Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 to encourage folks to go in to public service full-time. Under this program if you work for 10 years with certain public service employers and are current for the entire 120 months on your loan you can have the remaining balance forgiven. This program only applies to loans beginning after October 2007.
What loans are eligible for forgiveness?
Any Direct Loan Program loan that has not been defaulted on is eligible for forgiveness. See below for different types of loans that are eligible:
Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) Programs such as:
1. Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans
2. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loans
3. Federal Direct PLUS Loans
4. Federal Direct Consolidation Loans
5. Subsidized Stafford Loans
6. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
7. Federal Consolidation Loans
8. Federal Perkins Loans
Select Health Professions and Nursing Loans
Certain conditions apply to consolidating a Federal Perkins Loans or Health Professions/Nursing Loans in the Direct Loan Program. One is that you must consolidate at least one FFEL Program loan or Direct Loan. Click here to explore information about your specific loan.
What if I don’t have one of those loans?
Only Direct Loan Program loans are eligible for forgiveness. However other federal student loan programs may qualify for forgiveness if they are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan which in effect qualifies them as being in the Direct Loan Program. It’s a bit of a hassle but possibly very well worth it to explore. It’s extremely important to note that only payments on the Direct Consolidation Loan count towards the required 120 months of payments before forgiveness therefore you may wish to look into this sooner than later.
What jobs qualify as public service?
A special note, you may qualify for this program if you are working full-time in the AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps. A public service employer/organization typically means any federal, state, local or Tribal government agency. This includes most public schools, colleges and universities. Below is a list of jobs that will qualify for forgiveness under this program:
1. Public child or family services agency
2. Non-profit organization
3. Tribal college or university
4. Private not for profit businesses such as a labor unions, partisan political organizations and religious institutions.
5. Emergency Management
6. Military Service
7. Public Safety
8. Law Enforcement
9. Public interest Law Services
10. Early Childhood education
11. Public Service for the disabled and the elderly
12. Public health
13. Public Education
14. Public or School Library services
These are the basics of this program for a more in depth description with the latest congressional information please click here.