Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Are you eligible?
If you work in the public interest, you may be eligible to have a portion of your educational debt forgiven. Make sure you take the right steps now so you can apply for -- and receive -- forgiveness on the balance of your loans after making 120 qualifying monthly payments.
There Are Three Crucial Steps to Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program has specific requirements you'll want to make sure you are filling so you will be eligible for forgiveness. Follow the three crucial steps and instead of repaying for decades, you can have your balance forgiven after 10 years of repayment.
Step One: Make sure you have eligible loans.
Do this now -- when you are borrowing or consolidating loans. If you want to qualify for the federal programs you'll want to make sure you are taking out federal loans and avoiding private or commercial loans if possible, because private loans are never eligible for government forgiveness.
Step Two: Make sure you are working full-time in qualifying employment. Keep track of your employment!
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!
Step Three: Make 120 qualifying payments on those eligible loans while you're in that qualifying employment. Pay the full amount due on time in a qualifying repayment plan!
If you make 120 qualifying payments on eligible Federal Direct loans while you are working in qualifying public service employment, you are eligible to have the remaining balance on these Federal Direct loans forgiven.
- The Equal Justice Works Public Service Loan Forgiveness Checklist
- The Department of Education's fact sheet on Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you make sure you are doing the right things along the way, the government will forgive what's left on your eligible Federal Direct loans!
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