Top 10 limited PSLF waiver talking points

  1. Deadline. It’s important to act now! October 31, 2022 is the deadline for submitting your PSLF form and submitting your Direct Consolidation Loan application if needed.

  2. Periods of repayment available for PSLF credit. You can only receive credit for periods of time in repayment while you worked for a qualifying employer from Oct. 1, 2007 through Oct. 31, 2022. This is the range of time from the beginning of the PSLF program through the end of the limited PSLF wavier period. The range of time available for PSLF credit is the same for both Direct Loans and Direct Consolidation Loans.

  3. How it works. On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced change to the PSLF program rules for a limited time, as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. Now through Oct. 31, 2022, you may receive credit for past periods of repayment that would not otherwise qualify for PSLF and get closer to loan forgiveness.

    The limited PSLF waiver may:

      • Increase your total number of qualifying payments
      • Include periods of qualifying employment that didn’t previously count due to your loan types or repayment history
      • Allow you to seek forgiveness on FFEL Program loans, Perkins Loans, Federally Insured Student Loans, National Defense Student Loans, and other federal non-Direct Loans by consolidating them into Direct Loans

    ED will review the history of your student loans and give PSLF credit based on your repayment and employment history. You may receive credit for payments when your loans were:

      • In a repayment status (times when you were obligated to make a payment)
      • In a COVID-19 administrative forbearance
      • In a deferment status related to military service
  4. Periods of default and in-school deferment are not eligible for PSLF, even under the limited PSLF waiver.

    Payments may qualify even if you:

      • Were not on an eligible repayment plan
      • Did not pay the full amount due
      • Did not pay on time

    The limited PSLF waiver DOES NOT change or remove these requirements:

      • Have Direct Loans or consolidate into Direct Consolidation Loans
      • Make 120 qualifying payments
      • Be employed full time by government, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, or other not-for-profit organization that provides a qualifying service

    NOTE: If you have fewer than 120 qualifying payments after October 31, 2022, you may still pursue PSLF or TEPSLF. It’s important to submit a PSLF form during the waiver period to lock in credit for any payments which were counted as qualifying under the limited PSLF waiver.

  5. Employment topics. The qualifying employment requirement has not changed. You need to have full time employment with an eligible employer that overlaps with periods of repayment on your loans to qualify for PSLF.

    • Under the limited PSLF waiver, you do not need to be employed currently for a public service organization to receive prior PSLF credit.
    • Under the limited PSLF waiver, if you received Teacher Loan Forgiveness, the period of service that led to your eligibility will count toward PSLF (if you certify employment for PSLF for that period)
    • If you are not sure of your employer’s PSLF eligibility, use Step 1 of the PSLF Help Tool to search and verify if they meet the PSLF program requirements.
      1. Log into the PSLF Help Tool with your FSA ID: StudentAid.gov/pslf
      2. In the Employment History Section, you can check your employer’s eligibility by searching for your employer by Federal Employer Identification Number (only enter the number that appears on your IRS Form W-2).
    • If the PSLF Tool indicates your employer is “likely ineligible” that means unknown. If you think your employer is eligible, you should consolidate your loans, if needed, and/or file a PSLF form.
  6. PSLF is only available on Direct Loans. If you have non-Direct Loans, they must be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan to benefit from the limited PSLF waiver. These federal loans include:

      • FFEL Program loans,
      • Federal Perkins Loans,
      • Federally Insured Student Loans,
      • National Defense Student Loans. and
      • Other types of federal student loans that are not Direct Loans.

