How to Fill Out and Submit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Form
You can fill out the public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) form in one of two ways:
You can use the PSLF Help Tool to assist you in starting the PSLF form. Once you enter your information, you’ll be able to print the partially completed form for you and your employer to sign.
Or, you can download the PSLF form and complete all sections on your own before submitting it.
Once filled out, submit to BHR:
- Email to the BHR employee verification inbox at BHRvoe@portlandoregon.gov
- Mail to BHR
- Fax to BHR
Note: PSLF forms must be physically signed by authorized personnel. Due to this federal requirement, requests will be processed within 7-10 business days of submission.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness vs Student Debt Relief Plan
In addition to the PSLF program the U.S. Department of Education announced a student debt relief plan to help working and middle-class federal student loan borrowers transition back to regular payment as pandemic-related support expires. This plan includes loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 and will extend the pause a final time through December 31, 2022, with payments resuming in January 2023. Find out more information on the student debt relief plan announcement here.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver Offers
The U.S. Department of Education has implemented temporary changes to the PSLF program rules that make it easier for federal student loan borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for forgiveness. These changes end on October 31, 2022. Millions of non-profit and government employees have federal student loans and may now be eligible for loan forgiveness or additional credit through the temporary changes, known as the Limited PSLF Waiver. But they must apply before the deadline. This means some borrowers will need to consolidate and/or submit a PSLF form – the single application used for a review of employment certification, payment counts, and processing of forgiveness – on or before October 31, 2022, to have previously ineligible payments counted. After October 31, 2022, normal PSLF rules will apply. Borrowers can learn more about the temporary changes at the public service loan forgiveness program website here.
The PSLF website includes a simple 3-Step Eligibility Tool that borrowers can use to determine eligibility, a one-page explainer document for borrowers, and social media graphics that you can use.
Step 1. Explore your options
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) allows qualifying federal student loans to be forgiven after 10 years (120 months) of qualifying payments, while working for a qualifying public service employer. Working in public service, such as government service (federal, U.S. Military, state, local, or tribal) or certain non-profit organizations may qualify you for PSLF. Your employment may also qualify if your employer provides certain types of qualifying public services.
What is a qualifying loan? UPDATE The U.S. Department of Education announced a change to PSLF program rules for a limited time because of the COVID-19 national emergency. Under the new rules, any prior federal student loan payment made will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan type, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time. All you need is qualifying employment. This change will apply to student loan borrowers with Direct Loans, those who have already consolidated into the Direct Loan Program, and those who consolidate into the Direct Loan Program by Oct. 31, 2022. For more information visit the PSLF website.
What is a qualifying payment plan? UPDATE Under the PSLF Limited Waiver opportunity, most of the PSLF qualifying payment rules have been suspended through Oct. 31, 2022. Under this temporary waiver, you may get credit for payments you’ve made on loans that would not normally qualify for PSLF. These payments will count even if you didn’t pay the full amount or on-time. However, only payments made after Oct. 1, 2007, can count as qualifying payments, since that’s when the PSLF program began.
- Visit the Department of Education’s Aid Summary resource to determine what type of federal student loans you have at the aid summary here.
- Use the PSLF Help Tool here to figure out your personal next steps for pursuing forgiveness.
Step 2. Enroll and certify
Under the PSLF Limited Waiver, any prior federal student loan payment made after Oct. 1, 2007, will count toward PSLF. Next steps depend on whether you have a Direct Loan or some other type of federal student loan.
- If you already have Direct Loans but have not previously completed a PSLF form, use the PSLF Help Tool here to fill out the form and submit by Oct. 31, 2022, to receive credit towards PSLF.
- If you have at least one FFEL Program loan, Perkins Loan, or other federal student loans, complete a Direct Consolidation Loan application by Oct. 31, 2022, to receive credit towards loan forgiveness for those loans.
- Generally, Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for the limited PSLF waiver.
- If you have multiple periods of qualifying employment, fill out a PSLF form for each qualified employer. The forms must be submitted by Oct. 31, 2022.
- If you have a Direct Loan and previously filled out the PSLF form for all your qualifying employment, set a reminder to submit an updated PSLF form each year to verify that you are still on track to receive PSLF.
Step 3. Follow-up with your servicer
Once you submit the PSLF form, your servicer knows you are interested and can track your progress. The company that services your loan may change. Pay close attention to any information you receive about your student loan, even if it’s from an unfamiliar company.
Things to consider
- Keep proof of your payments. Every time you make a payment, you should have the option of a PDF or email confirmation. The previous month’s payment should also be reflected in your account statements. Save those!
- Check your payment tally. The PSLF Help Tool helps you stay on track to 120 qualifying payments. Each time you submit your PSLF certification form, you will receive a count of the number of qualifying payments you have made. Make sure it matches your records. You do not have to make the 120 qualifying payments consecutively.
- Lump-sum payments. You can make future payments (or prepayments) to your qualifying federal student loans, and they will all be counted toward your PSLF qualifying payment count if all other program criteria are met. Prepayments will count for up to 12 months or the next time you’re due to recertify for your income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, whichever is sooner.