The Department of Education is revising the Employment Certification Form for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The new Employment Certification Form appears to make it easier to fill out for student borrowers. We’ll let you know when the Employment Certification Form is finalized.
Rationale for Changes
- Provide discrete, yes/no questions and answers.
- Add skip logic to form, to making it simpler for borrowers to complete.
- Modify language on the form to emphasize key points concerning the PSLF Program.
- Merge the separate instructions document into the form, itself.
Purpose of Employment Certification Form: Determine Employment Qualification, Track Payments, Decrease Burden on Borrower and ED
The submission of the Employer Certification Form prior to applying for loan forgiveness is done at the borrower’s discretion. The Department and its Direct Loan Program servicers will use the information collected on the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form to determine whether a borrower has worked for a qualified employer during the certification period and whether payments made against a borrower’s outstanding Direct Loan balance were qualifying payments for the purpose of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
If the borrower submits Employment Certifications prior to the submission of an application for forgiveness, the borrower’s Direct Loan servicer will retain the form on the borrower’s behalf and notify the borrower many payments made during the certification period of employment count toward the required 120 payments.
The frequency of submission is determined by the borrower, and may be as frequent as each time a borrower changes public service employers.
If borrowers were not allowed to submit employment certifications until after they have made all 120 required payments and are eligible to apply for loan forgiveness, there would be a greater likelihood that borrowers would be unable to obtain the required documentation of employment that ended years in the past, and it would be more difficult for them to track their progress toward making their 120th qualifying payment.
Further, by soliciting Employment Certification forms less frequently, the Direct Loan servicers would receive a large number of forms at the same time, when the first borrowers become eligible to apply for loan forgiveness in October 2017. This would lead to an increase in the time required to process borrowers’ loan forgiveness applications.
Interesting Facts About Employment Certification Form
- The estimated time required to complete the forms is 0.5 hours (30 minutes).
- Estimated annual number of respondents: 122,896