    If you don’t know how many loans or what types of loans you have, take the following steps:

    • Visit Aid Summary and log in to your account in order to view the page
    • Scroll down to the Loan Breakdown section.
    • In the Loan Breakdown section, you’ll see a list of each loan you have taken out, even if you have paid the loan off or consolidated it into a new loan.
    • If you expand View Loans, then click the View Loan Details arrow next to a loan, you’ll see a more detailed name for that loan. Direct Loans begin with the word “Direct.” Federal Family Education Loan Program loans start with “FFEL,” and Perkins Loans include the word “Perkins” in the name. Parent PLUS loans are not eligible under the limited PSLF waiver.
  7. Parent PLUS Loans and the limited PSLF waiver. Payments made on Parent PLUS Loans are not eligible for credit under the limited PSLF waiver, even if you consolidate them into a new Direct Consolidation Loan by Oct. 31, 2022. However, if you consolidate (or previously consolidated) a Parent PLUS loan, the consolidation loan may be eligible for credit towards PSLF.

    The following example provides insight onto how Parent PLUS loans are addressed under the limited PSLF waiver:

    A borrower was in repayment on:

      • A FFEL Parent PLUS Loan from January 2012 through December 2015 and
      • A FFEL Subsidized Stafford Loan from January 2010 through December 2015.

    The borrower consolidated both loans in December 2015. While the repayment status history on the FFEL Parent PLUS Loan will not be considered, the repayment status on the FFEL Subsidized Stafford Loan will be considered, and the entire Direct Consolidation Loan made in December 2015 would receive credit under the limited PSLF waiver for the period of January 2010 through December 2015.

    However, if the same borrower only had the FFEL Parent PLUS Loan and consolidated it, the borrower would receive no credit from the FFELP Parent PLUS Loan under the limited PSLF waiver.

  8. How to find out if you qualify for PSLF. Once you know your loan types and have confirmed employer eligibility, you can determine the steps you may need to take to qualify for PSLF. You will be in one of the three main categories of borrowers who may be eligible for additional PSLF credit. Here’s what to do based on your loan type:

    • You have at least one FFEL, Perkins, or uncommon older federal student loan. In addition, you may also have Direct Loans.
      1. You must submit an application to consolidate your FFEL Program loans, Perkins Loans, or other federal loans by Oct. 31, 2022.
      2. After the consolidation is complete or by Oct. 31, 2022, at the latest, you need to submit a PSLF form for all periods of qualifying employment to FedLoan Servicing. You cannot be considered for PSLF without submitting the PSLF form.
      3. You don’t have to use the PSLF Help tool to generate a PSLF form, but it will be processed more quickly than if you don’t use the Help Tool.
    • You only have a Direct Loan and have never submitted a PSLF form. This means you have not yet indicated you are pursuing PSLF.
      1. Now is the time to apply because you can’t receive credit under the limited PSLF waiver unless you submit a PSLF form by Oct 31, 2022.
      2. You don’t have to use the PSLF Help tool to generate a PSLF form, but it will be processed more quickly than if you don’t use the Help Tool.
    • You are in the PSLF Program. This means you only have Direct Loans serviced by FedLoan Servicing and you have already submitted an ECF form or PSLF form.
      1. You may automatically receive credit for prior periods of repayment. Automatic credit will be granted only if the employer listed on your form was determined to be a qualifying employer, but you originally did not receive credit because you didn’t have the right kind of loan, weren’t in the right repayment plan, made the payment late, or did not pay the full amount due. Please be patient. It may take ED several months to complete processing. You will be notified when your payment count has been updated. After your payment count is updated, if you think there is a discrepancy in your payment count, contact FedLoan Servicing
      2. Your only reason to submit a PSLF form is if you haven’t previously had your employment certified
      3. If you are unsure why your prior payments were denied, check your account details at myfedloan.org or fill out a new PSLF form.
  9. Steps to consolidate non-Direct loans. To benefit from the limited PSLF waiver you need to consolidate non-Direct loans. Remember to verify that your employment qualifies for PSLF before consolidating your loans. Here are the steps to follow:

