayment plan and you must have a qualifying loan (see below).
You also need to have your loans from an eligible school. Loans that are not eligible include:
- Consolidation loans (if you consolidated after July 1, 2006)
- Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) federal student loans issued before July 1, 2010
- Federal Perkins Loans
9 The program is available to anyone with a qualifying job and student loans from an eligible school, but it can be hard to apply for and track
The program is available to anyone with a qualifying job and student loans from an eligible school, but it can be hard to apply for and track.
To qualify, you need to be employed by the government or a not-for-profit organization and make 120 monthly payments on your Direct Loans while working full-time. You also must have been making payments for 10 years.
If your employment qualifies you for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), however, you will receive loan forgiveness after 10 years of qualifying employment. If your employer does not offer PSLF but does offer some other type of student loan repayment assistance program (SLRP), then this may affect when and how your loans are forgiven depending on factors such as how long it takes for eligible payments under their SLRP plan before forgiveness occurs compared to what would have occurred if SLRP were available at that time using its own processes instead
If you’re eligible for public service loan forgiveness, take the time to apply for it. It could be worth thousands of dollars in savings, and you don’t have anything to lose by trying. If you still have questions about how to apply for public student loan forgiveness or what type of loans are eligible for this program, contact your servicer or visit the Federal Student Aid website. Good luck!