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Pam’s Link Alerts: Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Form

March 2, 2012

A Dear Colleague Letter dated January 31, 2012 announces the approval of an “Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness” form for use by borrowers in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Highlights include:

  • The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was established by Congress with the passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, and was created to encourage individuals to enter lower-paying but vitally important public sector jobs such as military service, law enforcement, public education and public health professions. The PSLF program provides that Direct Loan borrowers who make 120 separate, on-time, monthly payments in certain repayment plans while working for a public service organization may have any remaining balances on their Direct Loans forgiven.
  • Upon submission of a completed Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form to FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), the Department’s PSLF loan servicer, the borrower will be informed if the employment reported on the form meets the qualifying employment standards for PSLF. FedLoan Servicing will also provide the borrower with information that will help the borrower keep track of their qualifying employment as well as their qualifying payments on their Direct Loans.
  • Use of the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form is not required.  The Department will only keep track of a borrower’s progress toward meeting the PSLF eligibility requirements if the borrower submits the form to FedLoan Servicing. If the borrower does not periodically submit the form, the borrower will be required, when submitting an application for forgiveness, to submit an Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form for each employer that he or she wants considered for PSLF employment qualification.
  • After the borrower makes 120 qualifying payments, the borrower will need to submit the PSLF application to receive loan forgiveness. The application is under development and will be available prior to the date when the first borrowers will be eligible for PSLF program forgiveness, in October 2017.

Direct Loan borrowers may immediately begin submitting the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form to FedLoan Servicing, following the instructions on the form at http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice.

Borrowers may also request a copy of the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form from FedLoan Servicing or from their Direct Loan servicer.

Question & Answer Page for PSLF is available at http://studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice.

Pam King, Partner Solutions Strategy Director and Regional Director for Missouri

4 Comments leave one →
  1. myexceptionalkid permalink
    April 28, 2012 4:00 pm

    I am just curious about qualifying for “public service” . I worked for public schools for four years after 2007. Will those payments count toward my loan forgiveness? Also, now I work for a non-profit school for students with disabilities. They have non-profit status, and will continue to. But in the future, I was hoping to start my own Non-profit for after school tutoring for students with disabilities. Can I count the time I put in on my own non-profit as well as working for the Non-profit school? I would imagine a board member would need to fill out the cancellation or employment verification form. I have researched and researched. Otherwise, I don’t think I will accept the Ford Special Direct Loan, even though I just applied. After public schools froze wages, I had no choice but to leave public schools and start working for a private non-profit. HElP!

  2. April 30, 2012 3:56 pm

    Hi there,
    Qualifying employment is any employment with a federal, state, or local government agency, entity, or organization or a non-profit organization that has been designated as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Only loans you received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program are eligible for this. You must make 120 on-time, full, scheduled, monthly payments on your Direct Loans. Only payments made after October 1, 2007 qualify.When you make each of those payments, you must be working full-time at a qualifying public service organization.

    I hope this helps. If you need more information or want to confirm your qualification, you can click on the link above to the Department of Education’s Question & Answer page. Scroll down to How can I keep track? This provides the steps you will need to take. Or you can always contact FedLoan Servicing directly. Their number is 1-800-699-2908, and they are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (ET).

    Thanks! Jodi Miller, Nelnet Regional Director

    • myexceptionalkid permalink
      May 1, 2012 11:31 am

      I am eligible! Thanks. I have the tracking form, and I hope my upcoming loans can later be consolidated into the Ford/ special direct. That would rock. Meanwhile my undergrad loans do qualify. And I work for a qualifying non-profit. Thanks

  3. May 2, 2012 4:49 pm

    You are very welcome. Glad we could help. Good luck to you! ~ Jodi

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