Finally, the long-awaited Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Certification Form is available to individuals interested in loan forgiveness if they work in a one of the qualifying category of entities/organizations.
These entities/organizations are:
- any nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization
- the federal government, a state government, local government, or tribal government (this includes the military and public schools and colleges)
- full-time service in AmeriCorps or Peace Corps
Remember, you must be working in one of these entities/organizations while you are making payments for the payments to count toward loan forgiveness AND you must be working in one of the qualifying entities/organizations when you apply for loan forgiveness. You can work in a for-profit entity and then return to not-for-profit but the payments made during the time of “for profit” employment will NOT count towards the PSLF.
The links, below, give detailed information on how to complete the certification form, etc. but I want to point out a couple of items:
While the Department of Education (ED) does “encourage” you to complete the form, annually, I would say absolutely complete the form annually. Be sure to keep a copy of it before submitting the first two pages to the PSLF Federal Servicer:
P.O. Box 69184
Harribsurg, PA 17106-9184
Also be sure to maintain yearly W-2’, pay stubs, and any other documentation that you feel documents the “eligible agency” as a public service entity/organization. Be sure you have the appropriate certifying official sign the employment certification form. For medical residents, the certifying official is Joe Sparkman in the Graduate Medical Education office. For all other faculty/employees, I am working to identify who the appropriate certifying official is and will notify you.
Once you send in the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form to FedLoan Servicing, they will notify the current holder/servicer of your loans that they are taking them in-house. You should, then, receive notice from FedLoan Servicing that they have your loans and are aware that you are, indeed, applying for PSLF.
- Instructions for Completing the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form
- Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form
- Department of Education’s Letter to Borrowers about the process
These are uncharted waters and as information becomes available, we will keep you posted. Remember, to even be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you MUST be making payments under the Federal Direct Loan Program and for most individuals this means that they will have had to consolidate all of their loans into the Federal Direct Loan Consolidation Program. If you have always and only had Federal Direct Loans and they are already housed with the Federal Loan Servicer (ACS), you will not have to go through the consolidation process.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Mary B. W. Fenton, M.A.
Director of Student Financial Aid Services
for the Health Sciences Center
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center