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Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Beyond the loan forgiveness built into the income base repayment plans, a common way to become elegible for student loan forgiveness is to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSFL). The PSLF program was created to encourage people to take on public sector careers despite the reduced pay as compared to employment in the private sector.

Under this program, individuals who have chosen to work in the public sector OR work for a non profit organization may seek student loan forgiveness. Anyone who serves full time in the AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps may apply as well.

In order to make full use of this plan you must have made repayments on your loans for at least 10 years and have made 120 payments. In addition you must have employment documentation proving you have worked in the public sector for the length of those 10 years. Once you have completed your 10 years of payments you will have to complete a loan forgiveness application. If you qualify and your application is approved, any remaining debt on your student loan after that 10 year period may be forgiven.

The 10 year payment clock only covers payments made after 2007 and only covers Federal Direct loans. If you have loans from any other borrowers you can have your loan consolidated into a Direct loan in order to try to gain elegibility. One must be careful when consolidating so that they do not lose their discharge elegibility as part of the process. If you are already locked into one of the Income-driven repayment plans, you may still qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

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