The Importance Of Public Student Loan Forgiveness

Student Loan Forgiveness

Education is everybody’s right but with the current rate of tuition fees, not everyone can afford one. To counter this, student loans are one of the options, but a major chunk of the student population carry debts for a large part of their life. Having debt crunches a person’s financial freedom, which can be emotionally and mentally stressful. Recognizing this, the US government introduced a public student loan forgiveness system that clears off most of the loan amount. However, it is not as straightforward as it sounds, there are certain eligibility requirements that the individual must fall under. Besides, not everyone with a loan can avail of this facility. This may sound confusing yet intriguing to loan holders, and hence the blog below will clarify and provide greater information on this government facility.

What Is Public Student Loan Forgiveness?

In 2007 under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the United States of America devised a programme to aid indebted professionals a way out of their student loans by working in a public service job full time. Public service jobs include teachers, postmen, police, fire brigade, paramedics, etc. They wouldn’t have the highest-paying jobs, but there will be emotional job satisfaction associated with these roles. Since these roles are crucial to the functioning of society and have a direct impact on the everyday lives of people, the government started providing benefits to them too.

How Does Public Student Loan Forgiveness Work?

If an individual has taken a student loan and, after graduation, decides to join a public service job, then they are eligible for this loan forgiveness. However, the individual must have worked in the job for 10 years and should have been promptly paying 120 monthly payments. After 10 years, the remainder of the loan will be fully paid off by the government. 

Student Loan Forgiveness: How To Qualify?

A loan being paid off by the government seems like a dream, and everyone would want a piece of that pie, but there are eligibility factors, and it is very important to understand them. 

  1. Eligible Loans: Not every student loan qualifies for loan forgiveness, only federal direct Loans qualify for PSLF. These include Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans (for graduate or professional students), and Direct Consolidation Loans. Loans made under other federal student loan programs, such as the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or the Perkins Loan Program, are not eligible. Private loans also do not come under this programme.
  2. Qualifying Employment: To be eligible for public student loan forgiveness, the individual must be working full-time for a qualifying employer. Qualifying employers include government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal), not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt from the Internal Revenue Code, and certain other types of not-for-profit organizations providing qualifying public services. The individual must be still under employment when applying for PSLF.
  3. Time Frame: The individual needs to have 120 qualifying payments that do not have to be consecutive but must be made over a period of at least ten years. These payments need to be done after October 1, 2007, and while still under employment with the qualifying organization. These payments need to be punctual, and any overdue will cause disqualification from the programme.
  4. Payment Requirements: To qualify for the public service loan forgiveness programme, the individual must make 120 qualifying payments while still working full-time for the qualifying employer. The repayment process must be done through income-driven repayment plans, which are:
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
  • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)
  1. Certification: It is recommended to submit the Employment Certification Form annually or when there is a change in employers. This form is vital in tracking any progress towards the PSLF and ensures proper documentation of employment history and loan repayment information. When 120 repayments are done, this form will stand as an accurate representation of the individual to the government.

Public Student Loan Forgiveness: How to Apply?

There are general steps to be followed when applying for the PSLF. These steps can vary based on person, but having a broad understanding is a good way to go about this. The steps to follow are mentioned below.

  1. Firstly, it is important to make sure the loan is a Federal Direct Loan and that the individual is working full-time in a qualifying public service job. The individual must also establish regular payments through an eligible payment plan.
  2. Next would be to maintain an Employment Certification Form (ECF), which provides an accurate record of the repayment and job history to the loan servicer. This form can be downloaded from the Federal Student Aid website.
  3. The ECF has to be submitted to the loan servicer in a timely manner, be it annually or in any other period. Is it crucial to keep the form updated with any change, like a job change?
  4. After completing 120 repayments in a timely fashion, the individual can submit the public service loan forgiveness form. The form can be downloaded from the Federal Student Aid website and needs to be filled in accurately.
  5. Submit the form and any necessary documents along with it. The decision-making for the loan forgiveness will take some time, and any update will be notified to the individual. 

Things And Tips To Keep In Mind

Mentioned below are some pointers to keep in mind that can be of great value when applying for public student loan forgiveness. 

  • Tons of people get rejected frequently from loan forgiveness, and this is due to simple errors. Therefore, double-check all requirements like repayment dates, loan eligibility type, ECF, qualifying employers, etc.
  • An individual can not overpay the amount and expect an earlier public student loan forgiveness. For example, the 120 repayments can’t be cleared off in 8 years, it needs to be for an entirety of 10 years. However, an individual can pre-pay for the year in advance, for example, pay off for the whole 9th year at the start of January and wouldn’t have to pay till the next year.
  • There are various repayment plans, but the smart thing to do would be to choose the one that takes the least monthly payment. This way, the individual won’t have to pay a large amount, and after 120 payments, the government takes care of the rest. 
  • Any doubts and queries related to public student loan forgiveness can be clarified with the loan servicer, and it is important to clear off any questions and be up to date with any changes.

Having a student loan cleared off by the government is a great benefit to have, especially when numerous students are suffering from debts regularly. The US government encourages more citizens to involve in public services roles and hence as assistance, provides loan forgiveness to eligible individuals. This programme can be crucial for many individuals, and therefore it is paramount to follow up on any updates and make sure the eligibility falls right on track. Any small missed can void many years of effort and financial stress. Public student loan forgiveness gives every eligible individual a fight chance against student debt and motivation towards a backlashing economy.


Q1. Are all student loans eligible for forgiveness?

Ans: The forgiveness opportunity applies to almost all types of federal student loans, such as direct subsidized or unsubsidized loans, as well as graduate or parent PLUS loans. If your loans were eligible for the federal student loan payment pause, they are also eligible for this forgiveness programme. 

Q2. What types of federal student loans are eligible for PSLF?

Ans: Nearly all types of federal student loans qualify for PSLF, including Direct Loans, Direct Consolidation Loans, Direct PLUS Loans (for graduate or professional students), and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Q3. How do I know if I qualify for PSLF?

Ans: To qualify for PSLF, you must meet specific criteria, including having eligible federal student loans, being employed full-time by a qualifying employer, making 120 qualifying payments while working for that employer, and being enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan.

Q4. How do I apply for PSLF?

Ans: You can apply for PSLF by submitting the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) application to the loan servicer managing your federal student loans. The application requires verifying your employment and payment history.

If you liked reading this blog on ‘The Importance Of Public Student Loan Forgiveness’ then make sure you check out our other articles link below 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Share this blog

Student Loan Forgiveness

The Importance Of Public Student Loan Forgiveness

Secure your student accommodation now!

Enquire now & Get Attractive Cashback!!