Do you have a federal student loan? If so, you may be able to benefit from temporary changes made to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. These changes, called the “Limited PSLF Waiver,” are helping borrowers more easily get their loans forgiven – but if you haven’t already applied for PSLF, you must submit a PSLF form and/or consolidate your non-Direct federal student loans by October 31 to get the benefit.
You can learn more about the waiver here. The waiver will allow borrowers to gain additional PSLF credit, even if payments were made under non-qualifying loan types and repayment plans:
- The waiver allows for the consolidation of federal student loans into federal Direct loans. This includes Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), Federal Perkins Loans, Federally Insured Student Loans (FISL), National Defense Student Loans (NDSL), and other types of federal loans that are not Direct Loans. You must consolidate into a Direct loan by October 31 to receive credit for prior payments.
- Past periods of repayment will now count, whether or not you made that payment on time, for the full amount due, or on a qualifying repayment plan. The Department of Education will even count certain periods of forbearance toward PSLF.
To take advantage of the waiver, you need to:
- Register for an FSA ID if you don’t already have one at this link.
- If you have Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), Perkins loans, or other federal student loans including FISL or NDSL, you will need to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify for PSLF. You can consolidate your loans if you need to at this link.
- Submit a PSLF form to certify employment for PSLF that you want credit for through the waiver. You can generate a PSLF form at this link.
- In the PSLF Help Tool, it’s important to use the appropriate Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). USPTO’s EIN is 530197085.
- Send your form to HumanResources_USPTO@uspto.gov. Be sure to encrypt the document before you send it, as it contains PII. Encryption instructions are available here.
POPA has additional information about PSLF including a fact sheet at: http://popa.org/blog/temporary-expanded-public-service-loan-forgiveness-program-ending-1031/
Be aware that the PSLF website which has been linked to below is experiencing very high traffic and may take a while to access.