Public Service Loan Forgiveness - The White House (2023)

Learn about the program and how to apply

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The public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) time-limited changes expired October 31, 2022.

but borrowers who work in public service can still apply for forgiveness.

If you have worked in public service (federal, state, local, tribal government or a non-profit organization) for 10 years or more (even if not consecutively), you may be eligible to haveall your student debt canceled. Now, for a limited time, it is easier than ever to receive that forgiveness, or get credit toward forgiveness, if you have not yet served 10 years.But you must apply before October 31, 2022.

“Dedicated public servants are the lifeblood of democracy. They do the hard work that is essential to our country’s success – protecting us, teaching our children, keeping our streets clean and our lights on, and so much more.”

President Joe Biden

Use Our Simple Tool to See If You Are Eligible

Understand the Benefits and Drawbacks ofConsolidation,Including How it Impacts Eligibility for One-Time Debt Relief

Meet Fellow Public Servants

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(Video) White House offers new student loan payment plans as debt cancellation held up in court

Meet Elena, the Psychiatrist

Elena is a psychiatrist working at a state hospital in upstate New York where she has worked for the last four years. She previously worked for a non-profit hospital in New York City for seven years. She has Federal Direct Loans from her undergraduate education, as well as medical school, and has been making timely payments throughout her career. Should Elena apply for PSLF right now?

Yes! Why?– Under the temporary changes, Elena qualifies to receive credit for any past paymentseven if the payments were not on time or for less than the amount due. If Elena has made 120 monthly payments, then she wouldreceive forgiveness through the time-limited changes.

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Meet Vishal, the Teacher

Vishal is an elementary school teacher in Lexington, Kentucky, where he’s been a teacher for the last three years. Previously, he worked for three years at a non-governmental organization (NGO) specializing in outreach and education for local farmers. Vishal received a Federal Perkins loan for his undergraduate education and has been making on-time monthly payments regularly since he graduated. Should Vishal apply for PSLF right now?

Yes! Why? – Under the temporary changes, Vishal can consolidate his Perkins Loans into a Direct Loan and count the 6 years’ worth of monthly payments towards forgiveness. But Vishal mustapply to consolidate and apply to the PSLF program by October 31. Once he consolidates, assuming he continues to work full-time at a public or private non-profit employer, he will have 4 more years of monthly payments before he receives forgiveness.

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Meet Carlos, the Grants Manager

After Carlos graduated from college, he went to work full-time in a bank in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He worked there for five years while making payments on his Federal Direct Loans. Carlos left the bank and went to work full-time for the City of Mobile as a Grants Manager where he has been working for the last ten years. He’s not sure how many payments he made throughout his time but he knows he didn’t make all his payments and, when he did, he didn’t always pay the full amount. Should Carlos apply for PSLF right now?

Yes! Why? – Even if Carlos has not made 120 payments, he should still apply because he has been working for a qualifying employer and, under the temporary changes, he can count many of his prior payments toward forgiveness even if it wasn’t for the full amount or on-time. Carlos may actually not be too far from forgiveness but he has to apply by October 31 to take advantage of the benefits.

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(Video) Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Meet Daniel, the Veteran

Daniel graduated from college in 2012 and served in the United States Army. During his service, he paid his student loans under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program on-time. Daniel decided to leave the Army in 2020 and began working for a privately-owned manufacturing company in Billings, Montana. He still owes money on his student loans and is wondering if he could be eligible for PSLF. Should Daniel apply for PSLF right now?

Yes! Why? — Daniel may be eligible to receive credit towards PSLF from his 8 years of service in the U.S. Army. In order to receive the full benefit of the temporary changes, he will need to apply to consolidate his loans into the Direct Loan program and apply for PSLF by October 31. However, given the privately-owned company Daniel currently works for does not meet the requirements of a qualifying employer he will not be able to receive forgiveness yet. But should Daniel choose to go back to the public sector, he would only have 2 years worth of payments remaining to receive full PSLF benefits.

