Today the U.S. Dept. of Education announced a series of significant changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). These changes have the potential of positively affecting the repayment status of over 500,000 student loan borrowers. According to the release, 22,000 borrowers who’ve consolidated loans that were previously deemed ineligible will now be immediately eligible for loan forgiveness. No further action would be required on their part.
Additionally, approximately 27,000 borrowers may also qualify for forgiveness should they certify additional periods of employment. The net result is that approximately 550,000 borrowers that have already consolidated their loans should see an increase in the number of payments credited as qualifying. The average borrower may see up to 2 additional years of progress toward forgiveness. For these reasons it’s important that those who have not consolidated or provided up-to-date employment certification do so.
What remains in question is how soon these changes will be reflected in the loan servicing systems, especially in light of companies electing to leave the servicing business.
Summary of announced changes
New PSLF Waiver
A new, limited PSLF waiver will allow all payments to count toward public service loan forgiveness, regardless of the loan program or payment plan. Borrowers will have to submit their PSLF forms by October 31, 2022 that certifies employment.
This new PSLF waiver allows all borrowers to count all payments made on loans from the FFEL or Perkins programs. Restrictions will be waived that previously required full, on-time payments to the correct repayment plan. Borrowers in these programs may benefit from the waiver by completing a consolidation and filing the PSLF employment certification forms by Oct 31, 2022.
Active Military Service Members Receive Assistance
Active duty service members may now count deferments and forbearances toward PSLF.
Credit toward PSLF will be automatically awarded to military service members and federal employees. Also, there will be a federal matching system to issue credits for those service members who may not have received credit while on active duty.
Finally, all denied applications will be reconsidered.