COVID-19 Forbearance and PSLF

The Department of Education has updated their site with more information about PSLF and IDR during COVID-19. The good news is that suspended payments count toward PSLF! See below for more info:

From FedLoan Servicing:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) & Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)

  • Borrowers with a Direct Loan, who work full-time for a qualifying employer during the suspension, will receive credit toward PSLF for the period of suspension as though on-time monthly payments were made.

NOTE: Borrowers will be required to submit an Employment Certification Form (ECF) to certify employment for the suspended payments to qualify towards the 120 needed for forgiveness.

  • Borrowers currently on an IDR plan will have suspended payments count toward IDR forgiveness.

From the Department of Education

Will suspended payments count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF)?

If you have a Direct Loan and work full-time for a qualifying employer during the suspension, then you will receive credit toward PSLF or TEPSLF for the period of suspension as though you made on-time monthly payments in the correct amount while on a qualifying repayment plan.

Note: In-grace, in-school, and certain deferment, forbearance, and bankruptcy statuses are not eligible for credit toward PSLF.

If I’m currently in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, will my suspended payments count toward IDR forgiveness?

Yes.

My income-driven repayment (IDR) recertification date is coming up soon. Will the administrative forbearance affect when I should recertify?

Yes. You will not have to recertify your income before Dec. 31, 2020, regardless of whether your recertification date would have happened prior to Dec. 31, 2020. As part of the administrative forbearance, your recertification date has been pushed out from your original recertification date. You will be notified of your new recertification date before it is time to recertify.

If I enter IDR during the administrative forbearance, will my payments automatically remain suspended? Will those months count toward IDR forgiveness?

Yes, your payments will remain suspended; and yes, the months will count toward IDR forgiveness.

I’m currently on an income-driven repayment plan. I’m unemployed because of the coronavirus outbreak and don’t know when my income will return to the same level. What can I do?

You are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance that allows you to stop making your payments from March 13, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.

If you are on an IDR plan and your income has changed significantly, you can update your information and get a new payment amount based on your current income. To do so, visit StudentAid.gov/idr, click on “Apply Now,” and then start the application by clicking on the button next to “Recalculate my monthly payment.” After the administrative forbearance ends on Dec. 31, 2020, your monthly payments will resume at the new amount.

If you would like to enroll in an IDR plan for the first time, visit StudentAid.gov/idr, click on “Apply Now,” and then start the application.

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