NAICU Washington Update

PSLF Borrowers Receive Temporary Waiver from Program Requirements

October 08, 2021

The Department of Education announced that, due to COVID-19, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program’s requirements are temporarily being waived for those who are participating in the program. For a limited period of time, borrowers may receive credit for many past payments made on loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF. 

Under the new rule, any prior payment made will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan type, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time. Under previous provisions for pandemic relief, the payment period in which loan payments have been suspended due to COVID will also count as long as borrowers were employed by a qualified employer.  The change will apply to student loan borrowers with Direct Loans, those who have already consolidated into the Direct Loan Program, and those who consolidate into the Direct Loan Program by Oct. 31, 2022.

While there are elements of the program that are relaxed, the following requirements still remain: 
  • A borrower must be employed full-time by a qualified employer when payments were made;
  • Parent PLUS loans are still not eligible; and
  • 120 qualifying payments must be made;
A borrower is able to determine whether or not they qualify for additional payments by visiting their aid summary page on the Department’s website. Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Federal Perkins Loans, or other types of federal student loans that are not Direct Loans qualify but must be consolidated into the Direct Loan program by Oct. 31, 2022. 

After the consolidation is complete, borrowers must then submit a PSLF form to their loan servicer. If a borrower has not yet indicated that they are pursuing PSLF, now is the time for them to apply because they cannot receive credit under these flexible rules unless they submit the PSLF form by the Oct. 31, 2022 deadline.

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