Limited PSLF Waiver FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How does U.S. Department of Education (ED) know I want to get Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) credit under the waiver? What prompts ED to review my account?

ED will review a borrower’s account when it contains two pieces of information: at least one Direct Loan and at least one approved Employment Certification. When both conditions are met, ED will review the borrower’s account. ED will identify all new payments to be added and instruct FedLoan Servicing to update the account. If any conditions of the account change, ED will re-review the account.

Borrowers at or over 120 payments will get priority reviews regardless of when their PSLF forms were approved. Your patience is appreciated as it may take several months for PSLF forms to be processed.

How soon can I benefit from the limited PSLF waiver?

Updated payment counts may take several months. We are working with ED to update your account as quickly as possible. We want to give you clear and accurate information about the limited PSLF waiver, but we may not be able to answer specific questions until ED passes us your individual loan data.

Borrowers may have been recently notified of updates to their qualifying payment count. If notified before Feb. 7, 2022, the update may not fully reflect the implementation of the limited PSLF waiver. We are actively working with ED to implement the waiver and borrowers should begin to see updates to their qualifying payment counts.

Your patience is appreciated during this time. You can always find the most up-to-date news, including any actions you may need to take to gain access these benefits, at StudentAid.gov/pslfwaiver.

Which payments now qualify for PSLF under the limited PSLF waiver?

That will be determined by ED, and it may take several months; however, you can check for updates by signing in to Account Access. If you already have a PSLF form on file, we'll update your dashboard as soon as ED passes us your individual loan data; it displays details for each month of employment. If you have never filed a PSLF form, you must submit a PSLF form by October 31, 2022, to be considered under the limited PSLF waiver.

How do I know if I already have a PSLF form on file?

If we service your loans, you can sign in to Account Access to see your PSLF progress.

If you have a different loan servicer, you can still submit a PSLF form to MOHELA, to certify that you work in public service. Submitting a PSLF form may cause your loans to transfer.

Use the PSLF Help Tool to generate your first PSLF form or update your existing service record. You will get a notification after we process your form. Your patience is appreciated as it may take several months for PSLF forms to be processed with updated payment counts based on the new waiver guidance.

Are my Parent PLUS Loans eligible for the limited PSLF waiver?

Parent PLUS Loans will not be directly evaluated for credit under the limited PSLF waiver, regardless of whether the loan was made under the Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). A borrower with Parent PLUS Loans may consolidate their PLUS Loans by themselves or with other federal student loans in order to gain access to an income-driven repayment plan for participation in the PSLF program.

EXAMPLE:

You were in repayment on a FFELP Parent PLUS Loan from January 2012 through December 2015 and on a FFELP Subsidized Stafford Loan from January 2010 through December 2015. You consolidated both loans in December 2015.

While the repayment status history on the FFELP Parent PLUS Loan will not be considered, the repayment status on the FFELP Subsidized Stafford Loan will be considered. The entire Direct Consolidation Loan made in December 2015 would receive credit under the limited PSLF waiver for the period of January 2010 through December 2015.

However, if you only had the FFELP Parent PLUS Loan and consolidated it, you would not receive credit under the limited PSLF waiver.

When can I expect to see a change in my qualifying payment count?

As we work to update your PSLF payment counts, you may receive multiple auto-generated communications indicating action taken on your account. Be sure to check Account Access as adjustments continue to be made to your account. We appreciate your patience.

NOTE: If you recently consolidated your loans, your count of eligible and qualifying payments may temporarily reset to zero, but that will be further adjusted as we continue to process updates to your account under the limited PSLF waiver.

Why does my qualifying payment total appear wrong or incomplete?

Your qualifying payment total may not currently show how the limited PSLF waiver will affect your account. Once ED passes us an update with your individual loan data, we will update your qualifying payment count.

Ensure to review your account to verify that all forms were processed. See the How do I know if I already have a PSLF form on file FAQ for information on checking the status of previously submitted PSLF forms.

Your patience is appreciated while ED reviews your account. Contact us if you still think there's a mistake after ED updates your payment total.

I got a letter with updated qualifying payment counts. Does this include those related to the limited PSLF waiver?

As we work to update your PSLF payment counts, you may receive multiple auto-generated communications indicating action taken on your account. Be sure to check Account Access as adjustments continue to be made to your account to include the periods related to the limited PSLF waiver. We appreciate your patience. We appreciate your patience.

What repayment plan should I be on for the waiver?

You do not need to be on any specific repayment plan in order for past payments to count under the limited PSLF waiver. ED will look at:

  • Past periods of repayment (times when you were obligated to pay)
  • Past periods of certain deferment and forbearances
  • Your employment status during these periods

Learn more about how it works or visit StudentAid.gov/pslfwaiver for more information.

If the limited PSLF waiver does not put your qualifying payment total at 120 or above, you will need to keep your Direct Loans on a qualifying repayment plan and make qualifying payments in the future.

