Skip to main content | (360) 753-7800

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)


What is PSLF?

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a federal program that forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments (approximately 10 years) under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for an eligible public employer.

Upcoming Webinars

Upcoming Webinars

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): New Regulations and Limited-Time Opportunities

Date: October 10, 2023

Time: 12:30-2:00pm, 1 hour presentation with 30 minutes for Q&A

Have you heard about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, but are not sure if you qualify? Do you want to know whether the new PSLF regulations could benefit you? In this webinar, you will get an overview of the PSLF program, including:

  • The new PSLF regulations that went into effect on July 1, 2023.
  • IDR Account Adjustment and how it may help you get PSLF credit for certain periods of forbearance, deferment, ineligible loans or ineligible repayment plans.
  • Steps to apply and stay eligible for PSLF.

Register today! (Zoom)

We are pleased to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Real-time Transcription (CART) for this webinar.

If you’re unable to attend, we will post a video recording, presentation slides, and transcript at a later date. 


Jessica M. Manfredi (she/her), Student Loan Advocate 
Kaity Cazares (they/she), PSLF Policy and Performance Analyst

Past Webinars

Past Webinars

Get Ready for Student Loan Repayment

Does the thought of restarting your federal student loan repayment on September 1, 2023, sound overwhelming to you? Are you confused by all the different repayment options available? Did you graduate during the payment pause and are not sure where to start with your student loans? 

In this webinar, we discussed the steps you need to successfully navigate returning to student loan repayment. Watch our recorded webinar below lean more.

You may also access the presentation slides and transcript.

PSLF Waiver 2.0: Get a Second Chance with the IDR Account Adjustment

Have you heard about the PSLF Limited Waiver Opportunity but think you missed the deadline? Do you have Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Parent PLUS) loans and think you don't qualify? 

In this webinar, you will learn how to get many of the benefits and more from the waiver under the upcoming Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Account Adjustment. You may need to take action before the end of 2023 to benefit from this opportunity! Watch our recorded webinar below to learn more.

You may also access the presentation slides and transcript

Stay Informed

Stay Informed

Sign up for email updates from the Student Loan Advocate to receive info about future webinars and other important PSLF news.

Contact the Student Loan Advocate

Contact the Student Loan Advocate

To ask questions about your loans (including PSLF and other types of forgiveness) or file a complaint, use the Washington State Student Complaint Portal.

Our Student Loan Advocate will be happy to help you.

Timeline: PSLF outcomes for Washington borrowers


Use the tabs below to learn about the program rules, special opportunities to earn PSLF qualifying payments, and resources to navigate the PSLF process.

Normal PSLF Rules

Normal PSLF Rules

Borrowers who work an average of 30+ hours per week at a public service job could be eligible for debt forgiveness if they meet the requirements:

  • be employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or qualifying not-for-profit organization (federal service includes U.S. military service);
  • have Direct Loans (or consolidate other federal student loans into a Direct Loan);
  • repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan or a 10-year Standard Repayment Plan; and
  • make a total of 120 qualifying monthly payments (about 10 years).

Learn more on Federal Student Aid’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) page

IDR Account Adjustment – 2023-24

IDR Account Adjustment – 2023-24

Between now and the end of 2024, the Department of Education (ED) is conducting a one-time adjustment of Income Driven Repayment plan (IDR) qualifying payments for all Direct Loan program and federally owned Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program loans.

If you have an eligible loan, you will get additional time toward IDR forgiveness for the following periods:

  • any months in a repayment status, regardless of the payments made, loan type, or repayment plan;
  • 12 or more months of consecutive forbearance or 36 or more months of cumulative forbearance;
  • any months spent in economic hardship or military deferments in 2013 or later;
  • any months spent in any deferment (with the exception of in-school deferment) prior to 2013; and
  • any time in repayment (or deferment or forbearance, if applicable) on earlier loans before consolidation of those loans into a consolidation loan.

Please note, repayment status does not include periods of in-school deferment, bankruptcy, or default.

Based on the newly eligible months from the one-time account adjustment, borrowers who have reached 240 or 300 months’ (as applicable) worth of payments for IDR forgiveness or 120 months of PSLF will begin to see their loans forgiven in spring 2023. All other borrowers will see their accounts update by the end of 2024.

