Veterans and active duty service members can get one step closer to student loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

You will need to submit your application by October 31, 2022.

By cancelling loans after 10 years of public service, PSLF removes the burden of student debt on public servants, makes it possible for many borrowers to stay in their jobs, and entices others to work in high-need fields.

Months on active duty count

The Department of Education will allow months spent on active duty to count toward PSLF, even if the service member’s loans were on a deferment or forbearance rather than in active repayment. This change addresses one major challenge service members face in accessing PSLF.

Service members on active duty can qualify for student loan deferments and forbearances that help them through periods in which service inhibits their ability to make payments. But too often, members of the military find out that those same deferments or forbearances granted while they served our country did not count toward PSLF.

This change ensures that members of the military will not need to focus on their student loans while serving our country. Federal Student Aid will develop and implement a process to address periods of student loan deferments and forbearance for active-duty service members and will update affected borrowers to let them know what they need to do to take advantage of this change.

Giving federal employees credit

The Department of Education will begin automatically giving federal employees credit for PSLF by matching Department of Education data with information held by other federal agencies about service members and the federal workforce. These matches will help the Department of Education identify others who may also be eligible but cannot benefit automatically, like those with FFEL loans.

Qualifying employers

Any U.S. federal, state, local or tribal government agency is considered a government employer for the PSLF Program. This includes employers such as the U.S. military, public elementary and secondary schools, public colleges and universities, public child and family service agencies, and special governmental districts (including entities such as public transportation, water, bridge district, or housing authorities).

A government contractor isn’t considered a government employer.

You can visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Help Tool, which will help you determine if an employer is considered a qualifying employer under the PSLF Program.

Income doesn’t matter

There is no income requirement to qualify for PSLF. However, since your required monthly payment amount under most of the qualifying PSLF repayment plans is based on your income, your income level over the course of your public service employment might be a factor in determining whether you have a remaining loan balance to be forgiven after making 120 qualifying payments.

Know you have creditable service?

If you know that you have qualifying employment that you have not yet certified with the Department of Education, you can certify that employment now by using the PSLF Help Tool at www.StudentAid.gov/pslf.

Haven’t applied yet?

You will need to submit a PSLF form so the Department of Education can review your loans under the simplified rules and determine whether your current or past employers qualify for PSLF. You can submit this form through the PSLF Help Tool at StudentAid.gov/PSLF. Because the Department of Education expects an influx of applicants due to this announcement, you may see some delays in having your application processed.

Learn more

Fact Sheet: Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program Overhaul | U.S. Department of Education

Public Service Loan Forgiveness FAQs | Federal Student Aid

U.S. Department of Education Announces Transformational Changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, Will Put Over 550,000 Public Service Workers Closer to Loan Forgiveness | U.S. Department of Education

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25 Comments

  1. Steven Harshberger February 8, 2022 at 12:59 pm

    Served my country from 1980 to 1994. But I guess in terms of paying off Student Loans, that doesn’t count for anything because it’s after 2007. Think of all the vets alive and dead that served prior to that time. For those of us that bettered ourselves through education AFTER serving our country, we get nothing. That needs to change, include all veterans, please.

  2. Leann Ross February 5, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    We live in AZ, a community property state. My spouse was discharged with TPD but was not given loan forgiveness since our children’s loans were in my name. Is there anything we can do?

  3. Michael January 31, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    What do responsible adults that paid off their own loans get? A sense of pride and a better economy. The veteran that was struggling with student loans, not every vet had the generous post 9/11 GI Bill (my GI Bill was $400 a month), will now be able to put more money into their local economy. The vet that rented because he couldn’t get a home loan because of student debt will be able to buy a house, in turn he will indirectly employ plumbers, electricians, trash collectors, and other services. They will be a more productive part of society, homeownership leads to better neighborhoods, better schools, etc.

  4. Jason Mathews January 30, 2022 at 9:44 am

    What about those who paid back their loans but may have qualified for forgiveness? Possible Reimbursement?