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Meet Alicia, the Scientist

After attending the University of Chicago, Alicia moved abroad to work for a U.S.-based non-governmental organization (NGO) for six years. During her time abroad, she was paying her Direct Loans every month. She returned to the United States for her Master’s degree, during which she was not working but was still paying her student loans. Upon completion of her Master’s, she took a job with the State of Colorado as a scientist where she has worked for the last four years and continued to pay her student loans. Should Alicia apply for PSLF right now?

Yes! Why? – Alicia is eligible to receive forgiveness today due to her six years of service with a U.S.-based NGO and her four years of service with the State of Colorado. Under the temporary changes, even if she wasn’t on the right payment plan or did not make minimum, on-time payments, she would be eligible to receive the full benefit of PSLF having made 120 payments working for both qualified employers. Alicia should make sure she applies by October 31, 2022.

Help Is Here


Any U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government agency is considered a government employer for the PSLF Program. This includes employers such as the U.S. military, public elementary and secondary schools, public colleges and universities, public child and family service agencies, and special governmental districts (including entities such as public transportation, water, bridge district, or housing authorities).

A government contractor isn’t considered a government employer.

You can visit ourPublic Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Help Tool, which will help you determine if an employer is considered a qualifying employer under the PSLF Program.

The specific job that you perform doesn’t matter, as long as you’re employed by a qualifying employer. For example, if you’re a full-time employee of a public school system, your employment would meet the requirements for PSLF, regardless of your position (teacher, administrator, support staff, etc.).

(Video) Public service loan forgiveness

Yes. However, you must submit aPSLF Formshowing that you were employed full-time by a qualifying employer at the time you made each of the required 120 payments.

AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer service does count. However, no other full-time volunteer service is eligible. You must be a full-time employee who is hired and paid by a qualifying employer.

Yes, under the temporary changes you are eligible for PSLF but you must apply before October 31, 2022.

Learn about some PSLF rules being waived for a limited time

No. Private education loans aren’t eligible for PSLF and can’t be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

(Video) White House To Extend Student Loan Payment Pause Amid Court Battle

Defaulted Direct Loans are not eligible for PSLF. However, a defaulted loan may become eligible for PSLF if you resolve the default.Learn how to resolve the default through rehabilitation or consolidation.

Yes. Like other Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans are eligible for PSLF. Direct PLUS Loans are made to graduate and professional students. Direct PLUS Loans made to parents may need to be consolidated.

Still have questions?

Please visit The Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid’s FAQ page.

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(Video) Deadline looms for public service loan forgiveness program


Public Service Loan Forgiveness - The White House? ›

The program, signed into law by President George W. Bush, allows for loan forgiveness after 10 years of payments and meeting other criteria for individuals employed in public service. The official PSLF start date is October 1, 2007.

Which president started public service loan forgiveness? ›

The program, signed into law by President George W. Bush, allows for loan forgiveness after 10 years of payments and meeting other criteria for individuals employed in public service. The official PSLF start date is October 1, 2007.

Is public service loan forgiveness still happening? ›

Permanent fixes for PSLF

These changes won't go into effect until July 1, 2023. So long as borrowers still meet public service employment requirements, they can get credit for: Late partial and lump sum payments.

Has anyone gotten public service loan forgiveness? ›

U.S. Department of Education Announces $42 Billion in Approved Public Service Loan Forgiveness for More Than 615,000 Borrowers Since October 2021. U.S. Department of Education.

Who now qualifies for public service loan forgiveness? ›

If you have worked in public service (federal, state, local, tribal government or a non-profit organization) for 10 years or more (even if not consecutively), you may be eligible to have all your student debt canceled.

Was PSLF passed by Congress? ›

In 2007, Congress passed a law creating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, promising debt forgiveness to student loan borrowers who made their student loan payments and did public service work for ten years.

