Thousands of Jobs Qualify for Expanded Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Under a temporary extension of a key federal student loan forgiveness program for public service workers, thousands of jobs will be eligible and one million borrowers could ultimately benefit. Here are the details.

New Changes to the Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Public Service Workers

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) can erase federal student loan debt for borrowers engaged in public service careers. The PSLF was created in 2007, but its initial eligibility rules were complex and poorly communicated to borrowers. PSLF limited student loan forgiveness to borrowers with direct program federal student loans only; other types of federal student loans have been excluded. The program also required borrowers to repay their loans under an income-driven repayment plan, excluding borrowers who made payments under most other plans.

Last October, the Biden administration announced a broad new temporary initiative to expand PSLF relief. Called “Limited PSLF Waiver,” the expansion will allow borrowers to obtain credit for repayment periods that would not have qualified under the original PSLF rules. This includes previous payments made on non-direct federal loans (like FFEL loans and Perkins loans), as well as payments made under non-qualifying repayment plans. According to the Biden administration, 70,000 borrowers have already received $5 billion in student loan forgiveness under the waiver, and officials expect hundreds of thousands more to eventually benefit from the relief. temporary.

The terms of employment for the PSLF program remain largely unchanged under the waiver. But many borrowers may not fully realize the general employment eligibility that already existed under the program. Coupled with the other changes to the PSLF through the waiver, many jobs are now eligible for student loan forgiveness. Here is a breakdown.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Nonprofit Workers

Full-time employment for 501(c)(3) designated nonprofit organizations is generally eligible for the PSLF. Many nonprofit organizations are 501(c)(3), including private nonprofit academic institutions, nonprofit hospitals, and charities.

Non-profit organizations that are do not 501(c)(3)s may or may not qualify. For example, partisan political organizations and trade unions will generally not be eligible. Other types of nonprofits may or may not count, but the Department makes these decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Civil Servants

Full-time employment for any national government entity would also qualify for the PSLF in most cases. This would include a government agency at any level (federal, state, municipal) as well as public institutions, such as public schools.

Employment for quasi-public agencies or private organizations established by governments may not count, although this depends on the specific characteristics of that organization. In addition, foreign government entities or international organizations, as well as private for-profit contractors working for government entities, are generally excluded from PSLF eligibility.

Student loan forgiveness for religious work

When the PSLF was first enacted, work of a religious nature such as conducting worship services or engaging in religious instruction was specifically excluded from PSLF eligibility, even if the borrower was an employee at full-time from a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization such as a church, synagogue, or mosque. However, new regulations that came into effect last year expanded eligible PSLF employment to include religious work.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Part-Time Work

Generally, eligible PSLF employment must be full-time and average at least 30 hours per week. However, borrowers can also benefit from part-time work. To do so, they must have at least two part-time positions with an eligible PSLF employer and their combined work hours must be at least 30 hours per week.

Job position doesn’t matter

Unlike other federal student loan forgiveness programs, such as Teacher Loan Forgiveness or Perkins Loan Forgiveness, the PSLF does not limit eligibility to specific occupations or job titles. specific. The conditions of employment simply state that the employer themselves are eligible. So, for example, qualifying employment in a public school could include a number of occupations, including teachers, administrators, coaches, guidance counselors and school nurses.

Under the PSLF derogation, assistance does not depend on current employment

While the terms of employment for PSLF remain largely unchanged under the waiver, the department has enacted one significant change. Under the original PSLF rules, borrowers were required to maintain qualifying employment until their loans were actually forgiven. But under the limited PSLF waiver, this is not the case. According to the Department, “Under normal PSLF program rules, you must be employed by an eligible employer when you receive a rebate. However, this requirement is waived until October 31, 2022, due to this time-limited opportunity.

Wondering how to get more information

The Ministry of Education has revamped its website PSLF Helper Toolwhich allows borrowers to obtain a preliminary assessment of whether their employment may qualify for the PSLF.

To qualify for the limited PSLF waiver, borrowers may need to take certain steps by October 31, 2022. Borrowers wishing to learn more about the waiver program should visit the ministry’s website. detailed and dedicated website.

Further Reading on Student Loans

Biden’s student loan forgiveness now tops $16 billion after fresh wave of approvals

One Million Borrowers Could Get Expanded Student Loan Forgiveness Starting This Month, Biden Official Says

Student loan forgiveness: ‘We’re going to win,’ says top Democrat, as poll shows broad support for debt forgiveness

Unraveling Student Loan Forgiveness: Who Qualifies for Three Complicated Programs for Public Service Workers

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