This is the third installment of a three-part series of articles. Part one covered the basics of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and part two covered how to apply for PSLF.
In 2021, the federal government announced MAJOR changes to PSLF that would only be available for a limited time. The new program is called the “limited PSLF waiver.” Sounds boring, but it could shave years off your PSLF qualification process and save you thousands of dollars.
The waiver broadens rules governing who is eligible for PSLF and what payments count toward the program. But there’s a big catch: You must apply for the waiver by Oct. 31, 2022.
Basically, if you think you have a shot at qualifying, it’s worth investigating. PSLF can wipe out ALL of your eligible student loan debt. You might even qualify for a refund on past payments. Read more about the requirements to qualify for PSLF.
Making 120 qualified payments is the most time-consuming part of applying for PSLF. The waiver expands the definition of “qualified payments.” That means many of your past payments can be credited toward the total 120. Changes have been made to rules for:
The PSLF waiver includes other changes. You can read the details here and here.
The PSLF Help Tool is the quickest, easiest way to apply for the limited PSLF waiver.
1. Log in to your Federal Student Aid (FSA) account. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free.
2. Use the PSLF Help Tool to complete your application by Oct. 31, 2022. The Department of Education will save your request along with the date you completed it.
3. Print a hard copy of your application.
4. Sign the printed application and have your employer(s) sign it as well. Make sure to follow the signature requirements detailed in the PSLF process section of this page.
5. Submit the application to MOHELA (the PSLF servicer). Instructions for doing so are on the form generated by the PSLF Help Tool.
The PSLF Help Tool might identify your employer as “likely ineligible/undetermined” or “ineligible.” If it does, finish the tool and request a review of your employer. Your application will still be saved and dated by the Department of Education. You won’t be able to print and sign the form until the department rules on your employer’s eligibility.
1. Print out a copy of the form which can be found here.
2. Follow the instructions on the form in order to fill it out properly.
3. Sign your application form and have your employer(s) sign it as well.
4. Submit the application to MOHELA (the PSLF servicer). Instructions for mailing, faxing, or uploading the document are on the form.
Having the correct signature on your PSLF application is vital. Be aware of the following and plan accordingly:
The deadline to file for a limited PSLF waiver is fast approaching. Don’t wait to apply. It may take some time to track down the person authorized to sign your form. You may also have questions that require you to contact someone for help. That will delay your attempt to submit an application. Waiting until the last minute could cause you to lose out on this opportunity.
Applying for PSLF looks straightforward on paper, but there are a lot of details and exceptions. The limited PSLF waiver creates even more questions. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you.