Which president started government backed student loans? ›

History. President George H. W. Bush authorized a pilot version of the Direct Loan program, by signing into law the 1992 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

How do I know if my loans are forgiven? ›

How do I know if my student loans are forgiven? The Department of Education will notify you when your application is approved, and your loan servicer will update you once your loans are forgiven. Keep an eye out for any correspondence from your servicer via email or mail, and regularly check your loan balance online.

How do I know if I qualify for student loan forgiveness? ›

You may be eligible for discharge of your federal student loans based on borrower defense to repayment if you took out the loans to attend a school and the school did something or failed to do something related to your loan or to the educational services that the loan was intended to pay for.

How do I know if my public service loan forgiveness is approved? ›

Log in to to track your PSLF progress. For updates on your application status, visit MOHELA's website or contact them at 1-855-265-4038. Be aware that MOHELA is experiencing historic submission volume that may delay response time. We appreciate your patience.

Why do so many people get denied PSLF? ›

The Biggest PSLF Errors That Cause Loan Forgiveness Denial

Failing to submit your Employment Certification Form (ECF) each year. Making mistakes on your ECF. Not consolidating your ineligible loans. Not being in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan.

What is the downside to PSLF? ›

Potentially the most significant drawback of student loan forgiveness is the taxes. With a few exceptions, including PSLF, the IRS considers the amount of your forgiven balance to be taxable income. Depending on how much is forgiven, that could amount to tens of thousands of dollars you owe in taxes.

What companies fall under public service loan forgiveness? ›

The government (city, state, federal, military, public schools, community colleges, public universities, etc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit (religious organizations, certain hospitals, charter schools, private colleges and universities, and other tax-exempt entities) AmeriCorps and Peace Corps.

What's considered public service? ›

This includes employers such as the U.S. military, public elementary and secondary schools, public colleges and universities, public child and family service agencies, and special governmental districts (including entities such as public transportation, water, bridge district, or housing authorities).

Will student loan forgiveness actually happen? ›

Prepare to wait for a ruling

Until then, the forgiveness plan — and everyone with outstanding student loans — remain in limbo. It's also worth noting that the Supreme Court's heavy conservative majority isn't in the Biden administration's favor. For now, the student loan payment moratorium remains firmly in place.

Did Biden extend PSLF waiver? ›

Instead of extending the waiver, the Biden administration is making some permanent changes to the program that will go into effect in July 2023.

Are all loans forgiven under PSLF? ›

The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

How many people have actually gotten PSLF? ›

As of mid-April 2023, approximately 616,000 borrowers have qualified for forgiveness under the limited PSLF waiver. Although the limited PSLF waiver period has ended, some borrowers who submitted their applications prior to the end date may continue to have their applications processed from the waiver period.

What did President Biden do with the student loan debt? ›

President Biden announced his plan to forgive student loan debt for certain borrowers on August 22, 2022. Under the proposal, borrowers earning under $125,000 can apply for up to $10,000 in federal student loan relief. Pell Grant recipients would also be eligible to receive up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness.

What makes student loans so difficult to pay off? ›

Certain lenders may capitalize your interest or charge interest on top of interest, which results in higher charges. Capitalized interest can make it challenging to make a dent in your total student loan balance. If you're wondering, why do student loans take so long to pay off? Capitalized interest may be the culprit.

Are student loans funded by taxpayers? ›

All federal student aid programs – which include student loans, Pell Grants and work-study, for example – are funded by federal tax dollars paid by U.S. citizens.

What student loans are not eligible for forgiveness? ›

What student loans are not eligible for forgiveness? Private student loans, by definition, are private and are not eligible to be forgiven. These are loans the borrower owes to student loan providers and not the federal government. Mr.

Will I get a refund from PSLF? ›

You're entitled to a refund if the PSLF Waiver credits you for more than 120 qualifying payments on an existing Direct Loan.