  5. Larry R January 29, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Tax payers bailed out Wall st, bailed out Banks, bailed out the Auto industry, so now it’s a bad thing to bail out student? Besides, who wins, not just the students, but also the thieving predator loaners. And what’s up with the arrogance, “what do responsible people get?”What, as if they now feel cheated for doing what they did responsibly? That sounds hypocritical, not responsible, get off your high horse. The GI bill was an exclusive social program and not for the general public. It helped GI, the predatory student loans is impacting the general public. Quit whining about where this country is going, it’s not going anywhere it hasn’t already been.

  6. Sheila B January 28, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    If you got medically discharged and did not serve for a full 10 years, do you qualify ?

  7. Martin S Bensch January 28, 2022 at 10:25 am

    Know if the VA themselves would forgive the Vets that they overplayed and then take the money back. Seems king of hypocritical.

  8. MJ January 28, 2022 at 8:42 am

    What about Reservist and National Guard Soldiers and Veterans!?

    • Rachelle February 21, 2022 at 4:44 am

      I agree! I taught adults in government assisted programs in Flint, MI as well as private colleges in Flint, MI and Austin, TX. Do I qualify?

  9. Ryan January 27, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    Applied for a Direct Loan Consolidation Nov 21. Just received a denial because are FFEL loans are spousal consolidation loans. Help?

  10. Johnny January 27, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    I just got off the phone with fed loan and the rep stated that you needed to have the loans before you were in the military. Also, if you served before 2007, you may not be eligible is what she said. I asked where I could find that information but she declined to tell me exactly where that stipulation was found. I guess my service in the 90’s along with my 8+ years of teaching still doesn’t qualify. I’m sending the forms in anyway to see exactly what the powers that be say about my particular situation. Good luck everyone.

  11. Henry Williams January 27, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    no comment.

  12. Dave Roman January 27, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    I’m a 26 year veteran. Does this apply for my daughters?

  13. Todd Edward Jennings January 27, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    If you find out please let me know. I will do the same

  14. Tom January 27, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    What about active military whose parents received PLUS loans for their child (before they (the child) entered the military) and now has 10 years of active military service? Up to this point, I understand PLUS (Parent Loans) do not qualify at any level. The parent is also prior active military.

  15. Cory B January 27, 2022 at 11:01 am

    You do realize that service member are tax paying citizens also? Basically we pay our own salaries ensuring you have the freedom to complain about us. Your welcome?

  16. Naomi January 27, 2022 at 10:24 am

    I served 23 years and paid off my own student loans without government assistance. Additionally I paid $1200 into the Montgomery GI Bill that the government refuses to return to me unless I personally exhaust the latest GI Bill.

  17. Larry Freauff January 27, 2022 at 9:05 am

    Why is this program only good for the Federal and State or Public Health employees? I served in Vietnam and 33 years overall and am self employed. Why am I unable to get forgiveness for the educaiton loans I have been paying for many years. Either all of us get forgiveness or none of us.

    • Mg January 28, 2022 at 1:56 am

      You do

  18. Bridget Davis January 26, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    I am the veteran and
    My daughter has student
    Loan debit we co signed as her parents . Is it possible to get her student loan debt forgiven?

  19. john mulvihill January 26, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Does this also count towards a spouse if the veteran is TDIU ?

  20. Dennis Mowrey January 26, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    You may want to verify who is eligible for this. Spent over an hour with the people with https://studentaid.gov people stating that if you were in the military before 2007, you may not be eligible and cannot complete it online. You would also have to wait for a longer period of time just because.

  21. Bradley Thomas January 26, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    How can a veteran get credit for his/her service if a wet signature is needed

  22. J January 26, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    Any idea when the Department of Education will start applying these deferred/forbearance months toward PSLF payments? I’ve asked my servicer and they just said they’re waiting for DoE to do something.

  23. Jamie Eklov January 26, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    So….the tax payers of the United States are going to pay off college loan debt?

    Doesn’t sound like a good idea unless you racked up a bunch of loans.

    What do responsible adults that paid off their own loans get?

    Isn’t that what the GI Bill is for?

    This country is out of control.

Comments are closed.

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