    • Verify your loan types with Aid Summary
      • You can see what loans you have by logging in to your account on StudentAid.gov, going to the My Aid page (StudentAid.gov/aid-summary), and scrolling down to the Loan Breakdown section.
      • There, you’ll see a list of each loan you have borrowed, even if you have paid the loan off or consolidated it into a new loan. Direct Loans begin with the word “Direct,” Federal Family Education Loan Program loans start with “FFEL,” and Perkins Loans include the word “Perkins” in the name.
      • Now that you know what type of loans you have, read on to see what actions you may need to take to receive additional qualifying payments.
    • Verify eligible employment with the PSLF Help Tool Step 1, Employment History
      • In the Employment History Section, you can check your employer’s eligibility by searching for your employer by Federal Employer Identification Number (only enter the number that appears on your IRS Form W-2).
      • If the PSLF Tool indicates your employer is “likely ineligible” that means unknown. If you think your employer is eligible, you should consolidate your loans.
    • If your employer is eligible, request a Loan Consolidation by Oct. 31, 2022
      • Borrowers who need to consolidate their loans to receive these benefits should check out the consolidation page on StudentAid.gov (StudentAid.gov/manage- loans/consolidation) to understand the process for loan consolidation.
    • After your loans consolidate or by October 31, 2022, at the latest, submit a PSLF Form with the PSLF Help Tool.
      • Log in to the PSLF Help Tool with your FSA ID: StudentAid.gov/pslf
      • You cannot be considered for PSLF without submitting the PSLF form.
  10. Updated payment counts. Your qualifying payment total may not currently show how the limited PSLF waiver will affect your account. FedLoan Servicing is actively working with ED to implement the waiver and, over the next two months, borrowers should begin to see updates to their qualifying payment counts. Please be patient!

    • You can check for updates by signing into your account at FedLoan Servicing. If you already have a PSLF form on file, FedLoan Servicing will update your dashboard with details for each month of employment as soon as ED passes them your individual loan data.
    • Borrowers may have been recently notified of updates to their qualifying payment count. If notified before Feb. 7, 2022, the update may not fully reflect the implementation of the limited PSLF waiver.
  11. Refunds and Overpayment. It will take time to review your payment end employment history and update your account. In the meantime, keep making on-time, qualifying payments when you are required to do so. Payments on federal Direct Loans are currently paused until after May 1, 2022.

    • Some borrowers’ loans will be forgiven before repayment resumes, but not all will be processed. If you reach 120 payments under the limited PSLF waiver but continue to make payments after the pause ends, any payments you made beyond the required 120 will be refunded.
    • You may also enter a forbearance until your payment count is updated. However, if you enter a forbearance and do not reach 120 payments, you may be responsible for accrued interest when the forbearance ends and will not receive credit for the period of forbearance.

    You are not eligible for a refund or reevaluation under the limited PSLF waiver if:

      • You have non-Direct loans
      • You already paid off your loans
      • Your loans were already forgiven
      • Your loans have a $0 balance

Beware of scams! Borrowers have reported receiving phone calls, emails, letters, and texts offering them relief from their federal student loans or warning them that student loan forgiveness programs would end soon. Usually, the so-called student loan debt relief companies offering these types of services don’t offer any relief at all. Often they’re just fraudsters who are after your money. For more information, visit StudentAid.gov/resources/scams.

Here are some signs to help you identify a scam by a student loan debt relief company:

    • They require you to pay up-front or monthly fees for help.
    • They promise immediate and total loan forgiveness or cancellation.
    • They ask for your FSA ID username and password.
    • They ask you to sign and submit a third-party authorization form or a power of attorney.
    • They claim that their offer is limited and encourage you to act immediately.
    • Their communications contain spelling and grammatical errors.

View the FTC’s list of companies and people banned from debt relief.

If you have already shared your information or paid a student loan debt relief company, you should do the following:

    • Contact your federal loan servicer to revoke any power of attorney or third-party authorization agreement that your servicer has on file. You should also make sure no unwanted actions were taken on your loans.
    • Contact your bank or credit card company, and request that payments to the company be stopped.
    • File a complaint with the FTC.
    • File a report of suspicious activity through our Feedback Center.
    Also, be sure to log in and change your account password. Do NOT share your new account password with anyone!