Article Contents:

Part 3: How Do I Take Advantage of the PSLF Waiver?

Posted 9/30/2022

How Do I Take Advantage of the PSLF Waiver?

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.

Article Contents:

Who should apply?

People who:

  • Meet the requirements for PSLF, but never applied
  • Previously applied for PSLF but were rejected
  • Used to work for PSLF-qualified employers, but no longer work for such an employer

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.

What rules does the PSLF waiver bend?

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 Payment Pause – Each month you would have had to make a federal student loan payment during the pause counts as a qualifying monthly payment. That’s over two years of a 10-year process!
  • Loans – Usual PSLF rules require you to make payments on Direct Loans. The waiver counts payments made towards FFEL and Perkins loans as well.
  • Repayment Plans – PSLF normally requires payments be made on a Standard or income-driven repayment plan. The waiver counts payments made through any plan.
  • Payment Requirements – The waiver counts any late or partial payments you’ve made as qualifying payments. Standard PSLF rules require payments be made on-time and in full.
  • Deferment – Periods of deferment (with some exceptions) count towards your monthly payment.

The PSLF waiver includes other changes. You can read the details here and here.

How do I apply online?

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.

How do I apply manually?

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.

Important Information on Your Employer’s Signature

Having the correct signature on your PSLF application is vital. Be aware of the following and plan accordingly:

  • Get the right signature – Be certain the person endorsing your PSLF application is an authorized representative of your employer. Check with your HR department to learn who qualifies.
  • The signature must be done correctly – The Department of Education is very particular about how you and your employer sign your PSLF application. Read the list of signature requirements found here under the section titled “PSLF Process.”
  • If you are filing manually – Make certain your employer dates the document Oct. 31, 2022 or earlier. The Department of Education will treat the date your employer writes beside their signature as the date the application was filed. This applies even if your form is received after the Oct. 31 due date.

Don’t Put it Off. Act Now!

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.

Additional Resources

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.

  • Part two of this series of articles goes into detail on how the PSLF program works.
  • gov offers an extensive FAQ that covers many specific exceptions to the general rules.
  • MOHELA acts as the servicer for the PSLF program. They’re your main point of contact, and should be able to answer any questions.