Any borrowers with loans that have accumulated time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years will see automatic forgiveness, even if those borrowers are not currently on an IDR plan.

Effects on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Applicants

  • Borrowers with at least one approved PSLF form will begin to see their PSLF counts adjusted in Fall 2023.
  • Borrowers who have commercially or federally held FFEL loans and who consolidate those loans into Direct Consolidation Loans before the end of 2023 will also get PSLF credit under the account adjustment.
  • Borrowers who consolidate will have their PSLF counts temporarily reset to zero, and these counts will begin adjusting in Fall 2023.
  • PSLF counts will continue to be adjusted each month until the IDR counts for all federally held FFELP and Direct Loans are adjusted in 2024.
  • After the adjustment in 2024, all periods credited toward IDR will also be credited toward PSLF for eligible loans and periods where the borrower certifies public service employment.
  • If you’ve applied or will apply for PSLF and certify your employment, you may see the benefits of this adjustment to your qualifying payment count.
  • These changes will be applied automatically, to all PSLF-eligible Direct Loans, including consolidated and unconsolidated Parent PLUS Loans.
  • If you believe you might benefit, use the PSLF Help Tool to certify periods of employment and track your progress toward forgiveness.

If you have any questions about the IDR account adjustment, please visit Federal Student Aid’s Payment Adjustment page.

PSLF Waiver – 2022

PSLF Waiver – 2022

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) limited time waiver period ended on October 31, 2022. If you have any questions about the waiver, please submit a request

On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a new limited waiver opportunity for the PSLF program. For a limited time, borrowers could receive credit for past payments that had not previously qualified for PSLF.

Under this limited waiver opportunity, any prior payment made on a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), Federal Perkins Loan, or other non-direct federal student loan will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time. All you needed was a qualifying employment and a Direct Loan. The waiver only applied to loans taken out by students, not parents.

In order to secure a review under the limited waiver opportunity, you may have needed to act by October 31, 2022. Please visit ED’s PSLF limited waiver opportunity webpage to find out what steps you needed to take, if any. For example:

  • If borrowers had a loan type that does not normally qualify for PSLF, including a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) or Federal Perkins Loan, they needed to consolidate that loan into the Direct Loan program by October 31, 2022.
  • If borrowers had not submitted a certification for all periods of qualifying employment, they needed to submit a PSLF form via the PSLF Help Tool for any uncertified employment period by October 31, 2022.

Direct Loan borrowers who had previously submitted certifications from their employers will receive automatic updates of their qualifying payment counts for the certified employment periods. However, it could take several months for these updates to appear.

Please note that Parent PLUS loans were not eligible for the limited waiver opportunity unless they were consolidated with loans from the parent’s own education.

PSLF and Direct Parent Plus Loans

PSLF and Direct Parent Plus Loans

Many Direct Parent PLUS borrowers ask us “Am I eligible for PSLF?” The answer is yes, but Direct Parent Plus borrowers face unique challenges when it comes to qualifying for forgiveness under the program. 

Direct Parent PLUS loans cannot be paid via an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan, the repayment plans that are typically best for those pursuing PSLF. The only qualifying repayment option for Direct Parent PLUS loans is the 10-year Standard Plan, which may lead to no amounts forgiven at the end of the 120 qualifying payments for PSLF. In order to have a balance left to forgive under the 10-year Standard Plan, you will need to have at least some periods under eligible forbearance and deferment status (such as the COVID-19 administrative forbearance) while working at a qualifying public employer.

However, if you consolidate a Direct Parent PLUS loan, you may then repay the new Direct Consolidation Loan under an income-driven repayment plan called the Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan. You can’t repay the new Direct Consolidation Loan under the Saving on A Valuable Education (SAVE, previously known as REPAYE), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), or Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plans.
ICR is the least generous of the IDR plans, requiring 20% of your discretionary income toward your monthly payment. If you are a Direct Parent PLUS borrower and your payment under ICR will be less than the 10-year Standard Plan, then you may want to consider consolidating your loans to access the ICR plan.

