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Learn the Qualifications for Student Loan Forgiveness

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 8/23/2022

The limited-time waiver to expand qualified payments for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) expires Oct. 31.

Forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge of loans means a borrower is no longer required to repay all or some of the loan, according to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website. However, forgiveness specifically is defined as no longer requiring payments on loans due to your employment. This could entail working for the government or a not-for-profit organization, which would qualify for the PSLF forgiveness program.

This waiver expands the past payments that qualify for forgiveness, but that waiver will expire in a few months. Here is everything to know and how to check what qualifies for the PSLF and Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) federal programs.

A webinar is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST Aug. 24 that covers how to submit a public service loan forgiveness form. The Department of Education will discuss who qualifies for the waiver, what it covers, and the various tools to help make submitting the form for loan forgiveness easier.

Register for the webinar

Another webinar—"“Helping Teachers Afford Comprehensive Pathways into the Profession and Achieve Loan Forgiveness”—is scheduled for 12 p.m. CST Aug. 31. This webinar will cover significant improvements to the TEACH Grant program and the limited time Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver to support program affordability and decrease student loan debt for educators.

Register for the webinar

Along with past payments, the waiver also allows forgiveness not just for direct loans but also Perkins loans and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL).

These are the past payments listed on the FSA website that now qualify for credit under the waiver until Oct. 31:

  • Did not make the payment on time.
  • Did not pay the full amount due.
  • Not on the right payment plan.

Before applying for loan forgiveness, first check to see if you work for a qualified employer. FSA has a tool for borrowers can use to check if their employer is qualified and then generate application forms for PSLF and TEPSLF.

Another requirement is the borrower must have a direct loan. If you do not, FSA states that you have until Oct. 31 to consolidate your loans into a direct loan. This is done to consolidate into a single monthly payment and requires an application. For more information, read the FSA  article “5 Things to Know Before Consolidating Federal Student Loans.”

The FSA website also provides answers to how the limited waiver works, such as receiving forgiveness while not being currently employed with a qualified employer at the time of applying for forgiveness. FSA also notes that the processing of PSLF forms and applications for consolidation take time and urges borrowers interested in these programs not to delay.

Trellis Company also has a helpful article for finding out whether borrowers are qualified for loan forgiveness. It also provides a “What-to-do-Next Checklist” that allows borrowers to determine whether they meet forgiveness requirements based on their situation.

If you have any questions, please review the FSA help center or contact Federal Student Aid.