Earlier today Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter joined Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) at the University of Maryland Baltimore to announce new efforts from the Department of Education to help public servants—including veterans, nurses, and teachers—take advantage of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Public Service Loan Forgiveness cancels the balance of a borrower’s federal student loan debt after they have served full time in a public service role for at least 10 years, while making on-time qualifying loan payments each month.
The new materials from ED include an employment certification form that allows borrowers to keep track of eligible employment and payments. This form will help those borrowers who have made a service commitment to this country while honoring their responsibility to repay their federal student loans and allow them to more easily receive loan forgiveness when they are able. In addition, these new materials will allow borrowers to find out now if their job and loan payments will qualify them for loan forgiveness in the future as well as how many payments they have left to make – information that is not currently available.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness was established through the bipartisan College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, and applies to careers such as active-duty military officers and veterans, public school teachers, law enforcement officials, firefighters, and many nonprofit employees. Borrowers must make 120 monthly payments on their eligible federal student loans after Oct. 1, 2007, before they qualify for the loan forgiveness.
More details about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, including a detailed Q&A and copy of the form, can be found at: www.studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice.
Sara Gast is a Press Aide at the U.S. Department of Education