Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Loan forgiveness information for borrowers and employers
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full-time by certain public service employers.
Student borrowers and parents who hold PLUS loans on behalf of students, may be eligible for public service loan forgiveness. PSLF may be of great benefit to some borrowers. However, there are many additional details to understand and consider.
For example, while it might be possible to consolidate older federal loans from the FFEL Program, Perkins loans, or Health Professions Student Loans, into a Direct loan that is eligible for PSLF, prior payments made on those loans do not count toward forgiveness; plus consolidating those loans means they are no longer eligible for other forgiveness programs that might be less restrictive.
Take time to determine if PSLF is right for you.
Borrower eligibility requirements for loan forgiveness under the PSLF Program:
- You must have a Federal Direct Loan that you began making payments on after October 1, 2007.
- You must not be in default on the loans for which you are requesting forgiveness.
- You must be employed full-time by a public service organization
- when making each of the required 120 (10 years) qualifying loan payments
- at the time you apply for loan forgiveness; and
- at the time the remaining balance on your eligible loans is forgiven.
If you believe you may be eligible for and interested in PSLF confirm you have:
- "qualified" loans
- "qualified" employment
- are making "qualified" payments, and
- meet the PSLF definition of "full-time" employment
If you are interested in applying for PSLF or have questions about your eligibility, submit a completed Employment Certification for PSLF Form to FedLoan Servicing, the U.S. Department of Education's servicer for the PSLF Program. FedLoan Servicing can help you track time served and confirm if you are making qualifying PSLF payments.
Certification and Certification Instructions
Under Minnesota Statute 136A.1792, certain public service employers in Minnesota must take steps to provide their employees with information about the PSLF Program.
How do I determine if I must comply with the Minnesota law?
Here are the types of organizations meeting the definition of "public service organization" for purposes of the PSLF Program:
- A government organization (including a federal, state, local, or tribal organization, agency, or entity; a public child or family service agency; or a tribal college or university)
- A not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
- A private, not-for-profit organization (that is not a labor union or a partisan political organization) that provides one or more of the following public services:
- Emergency management
- Military service
- Public safety
- Law enforcement
- Public interest law services
- Early childhood education (including licensed or regulated health care, Head Start, and state-funded prekindergarten)
- Public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly
- Public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations)
- Public education
- Public library services
- School library or other school-based services
Eligible not-for-profit organizations include:
- those that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and
- those that are not tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but provide a qualifying public service.
What must I do to comply and by when?
Employers must provide each new employee information about PSLF eligibility, and provide each employee an annual notification with the following:
- One-page letter (see templates below) addressed to new employees within two weeks of the employee's first day of employment for current employees:
- Summarizing PSLF
- Providing eligibility and participation info
- Recommending contacting student loan servicer(s) for more info
- Detailed Fact Sheet describing the PSLF program
- PSLF frequently asked questions and answers
The employer may use the letter, Fact Sheet and FAQ here. employers may prepare their own documents or use documents published by a federal agency as long as the documents meet the requirements.
The information may be provided in written (paper) or electronic format.
- At an employee's request, provide the employee with a copy of the PSLF employment certification form. [ Certification Instructions ]