Are student loans automatically forgiven after 20 years? ›

Yes, federal student loans may be forgiven after 20 years under certain circumstances. But only certain types of loans are eligible for forgiveness, and you must be enrolled in one of a few different types of repayment plans. You'll also need to stay out of default on your loans.

Which student loans will be forgiven? ›

Current students and borrowers who have federally held undergraduate, graduate and Parent PLUS loans that were distributed on or before June 30, 2022 are eligible for the relief, says Megan Walter, a policy analyst for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Did the Supreme Court rule on student loan forgiveness? ›

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed a roughly $6 billion legal settlement to go forward that will cancel student loans for hundreds of thousands of borrowers who say they were misled by their schools.

How long until student loans are forgiven? ›

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives the remaining balance on your federal student loans after 120 payments working full time for federal, state, Tribal, or local government; the military; or a qualifying non-profit. Learn more about PSLF and apply.

How do I check my forgiveness status? ›

Continue to monitor your application for forgiveness:

Borrowers who need assistance with direct forgiveness can contact SBA at our dedicated forgiveness call center: 877-552-2692. The call center is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET. The call center can only assist direct forgiveness applicants.

How long does it take to confirm PSLF? ›

Please allow at least 90 business days for your form to be processed. Loans NOT serviced by MOHELA? Your demographic information will not be on file until the PSLF form is processed which is currently taking at least 90 business days. Once processed your loans will be transferred from your current servicer to MOHELA.

How long does it take to get PSLF approved? ›

Borrowers should expect that the process may take up to six months, and in some cases, longer. But don't worry — if you submitted your PSLF forms by October 31, and those forms are ultimately approved, you will get the benefits of the Limited PSLF Waiver.

Can your income be too high for PSLF? ›

There are no income limits for the PSLF program. However, if your income is high relative to the balance of your student loans, you might not qualify for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan.

What is the success rate of PSLF? ›

Here's how many borrowers have seen their debts discharged through PSLF: 8.05% of all PSLF and TEPSLF applications have been approved, according to October 2022 data from the Department of Education (233,320 approved for discharge among 2,897,797 total applications).

How many people have had their loans forgiven with PSLF? ›

As of January 2021, only 32 borrowers had ever received income-driven repayment student loan forgiveness after more than 20 years of repayment. 1.6 million borrowers eligible for public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) have not received forgiveness.

Is PSLF loan forgiveness worth it? ›

Is PSLF worth applying for? Absolutely. The qualification process is long, complicated, and worse still, not guaranteed. However, If you qualify for PSLF, you could get out of student loan debt while only paying a fraction of what you originally borrowed.

Does PSLF affect credit score? ›

Yes, because your student loan debt appears on your credit report as an installment loan with a balance, having them forgiven will affect your credit score and overall creditworthiness.

Do COVID payments count for PSLF? ›

If you no longer work full-time for a qualifying employer, your paused payments will not count toward PSLF. But you don't lose your eligibility for PSLF entirely. For example, say you later meet the qualifying employer and full-time status requirements. Payments you make at that point will count toward PSLF.

Do doctors qualify for PSLF? ›


One way to have your student loans forgiven is through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. If you work as a physician in the government or non-profit sector for ten years, you may get your loans forgiven thanks to PSLF.

Do all hospitals qualify for PSLF? ›

While this means private hospitals aren't an eligible workplace for PSLF, nonprofit and government-owned hospitals with a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status are. Luckily, the majority of hospitals fall under this category.

Will Biden forgive student loans? ›

Biden's one-time student debt forgiveness program is estimated to cost $400 billion over time. Individual borrowers who made less than $125,000 in either 2020 or 2021 and married couples or heads of households who made less than $250,000 a year could see up to $10,000 of their federal student loan debt forgiven.

What is an example of a public service? ›

Public services include health care, waste removal and transportation, and are systems and solutions that can benefit various groups of individuals. The government may offer these services itself or offer funding to a private organization to provide them to community members.

