Are you eligible?
- Only Direct Loans, including Subsidized and Unsubsidized, Stafford, Graduate PLUS, and Consolidation loans are eligible for this program. PLUS loans are only eligible if consolidated under the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan program.
- Your loan(s) must not be in default.
- If your federal student loan was issued prior to July 1, 2010, it may have been made under the FFELP loan program. FFELP loans do not qualify for PSLF. However, you may consolidate these loans under the Direct Consolidation Loan program to become eligible for PSLF. Payments made prior to consolidation would be ineligible. If you combine FFELP loans with Direct loans under consolidation, qualifying payments made on Direct loans prior to consolidation would not count towards your 120 qualifying payments. You may choose to keep your Direct loans out of the FFELP loan consolidation.
You should sign up for automatic payments to ensure your payments are sent each month on time.
Qualifying Repayment Plans
- Federal, state, local or tribal government organizations
- 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organizations
- Not-for-profit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public services, but are not tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3)
- If you work full-time as AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer, you may also qualify
How to apply
- If you are thinking of pursing PSLF now or in the future and believe you may be eligible based on the criteria below, submit the Employment Certification Form. As the US Dept of Education notes, too many borrowers wait to take this step and find out after years of making payments, that the payments they have been making do not qualify for PSLF. By completing this step first, you ensure you are the right path to PSLF. You will need to resubmit this form annually and every time you switch employers.
- After received your Employment Certification Form, the DOE determine whether your loans and employment qualify you for the PSLF program and will notify you. Look out for any requests for additional information. They will also notify you of the number of qualifying payments you have already made, if any. You can also determine how many qualifying payments you have made by logging in at https://myfedloan.org/.
- Make 120 qualifying payments on a qualifying repayment plan towards your qualifying loans while working for a qualifying employer.
- After your 120th payment, submit your PSLF application, found here.