(1) Never submitted a PSLF or ECF Form/Application? YOU NEED TO ACT NOW:
How to Qualify
- Find out if your employment is eligible by checking our PSLF employer search. If your employer is eligible or is “likely ineligible” (which means their eligibility is undetermined), but you believe the employer qualifies, your next step is to consolidate your loans.
- (SKIP if you already have Direct Loans) Consolidate. Consolidate your FFEL Program loans and Perkins Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan by Oct. 31, 2022. You can’t receive credit for time in repayment if you don’t consolidate and submit your PSLF form by that date.
- Submit a PSLF form. After consolidation, use the PSLF Help Tool to generate a PSLF form to submit to MOHELA (our new PSLF servicer) by Oct. 31, 2022. Instructions in the PSLF form tell you how to submit the form to MOHELA.
(2) Can you consolidate to receive largest payment count from consolidated loans?
First: What types of loans can be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan?
Most federal student loans, including the following, are eligible for consolidation:
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Unsubsidized and Nonsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- PLUS loans from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program
- Supplemental Loans for Students
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Nursing Student Loans
- Nurse Faculty Loans
- Health Education Assistance Loans
- Health Professions Student Loans
- Loans for Disadvantaged Students
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- FFEL Consolidation Loans and Direct Consolidation Loans (only under certain conditions)
- Federal Insured Student Loans
- Guaranteed Student Loans
- National Direct Student Loans
- National Defense Student Loans
- Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students
- Auxiliary Loans to Assist Students
Private education loans are not eligible for consolidation, but for some Direct Consolidation Loan repayment plans, the total amount of your education loan debt—including any private education loans—determines how long you have to repay your Direct Consolidation Loan.
Direct PLUS Loans received by parents to help pay for a dependent student’s education cannot be consolidated together with federal student loans that the student received.
How many payments can I get if I consolidate loans with different numbers of qualifying payments?
Assuming your repayment history overlaps for each loan, the consolidation loan will be credited with the largest number of payments of the loans that were consolidated. For example, if you had 50 qualifying payments on one Subsidized Stafford Loan and 100 qualifying payments on another Subsidized Stafford Loan and you consolidate those loans, you will receive 100 qualifying payments on the new Direct Consolidation Loan.
If your repayment history does not overlap for each loan, the consolidation loan may be credited with more total payments than the loan with the largest number of payments.
I am already in PSLF, and I have Direct Loans that have different payment counts. Should I consolidate my Direct Loans?
Under the time-limited PSLF rule changes, your consolidation loan will receive credit for time in repayment on your loans with different counts. Your consolidation loan will be credited with at least the largest number of payments on the loans that were consolidated.
I was told that consolidating my loans that are already in PSLF will start my payment count at zero on my consolidation loan. Is that true?
If you recently consolidated your loans, your count of eligible and qualifying payments may temporarily reset to zero, but it will be further adjusted as we continue to process updates to your account under the limited PSLF waiver.
You will receive credit on your consolidation loan for time in repayment from your existing loans.
This differs from the prior approach under the normal PSLF rules, where consolidating your Direct Loans in PSLF would have reset your payment count to zero.