Temporary Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness for Military
If you served in the military and took out a student loan, you may be able to take advantage of a limited-time opportunity to get Public Service Loan Forgiveness from the United States Department of Education.
Until the end of October 2022, if you have a federal student loan and qualify for the program as a military member, you can apply for credit for payments “that previously didn’t qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF)” according to the U.S. Department of Education.
How Student Loan Forgiveness Works
In general, military or not, you may only claim this type of federal student loan relief if you work for a qualified employer. Student loan forgiveness is not automatic and you must submit a PSLF form in order to get PSLF credit.
You will need to check to see that your employer is certified by the Department of Education and you will need to “generate” a student loan forgiveness form using the official Help Tool. In order to do this, you must have and use a StudentAid.gov account, and submit your employer’s EIN number as part of your application.
Temporary Student Loan Credit
Under this waiver, qualifying military members may be able to get credit even if they have a Federal Family Education Program (FFEL) loan or a Perkins loan. Credit may be offered even if you did not make on-time payments, did not pay the full amount you owed, or if you signed up for the wrong repayment plan.
The Department of Education will, under this temporary program, allow service members to submit a DD Form 214 (proof of discharge) as part of an application for student loan forgiveness.
How To Get Started
As mentioned above you must create a student loan forgiveness form using the official Help Tool on the StudentAid.gov official site. When that form is created, you will find a section on the form which states, “Check this box if you cannot obtain certification from your employer because the organization is closed or because the organization has refused to certify your employment. The Department will follow up to assist you in getting documentation of your employment.”
It is strongly recommended that you select this option when filling out the form. In cases where FedLoan Servicing is the company responsible for your loan, you may send your application materials directly to them, but if FedLoan is NOT your servicer, fill out your Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) form and submit that and a COPY of your proof of military discharge to the address listed on the PSLF form you completed.
If you submitted this information previously, before the temporary overhaul of this program, you may need to contact FedLoan or your loan servicer and resubmit your application.
What to Know About Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness
This program is not permanent at press time. It expires at the end of October 2022. It’s best to submit your application and proof of discharge as early as possible to avoid complications that could cause you to miss this important deadline.
StudentAid.gov reminds us that under this temporary program the PSLF help tool has been modified to accommodate COVID-19 relief measures where applicable. For the most accurate and up-to-date information about this program, you are advised to read ANY information titled “Special Notice for the COVID-19 Emergency” and review the limited PSLF waiver announcement.
About the author
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.