Servicemembers and veterans who may qualify for student loan forgiveness under a temporary waiver to an often-criticized federal program have until Oct. 31 to apply before the rules revert to pre-waiver standards.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is offering a “limited PSLF waiver” allowing borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would not otherwise qualify for the program. These periods will count whether you made a payment, made that payment on time, made it for the full amount due, or made it on a qualifying plan.
This means borrowers who paused payments due to military service can have that entire period of forbearance or deferment credited toward PSLF forgiveness. But these credits must be claimed before Oct. 31; after that, PSLF rules again will require an “income-driven repayment plan” be in place to qualify for loan forgiveness.
The program only offers repayment for Direct Loans. However, you can receive credit for periods of repayment on Federal Family Education (FFEL) loans, Federal Perkins loans, or other types of federal loans if you consolidate those loans into the Direct Loan program by Oct. 31.
These changes may push some borrowers over the 120 payments needed to receive loan forgiveness. In such instances, borrowers automatically receive a refund for any excess payments, as long as their employment is certified.
Think you may be eligible? Visit StudentAid.gov/PSLF to access the PSLF help tool – you’ll receive a walk-through of the application process, including proper forms and eligibility guidelines.
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