PSLF Statistics August 2020

We’ve often heard of the horror stories of student borrowers not qualifying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) after so many years of hoping and waiting, but taking a closer look at the overall PSLF statistics gives a better understanding of what’s going on.

Let’s parse through the numbers in the most recently released PSLF data in August 2020 (since January 2020, the reports are updated on a monthly basis; see all reports here):

  • 220,060 total number of PSLF applications
    • 203,106 PSLF applications with processing complete
    • 16,954 PSLF applications pending processing
  • 198,662 ineligible PSLF applications
  • 4,444 eligible PSLF applications (2% of PSLF applications were eligible)

The most common reasons for ineligible PSLF applications:

  • 56% Qualifying Payments
  • 25% Missing Information
  • 14% No Eligible Loans

So 72% of PSLF applications are ineligible to do something that could have been prevented with annually submitted Employment Certification Forms (ECF’s). If you are submitting ECF’s regularly, you would have been notified of whether your payments and loans qualify (this is updated on your billing statements, on the FedLoan Servicing website under loan details). The missing information part could also have been prevented because the ECF’s basically mirror the final PSLF application for forgiveness.

Another thing we’ve heard about is that, depending on your luck, sometimes FedLoan Servicing does NOT allow electronic signatures unless it’s an uploaded version of their actual signature (see our other post). There have been instances where the ECF’s have been returned with the message:

“The signature of the authorized official at your employer is either missing from the form or you submitted the form with an electronic signature of the authorized official that is not an acceptable format. If the authorized official at your employer wishes to provide their signature electronically, please ensure they include an uploaded digital copy of their actual signature.”

Well what does this all mean? SUBMIT YOUR ECF’s!! We cannot emphasize this enough; you need to submit it regularly, before you change jobs, after you change jobs, annually. Try to get wet signatures or uploaded digital copies of their actual signature, not electronic signatures from HR. This will help you keep on track for PSLF forgiveness and ultimately can speed up your final PSLF forgiveness application. The Department of Education will already have all your employment and payment information for those 120 payments if you have been regularly submitting those ECF’s.

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