You can use the Loan Simulator to help you decide whether to consolidate your student loans and estimate your monthly payment under ICR. The Loan Simulator uses your actual loan information (if you log in with your FSA ID) to give you a more accurate estimate of your loan payments.

Borrowers with FFEL Parent PLUS loans, however, are not eligible for PSLF unless they consolidate their loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

How do I apply for PSLF?

Use the tabs below to learn more about the PSLF process and the steps you need to take to receive forgiveness under the program.

Quick PSLF Overview

Quick PSLF Overview

For a quick, easy to understand explanation of the program, please check out the How to Get your Student Loans Forgiven (No, Really) handout.

Steps to Apply for PSLF

Steps to Apply for PSLF

Do you want to apply for PSLF but don’t know where to start? Check out the Steps to Apply for PSLF for step-by-step guidance on how to apply and remain eligible for PSLF.

PSLF Frequently Asked Questions

PSLF Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have general questions about the PSLF program? Check out the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) FAQs to find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the program.

Information for Employers

Information for Washington State Agencies and Public Institutions of Higher Education

In March 2022, in response to the student loan debt crisis facing the country, the state Legislature passed legislation to raise awareness and remove barriers for public service employees to access the PSLF program with specific requirements for Washington state agencies and public institutions of higher education (ESSB 5847, codified as RCW 28B.77.009, RCW 43.41.425, RCW 41.04.045, and RCW 41.04.055).

Office of Financial Management (OFM) created a webpage and HR portal to provide guidance to Washington state agencies and public institutions of higher education on how to comply to the new regulations. 

Information for Local Municipalities and Nonprofit Organizations

Local government agencies, like cities, counties, tribal government, and nonprofits are a significant part of the public sector workforce. You as an employer play an essential role in helping borrowers receive Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Do you want to help your employees benefit from PSLF, but are not sure how?

As part of our efforts to make the certification process easier for local government agencies and qualifying nonprofit organizations located in Washington state, we have created in partnership with the Office of Financial Management (OFM), the following notice templates you can use to support your employees on their path toward loan forgiveness:

  • PSLF Notice for New Employees. We recommend sharing this letter (web or print version) with employees upon hiring, during the onboarding process to introduce the PSLF program and process.  
  • PSLF Annual Notice. We recommend sharing this letter (web or print version) with employees on an annual basis and any time PSLF regulations change (see below) to continue raising awareness of the program and the resources available.
  • PSLF Notice for Separated Employees. We recommend sharing this letter (web or print version) with employees during the separation process, so they know which steps to take to receive and potentially continue receiving PSLF credit.

PSLF program regulations may change from time to time. We will periodically update the letters to reflect the most up-to-date PSLF rules. If you would like to receive updates when these materials are updated, please join our mailing list.

We’re here to assist PSLF employers! If you have any questions about the PSLF process as an employer, please send your question(s) to

Additional Resources:


Information for Washington State Employees

Washington State Directory for PSLF Contacts

If you are completing your PSLF form and need to find your current or former agency's Employer Identification Number (EIN) or HR contact information, refer to Washington state agency directory of PSLF contacts

The directory includes Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) and HR email addresses for each agency, which are required for employees to complete the PSLF form on the PSLF Help Tool.

Part-time Academic Employees Full-time Calculation

Are you a part-time academic employee (commonly known as “adjunct faculty”) at a public institution of higher education? Did you know that according to RCW 41.04.055, your human resources department at public institutions of higher education must multiply part-time faculty’s in-class teaching hours by 3.35 to calculate your hours worked for the PSLF form? This is to account for duties performed in support of, or in addition to, contractually assigned in-class teaching hours. 

Your human resources department may apply this calculation retroactively to figure out whether the U.S. Department of Education considers a part-time academic employee “full time” for the PSLF form. Please note that this calculation does not supersede any calculation or adjustment set up in the collective bargaining agreements or higher education institution policies.  

About the student loan advocate

The student loan advocate has independent statutory authority to analyze and monitor laws and policies that impact student loan borrowers at the federal, state, and local level, and to make recommendations. The student loan advocate also works directly with loan borrowers to address complaints and help them navigate issues and identify resources.