Did you know tribal governmental employees, tribal college and university and public service workers who work at least 30 hours a week qualify for partial federal student loan forgiveness programs? It’s true under the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, or PSLF program.
Former college students who make 120 separate, on-time qualifying monthly payments under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program serving in a full-time position in a defined public service job can have their remaining balances on their student loan forgiven after a 10-year period of payments.
Ten years of payments may sound like a long time or even an impossibility for some former students who struggle to make high student loan payments, but the good news is, this repayment can also include “income-contingent” payments.
Income-contingent payments mean that the payments are adjusted based on income, so if a student makes 10 years of payments, even at a reduced rate that is “income-contingent” they still qualify as a payment toward the 120 month period.
What Types of Student Loans Qualify for PSLF?
What Types of Employees Qualify?
According to the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness application under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program the types of employees eligible for this forgiveness program include the following:
Employees who work for a government organization—including a federal, state, local or tribal organization, agency or entity; a public child or family service agency; or a tribal college or university.
A non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
A private, non-profit organization (that is not a labor union or a partisan political organization) that provides at least one of the following public services:
Emergency management, military service, public safety, law enforcement, public interest law services, early childhood education (including licensed or regulated child care, head start, and state-funded pre-kindergarten), public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly, public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health support occupations, as such terms are defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics), public education, public library services, school library services, or other school-based services.
How to apply?
In summary, employees of a government or non-profit organization may be able to receive loan forgiveness after 120 months of on-time payments, which may include adjusted payments due to hardship or income.