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Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

On August 24, 2022, the Biden-Harris administration announced a Student Debt Relief Plan. Under this plan, borrowers may be eligible for the following benefits:

  1. A final extension of the payment pause. The payment pause will now end on December 31, 2022. After this, borrowers will be required to begin making payments again on any outstanding loan balance 
  2. Providing targeted debt relief to low- and middle-income borrowers. Borrowers with federally-held loans and incomes below $125,000 ($250,000 for households) will receive up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness. Borrowers that received the Pell grant, are eligible for an additional $10,000 forgiveness ($20,000 total).
  3. A new Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan. This new proposed plan would:
    1. Allow borrowers with undergraduate debt to pay no more than 5% of their discretionary income monthly.
    2. Raise the amount of money that is considered non-discretionary. No borrower making at or below 225% of the federal poverty level will be required to make loan payments.
    3. Forgiven loan balances after 10 years of payments.
    4. Cover the borrower's unpaid monthly interest.

For more information, please visit the Department of Education’s announcement. To receive an email notification when the process has officially opened, you can sign up here

If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Visit the PSLF website to learn more about how to qualify.

Looking for general information about loan debt and repayment? Visit WSAC's Student Loan Advocacy page for resources and support.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Limited Waiver Period

On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a new limited waiver opportunity for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. For a limited time, borrowers may receive credit for past payments that have not previously qualified for PSLF. 
Under this limited waiver opportunity, any prior payment made on Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), Perkins, 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 need is qualifying employment and a Direct Loan. The waiver only applies to loans taken out by students.

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

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

Direct Loan borrowers who have 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 are not eligible for the limited waiver opportunity unless they are consolidated with loans from the parent’s own education.

If you have questions or need help determining what steps to take to secure a review under the limited waiver opportunity, please complete our Student Loan Issues form and the Student Loan Advocate will assist you.

Normal PSLF Program Rules 

Borrowers who have full-time public service jobs could be eligible for debt forgiveness if they do all of the following:

  • Work at least 30 hours per week or whatever your employer considers full-time, for local, state, federal, or tribal government or nonprofit organizations.
  • Have Direct Loans.
  • Are on an eligible Income-Driven Repayment plan.
  • Make 120 on-time payments on their student loans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the U.S. Department of Education website for a comprehensive list of PSLF FAQs.