Does my past or current employer qualify for PSLF?

Check your employer by using the PSLF Help Tool. Step 1 in the Help Tool gives you access to a qualifying employer database. Sign in to your account at StudentAid.gov and provide your FSA ID to begin. You will also need your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) to use the PSLF Help Tool. You can find the correct EIN on your IRS W-2 tax form (Box b).

Why should I consolidate?

Only Direct Loans and loans consolidated into Direct Loans can be forgiven under PSLF. You can only have non-Direct loans evaluated under the limited PSLF waiver if you consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan first. To receive consideration under the limited PSLF waiver, you must submit a consolidation application by October 31, 2022.

Why am I seeing conflicting information about consolidation?

If you have non-Direct, federal loans, you must consolidate those loans into the Direct Loan program. The deadline to apply for that consolidation is October 31, 2022.

From now, through October 31, 2022, consolidation will not cause you to lose credit for past periods of repayment under PSLF; however, the limited PSLF waiver does not change how consolidation resets your IDR payment count. There is a separate IDR Account Adjustment review that will determine if any changes are made to your IDR discharge credit.

Learn more about who should consolidate.

NOTE: If you recently consolidated your loans, your count of eligible and qualifying payments may temporarily reset to zero, but that will be further adjusted as we continue to process updates to your account under the limited PSLF waiver.

Which loans can I consolidate into a Direct Loan for the limited PSLF waiver?

You can only have federal, non-Direct loans forgiven through the limited PSLF waiver if you turn them into Direct Consolidation Loans first. You must submit a consolidation application by October 31, 2022 to meet the deadline for the limited PSLF waiver.

By consolidating before the deadline, you may be able to include the following federal loan types in PSLF:

  • Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)
  • Federal Perkins Loans (Perkins)
  • Federally Insured Student Loans (FISL)
  • National Defense Student Loans (NDSL)
  • Other types of federal student loans that are not Direct Loans

Visit StudentAid.gov/aid-summary to find out what types of loans you have.

I was told that consolidating my loans that are already in PSLF will start my payment count at zero on my consolidation loan. Is that true?

If you recently consolidated your loans, your count of eligible and qualifying payments may temporarily reset to zero, but it will be further adjusted as we continue to process updates to your account under the limited PSLF waiver.

You will receive credit on your consolidation loan for time in repayment from your existing loans.

This differs from the prior approach under the normal PSLF rules, where consolidating your Direct Loans in PSLF would have reset your payment count to zero.

I am a parent PLUS borrower thinking about consolidating my parent PLUS loans with my student loans. What should I think about before I consolidate?

Parent PLUS borrowers who consolidate their parent PLUS loans with their non-PLUS student loans will be evaluated based on the time in repayment of their non-PLUS student loans only.

In addition to evaluating time in repayment on the consolidation loan, the consolidation loan is eligible to receive further payments under the limited PSLF waiver based on the time in repayment of the non-parent PLUS loans that are included in the consolidation loan. If the consolidation loan reaches 120 payments before the end of the limited PSLF waiver, then the consolidation loan will be forgiven.

If the consolidation loan is not forgiven by the end of the waiver period and the borrower wants to keep working toward PSLF forgiveness, the only repayment plans that are eligible for PSLF and available for the entire consolidation loan are the 10-year Standard or Income-Contingent Repayment Plan. For many borrowers, these repayment options will have a much larger monthly payment than the repayment plans available before the consolidation.

How do I know if I need to consolidate for the limited PSLF waiver?

Use the steps below to help you decide if consolidation is right for you:

  1. Verify your loan types with Aid Summary.
    • Sign into your account at StudentAid.gov to see a list of each student loan in your name (even if you already paid or consolidated the loan, it should appear on this page).
    • Look for any federal loan types from our list. If you find any valid loan types, move on to the next step.
  2. Verify your eligible employment with Step 1 of the PSLF Help Tool.
    • Sign in to your account at StudentAid.gov; you will need your FSA ID.
    • In the Employment History section, check your employer's eligibility by searching for their EIN. This number appears on your IRS W-2 tax form. If you have a qualifying public service job, you could benefit from the limited PSLF waiver.
  3. If you have both valid loan types and an eligible employer, you must consolidate.
    • You must submit a loan consolidation application by October 31, 2022 to meet the deadline for the limited PSLF waiver.
    • Learn more about the consolidation process before making a decision or apply today.
  4. Submit a PSLF form with the PSLF Help Tool.
    • After consolidation, you must complete a PSLF form.
    • Sign in to the PSLF Help Tool with your FSA ID.
    • Include all of your past and current public service work.

    REMINDER: You must submit a PSLF form no later than October 31, 2022, to be considered for the limited PSLF waiver.

Where can I find my Federal Employment Identification (EIN) Number?

Your EIN is available on your IRS W-2 tax form, in Box b. We attached a sample W-2 to show you where to look: