Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Qualifying Employment
To qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you'll need to be working full-time in a qualifying public service position while you make each of your 120 qualifying payments. But what is qualifying employment? We can help you get started on the right path.
Think about your future employment and career plans!
Do you plan on working in qualifying employment? If so, make sure you are also meeting the other requirements so you can qualify for PSLF. Or maybe knowing what employment qualifies will help you decide between two or more possible paths. Even if you are uncertain if you will end up working in qualifying employment, consider taking the additional steps necessary so if you do secure a qualifying position, you'll be on your way to forgiveness!
Qualifying public service employment is full-time paid work in:
- the government;
- a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization;
- an full-time AmeriCorps position;
- the Peace Corps; or
- for a private "public service organization"
The two major catchalls for qualifying employment are 501(c)(3) nonprofits and the government. Regardless of your specific position or title, as long as you are employed full-time by the government or a 501(c)(3) organization, you may benefit from Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
If you do not work for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or the government, your employment may still qualify if you are employed by a "public service organization." The CCRAA defines "public service organization" for certain fields, but in all instances your organization must not be organized for profit, a labor union, a partisan political organization, or an organization engaged in religious activities.
Definition of full-time:
The Department of Education's final regulations define "full-time" as working in qualifying employment in one or more jobs for the greater of:
- An annual average of at least 30 hours per week;
- For a contractual or employment period of at least 8 months, an average of 30 hours per week; or
- Unless the qualifying employment is with two or more employers, the number of hours the employer considers full-time. For example, if your employer considers a full-time position to require 40 hours per week, you must be working 40 hours per week to qualify.
If you take vacation or leave time or take leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act, this is not counted against you when calculating the annual or contractual average hours you have worked.
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