New Resources Announced for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Martha Kanter and John Sarbanes

Martha Kanter joined Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) at the University of Maryland Baltimore. Photo by Ed Fishel courtesy of UofM Baltimore.

Earlier today Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter joined Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) at the University of Maryland Baltimore to announce new efforts from the Department of Education to help public servants—including veterans, nurses, and teachers—take advantage of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Public Service Loan Forgiveness cancels the balance of a borrower’s federal student loan debt after they have served full time in a public service role for at least 10 years, while making on-time qualifying loan payments each month.

The new materials from ED include an employment certification form that allows borrowers to keep track of eligible employment and payments. This form will help those borrowers who have made a service commitment to this country while honoring their responsibility to repay their federal student loans and allow them to more easily receive loan forgiveness when they are able. In addition, these new materials will allow borrowers to find out now if their job and loan payments will qualify them for loan forgiveness in the future as well as how many payments they have left to make – information that is not currently available.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness was established through the bipartisan College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, and applies to careers such as active-duty military officers and veterans, public school teachers, law enforcement officials, firefighters, and many nonprofit employees. Borrowers must make 120 monthly payments on their eligible federal student loans after Oct. 1, 2007, before they qualify for the loan forgiveness.

More details about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, including a detailed Q&A and copy of the form, can be found at:

Sara Gast is a Press Aide at the U.S. Department of Education


  1. Direct Loan participants may want to double check you are in the right repayment plan for the Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employess. Otherwise, payments may not count toward the 120 qualifying payments to request loan forgiveness. There is no form to officially register in the Loan Forgiveness program which only adds to the confusion; however, you are expected to register in the right Repayment Plan. Make sure your are either in the Income Base Repayment or the Income Contingent Repayment plan. Do not think that loan consilidation, nor 120 payments satisfy requirements to request loan forgiveness. I strongly encourage verification of the Repayment plan as there is no form to document your intention to enroll in the loan forgiveness program.

  2. I graduated, consolidated, and have been paying back my student loans every month since 2005. I have been paying for 7 years. Does this mean that after 3 more years that I can have the remainder of my student loan balance forgiven? What do I have to do? and when do I do so?

  3. You did your part? You made 10 years worth of payments under ICR and you applied for PSF?

    That’s impossible because PSF did not go into effect until 2008 so there will be No One eligible for PSF until 2018 and that’s only after 120 monthly on time payments.

    IBR and ICR payment plans became available in 2009.

  4. It doesnt matter what they say today abou what they plan to do tomorrow because they will change the rules so that when you do what they say you still come out on the loosing end of the deal. I was told to make my income contingent payment monthly, and after 10 years the remaining balance would be forgiven, that too was pie in the sky nonsense! I did my part! They changed the rules, and now all I have is a huge unattainable debt. They keep taking my tax refund to cover it, and would have covered the original bill in full by now, but these loan sharks who manufacture fees have gotten almost $10,000.00 and no one is better of because of it. Does this sound right? The bill was 8k to begin with, and now they want 32k, and it climbs monthly with out end, so how does this end? Eventually I become forced to do the wrong thing,instead of doing the honest right thing! Way to go!

    • Stop paying. You have to eat. You know is you go to an other country. The debt can not cross the line.

      I am 100,000 at 15% and they think I can pay? I want to. But lets get real. I remind all the baby boomers that we can not afford to support them as they retire. The cost of neglecting a system for 30 years and installing quasi gov agency’s to control the rules and govern the banks.

      Run for office. Most of them have no credit either. But they all have new cars. Hmmmmmm. Good luck.

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