Understanding PSLF: Who Qualifies for Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness?


Advancing your education and earning a degree can open doors to better job opportunities down the road, but it also has its challenges. Repayment of the loan received during your studies can be a significant financial burden for individuals as they transition into the workforce.

One method to receive assistance in repaying student loans is through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

Working for a U.S. government entity at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal), or a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code qualifies for PSLF, regardless of the services provided.

In addition, a non-profit organization that is not exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code is deemed a qualifying employer if it dedicates a majority of its full-time equivalent employees to working in at least one of the specified areas:

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Civilian service to the military

  • Emergency management
  • Military service
  • Public safety
  • Law enforcement
  • Public interest law
  • Early childhood education
  • Public service for individuals with disabilities
  • Public health
  • Public education
  • Public library services
  • School library services
  • Other school-based services
  • Public service for the elderly

How long does PSLF take to process?

It will take a minimum of 10 years to qualify for PSLF after making 120 qualifying monthly payments.

It’s important to note that you need to continue working for an eligible employer when you apply for forgiveness.

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