Qualification for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is based on who your employer is, not on the job you hold. If you are a full-time employee of any government agency at any level – federal, state, local or tribal – you qualify for PSLF.
That is why police and corrections officers automatically qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Other criteria that help a law enforcement officer qualify include:
- If you are part of a nonprofit organization that is exempt by the IRS under Section 501(c)(3). Labor union members and employees at partisan political organizations are not eligible, even if their employers have 501(c)(3) status.
- Even if your organization is not a 501(c)(3), but provides certain types of qualifying service such as law enforcement, you could qualify
Steps to Loan Forgiveness for Law Enforcement Officers
- Your federal student loan balance is forgiven after 120 on-time qualifying payments
- Qualifying payments are ones that include the full amount due and no later than 15 days after due date
- Payments made during the grace, deferment, forbearance or default periods are not qualifying payments
- You must be employed full time by a qualifying employer
- Payments do not need to be consecutive
- Combine with Income-Based Repayment plan to significantly reduce your monthly payment
- Convert ineligible loans with a direct consolidation loan, achieve one convenient monthly payment
Make Your Loans Eligible Through Consolidation
Only Direct Student Loans and Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Those loans include Federal Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans and Federal Direct PLUS loans.
Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Perkins Loans Program are not eligible, but could become eligible, if you can consolidate them into Direct Consolidation Loans. Be aware that only payments made to the Direct Consolidation Loan program count toward eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Payments to the FFEL and Perkins Loan Program do not count toward PSLF.
We’re here to help you understand your current loan situation as well as your consolidation options. Call today.
A qualified payment is any payment made under the following repayment plans:
- Income-based repayment
- Income-contingent repayment
- Pay as You Earn
- Standard Repayment (If you remain on a Standard Repayment program for 10 years, your entire debt will be paid in full. You may still want to enroll in PSLF and get credit for these qualifying payments in case you switch to another payment plan during the term.)
- Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation
This option is available for Perkins Loans only.
How to Qualify for Perkins Loan Cancellation
- Must be a sworn law enforcement officers
- Or can be a person whose principal responsibilities are unique to the criminal justice system
- Those with administrative duties within law enforcement do not qualify
- Must be employed by a local, state or federal law enforcement or corrections agency or facility that is publicly funded
Full-time law enforcement and corrections officers are eligible for 100% loan forgiveness under the Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation program for service that includes August 14, 2008 and after.
Cancellation happens after 5 years, as follows:
- Year one: 15% cancellation
- Year two: 15% cancellation
- Year three: 20% cancellation
- Year four: 20% cancellation
- Year five: 30% cancellation
If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, you must apply to the school that made the loan or to the loan servicer the school has designated. If you have any questions on Perkins Loan cancellation, contact the school or loan servicer.