Dealing with student debt? Learn about Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Piggy bank with stack of books

If you have federal student loan debt, you could be eligible to have your loan balances forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) as a U-M employee.

What is PSLF?

Under the PSLF program, you may qualify for federal loan forgiveness after you have made 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for a public service employer (10 years) and making payments through 10-year standard repayment or one of the federal income-driven repayment plans. Only federal Direct Loans qualify for the program, although other federal student loan types may also become eligible if you consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan. (If you are thinking about consolidation, talk to your loan servicer about the implications for your loans.)

Parents who borrowed a Federal Direct PLUS Loan on behalf of a dependent undergraduate child may also qualify for the program if the parent borrower is working in a public service job and repaying through an eligible repayment plan.

Am I eligible?

According to the Office of Federal Student Aid, the eligibility requirements for loan forgiveness under the PSLF program are as follows.

  • You must not be in default on the loans for which you are requesting forgiveness.
  • You must be employed full-time by a public service organization
    • when making each of the required 120 qualifying loan payments (certain repayment conditions apply);
    • at the time you apply for loan forgiveness; and
    • at the time the remaining balance on your eligible loans is forgiven.

Completing the Employment Certification Form

As an eligible borrower, you must also periodically complete and submit the PSLF Employment Certification Form (ECF) to the U.S. Department of Education. The U-M Shared Services Center can complete the employer portion of the ECF. Once you have completed, signed and dated page 1 of the ECF, fax it to the SSC at 734-936-9792. The SSC Verification of Employment team will complete page 2, fax the completed form to the Department of Education and mail you a copy at the address you provide on the form.

Learn more

To learn more, visit the Federal Student Aid website or FedLoan Servicing.  The U-M Office of Financial Aid may also be able to answer questions at OFA-GetHelp@umich.edu.