Do nurses qualify for PSLF? ›

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program offers student loan forgiveness for nurses who are working full time for a government or nonprofit organization by paying off the remainder of their loans after the first 120 payments.

Will my credit go up after student loan forgiveness? ›

Your credit score might rise. For some people, student loan forgiveness could actually lead to a higher credit score. That's because eliminating up to $20,000 in debt could constitute a major decrease in your total debt balance, which accounts for 30% of your FICO score.

What is the status of the student loan forgiveness lawsuit? ›

The Supreme Court last week declined to block the settlement of a class-action lawsuit brought by student loan borrowers who say they've been defrauded by their schools. Now, the U.S. Department of Education will be able to continue delivering on the $6 billion loan forgiveness settlement.

Do student loans affect credit score? ›

Student loans are a type of installment loan. Like other loans, student loans appear on your credit report. As a result, they can play an important role in helping you build credit history and will impact your credit score in various ways.

When did student loan forgiveness for public service start? ›

Federal Student Aid began accepting and reviewing applications from borrowers seeking loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program in the fall of 2017.

Who first suggested student loan forgiveness? ›

A Push By Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders

Together, Senator Warren and Senator Sanders thrust the idea of broad student loan forgiveness into the national spotlight in a way that hadn't happened previously.

Who passed the PPP loan forgiveness program? ›

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a Senate Budget Committee and Senate Banking Committee member, announced today the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, his bipartisan legislation to streamline forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses, is included in the ...

Who made student loan forgiveness? ›

The Biden administration announced on Aug. 24 that it will cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for federal borrowers and up to $20,000 in student loan debt for those who used Pell Grant loans for their education. To be eligible, borrowers must earn less than $125,000 per year or $250,000 for married couples.

What year did the government start backing student loans? ›

Federal student loans were first offered in 1958 under the National Defense Education Act (NDEA).

Who is challenging the student loan forgiveness program? ›

The court heard two challenges to the president's plan, one from six Republican-led states and another from two student loan borrowers, one who doesn't qualify for the relief because her loans are held by private lenders, and one who doesn't qualify for the program's maximum benefit.

Who privatized student loans? ›

Privatized student loans

In the 70s, Richard Nixon created Sallie Mae in response to the high demand for higher education. The program used U.S. Treasury money to buy government-backed student loans from banks, so they could lend more.

Who is most affected by student loan forgiveness? ›

It's estimated Black and Hispanic women are expected to experience some of the largest reductions in the percentage with any student loans from the $10,000 relief plan: 5.4 and 4.7 percentage points, respectively. White men are expected to experience among the smallest reductions (2.4 percentage points).

Did the government forgive all PPP loans? ›

But there was a way to remedy those early errors: Deny forgiveness. That could have thwarted scam artists and forced businesses that prospered to repay the money. Yet nearly three years after the rollout of PPP, the vast majority of loans have been forgiven.

Do I need to report PPP loan forgiveness on tax return? ›

No. Loan proceeds received under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are not taxable income, regardless if the loan was forgiven or not. Forgiven PPP loans are not considered cancellation of debt income, and as such, you should not report these loan proceeds on your tax return.

Who signed PSLF into law? ›

Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (the “Act”). The final bill passed with wide bipartisan majorities before being signed into law by President George W. Bush.

What is the maximum amount for PSLF? ›

Crucially, there is no income limit for PSLF eligibility and no cap on how much can be forgiven. Whatever remains after a borrower reaches 120 months of qualifying payments is fully forgiven, tax-free.


1. Senator Reed, Whitehouse and RISLA host Public Service Loan Forgiveness Workshop
2. White House Announces New Relief For Student Loan Borrowers
(Forbes Breaking News)
3. Biden's Education Department to indefinitely reduce monthly student loan payments to $0 for some low
(KSDK News)
4. Military borrowers express frustration over Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
(60 Minutes)
5. Biden administration reforms public service student loan forgiveness program
(CBS News)
6. Public service workers navigate complex student loan forgiveness process
(ABC News)


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