On January 31, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released an Employment Certification Package to help borrowers track their progress toward qualifying for PSLF. The PSLF Employment Certification Package includes:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program fact sheet (updated December 2015)
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Q&As (updated December 2015)
How can I keep track of my eligibility?
Because it will take at least 10 years for you to make the 120 qualifying payments necessary to receive PSLF, we have created an Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form (Employee Certification form) that you should submit to us and a process that you should follow so that the Department of Education can assist you in tracking your periods of qualifying employment and your qualifying payments.
The form allows you to get your employer’s certification of employment while you are still employed at that organization or shortly after leaving. The process allows you to receive confirmation of qualifying employment and your Direct Loan payment eligibility. You may also submit the form less frequently than annually to cover more than one year’s employment or for more than one employer.
While use of this form and process is not required, if you want the Department of Education to track your progress toward meeting the PSLF eligibility requirements, you should follow the steps below. If you do not periodically submit the form, you will still be required to submit a form for each employer that you want considered for PSLF at the time that you apply for forgiveness.
- Step 1 — Complete, with your employer’s certification, the Employment Certification form annually or whenever you change jobs.
- Step 2 — Submit the completed form to FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), the PSLF servicer, following the instructions on the form.
- Step 3 — FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) will review your Employment Certification form, ensure that it is complete, and, based on the information provided by your employer, determine whether your employment is qualifying employment for the PSLF Program.
- Step 4 — If the form you submit is incomplete or your employment does not qualify, FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) will notify you and you will have an opportunity to provide additional information.
- Step 5 — If FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) cannot determine whether your employment qualifies, you may be asked to provide additional information or documentation to help establish whether you were employed by a qualifying public service organization. This documentation may include an IRS Form W-2, pay stubs, or other documents from your employer that substantiate your employment at the organization or documentation supporting your employer’s eligibility as a public service organization.
- Step 6 — If your employment qualifies and some or all of your federally held loans are not serviced by FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), those loans will be transferred to FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) so you will have a single federal loan servicer for all of your federally held loans. After your loans are transferred, earlier payments made to other federal loan servicers will be evaluated to see whether they are qualifying PSLF payments.
- Step 7 — FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) will notify you whether your employment qualifies, and, if so, how many payments during the certification period were qualifying payments, the total number of qualifying payments you have made, and how many payments you must still make before you can qualify for PSLF.
What should I do after I become eligible for PSLF?
After you make your 120th qualifying payment, you 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. You must be working for a qualified public service organization at the time you submit the application for forgiveness and at the time the remaining balance on your loan is forgiven.
The Department of Education look fsorward to working with you while you learn more about PSLF and work toward your goal of making 120 qualifying payments. If you have any more questions, look at the PSLF Fact Sheet and the PSLF Questions & Answers document or contact your federal loan servicer. If you don’t know the federal loan servicer for your federal student loans, use NSLDS® to get that information.
More Instructions for Employers
If FedLoan Servicing is your loan servicer, check out additional instructions for employers: http://www.holdfasttodreams.org/know-your-student-loans/public-service-loan-forgiveness/fedloan-servicing-for-pslf/