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Who is eligible for the student loan forgiveness program?

I am a beneficiary of direct student loans for my undergraduate degree which I completed three years ago. Luckily, I got a job three months after graduation and started my federal student loan payment soon after. Since then, I have been making my repayment from my income diligently every month. However, since my expenses have gone up in the recent months (family obligations), it has become difficult to make my repayments. Hence, I am in dire need of student loan relief.

What is the qualification criteria for the student loan forgiveness program?

Curtis Rhodes

in Student Loans

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Kathy Robinson on April 30, 2018

Some employees in the public service can qualify for relief on their student loan balance after being in full-time employment in eligible organizations for at least ten years. However, it is not that straightforward; the qualification requirements are a bit complex. For instance, you should also be making your payments via a qualifying repayment plan.

As a worker in the public service, you are eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. You will have to fill and submit the Employment Certification form. Most people wait till right before applying for the students’ loan forgiveness program to fill this form. It is advisable that you fill it immediately if you wish to qualify for the forgiveness program in the future.

My mathematics tells me that you have been making your federal student loan payments for at most 36 months. Therefore, you cannot qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. You need to have made repayments for a minimum of 120 months to be eligible.

Therefore, to qualify you must maintain full-time employment for at least 120 months in a state or local government, a federal position, a non-profit organization that is tax-exempt, or a private non-profit organization that offers law enforcement, military service, early childhood education, emergency management, public safety, and other eligible services.

These are all the types of employers that are eligible for forgiveness programs. It is essential to bear in mind that you can qualify for loan forgiveness based on your place of work rather than your job type.

Another critical thing to note is that not all of your loan will be forgiven, but only the balance that remains after you complete your 120 monthly payments. Only federal direct students’ loans qualify.

For loans such as Perkins loans, you can consolidate them. This act will leave you with only one direct consolidation loan. Your 120-month countdown will start after consolidating your loans. Therefore, all the previous payments you made will not count.

Try to ensure that your loan repayments are on time. Do not exceed the 15-day limit for making payments for your loan. Moreover, make sure that you are on a qualifying repayment plan. For example, the standard repayment plan (for ten years) or an income-based repayment plan.

When you submit your Employment Certification form, the Department of Education will give you information on the number of eligible payments you have made so far.


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