Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees

Working as a public service employee and buried in student loans? Well then, a portion of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 called the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program may be just what you’re looking for.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program  is meant to encourage individuals to find and continue full-time employment as a public service employee after college graduation.  You may qualify for forgiveness of your remaining balance due on eligible federal student loans after making 120 payments under certain repayment plans while employed full-time. Your payment count starts after October 1, 2007, so the soonest your remaining student loan debt could be erased is October 2017.

The following information is a summary of federal student loans and public service positions that may qualify a borrower. All information was taken from a February 2009 Federal Student Aid Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employee document available online.

Which federal student loans qualify for forgiveness?

  • Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans (Direct Subsidized Loans)
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loans (Direct Unsubsidized Loans)
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Direct PLUS Loans) – for parents and graduate or professional students
  • Federal Direct Consolidation Loans (Direct Consolidation Loans)

Other loans may qualify if consolidated and repaid under the Direct Loan Program. Only payments made on the Direct Consolidation Loan will count toward the required 120 monthly payments.

What types of public service jobs will qualify a borrower?

In order to qualify for the loan forgiveness program, you will need to be employed full-time by a public service organization or serving full-time in an AmeriCorps or Peace Corps position.  Public service organizations include:

  • Federal, state, local, or Tribal government organizations, agencies, or entities (public schools, colleges & universities)
  • Public child or family service agencies
  • Non-profit organizations that meet specific tax exemptions
  • Tribal colleges or universities
  • Private organizations that are not for-profit, labor unions, partisan political organizations, or organizations engaged in religious activities

This information is just a summary of the requirements for the program. Learn more by reading the Final regulations by the U.S. Department of Education Federal Register document.

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