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How to Apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness



Borrowers who work in public service jobs, such as education, may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This means that loans could be completely forgiven after 10 years of employment and 120 on-time loan payments.

Call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) to ask about a specific employment field.

To maximize forgiveness, borrowers should also use an Income Driven Repayment (IDBR) option, such as Income Based Repayment, ICR, and Pay As You Earn plans.
Here are the steps to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness:

  1. Complete the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form annually or whenever you change jobs. You must ask your employer to fill in the employer portion.
  2. Submit the completed form to FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), following the instructions on the form.
  3. PHEAA will review your Employment Certification form, ensure that it is complete, and, based on the information provided by your employer, determine whether your employment qualified you for the PSLF Program.
    If the form you submit is incomplete or your employment does not qualify, FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) will notify you and you will have an opportunity to provide additional information.
  4. If PHEAA cannot determine whether your employment qualifies, you may be asked to provide additional documentation, such as an IRS Form W-2, pay stubs, or other documents from your employer that substantiate your employment or support your employer’s eligibility as a public service organization.
  5. If your employment qualifies and some or all of your federally held loans are not serviced by PHEAA, those loans will be transferred to PHEAA so that you will have a single loan servicer for all of your federally held loans. Earlier payments made to other federal loan servicers will be evaluated, after those loans are transferred, to see if they are qualifying PSLF payments.
  6. PHEAA will tell you if your employment qualifies; how many payments during the certification period were qualifying payments; the total number of qualifying payments you have made; and how many more payments must be made before you can qualify for PSLF.
    PSLF forms can be downloaded here.
U.S. Dept. of Education Federal Student Aid, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, available at:
(last visited Sept. 23, 2014).

Are you eligible for student loan forgiveness? Check out the following resources from NEA Member Benefits!

  • Get Informed: Learn about your student loan forgiveness options here
  • Get started: Access this free tool and start your journey to student loan freedom! Check your eligibility here


Degrees Not Debt's Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program Guide (PDF).  This guide can help you identify whether your federal student loans are eligible for forgiveness plans and/or programs.


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