Follow up on your PSLF: You don’t know what you don’t know
On track for Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you’ve been working towards PSLF for a while, you probably have the basics down by now. You know about employment certification and income recertification. You’ve got a good tax plan. You’re on the right repayment plan and are tracking your qualifying payments. You’re good, right?
Check in on your repayment progress
When people call in to Navigate, we have a checklist of less common things to ask about, situations borrowers may not be aware of. They’re the “unknown unknowns” that could have a big impact, but you’d never know, just like we recently encountered with Dr. Deena. She called for a fairly routine check-in, wanting to check in on her QPs. She’s seven years into repayment, working toward PSLF, and doing just about everything right.
While going through our list of unusual PSLF questions, we found out that Dr. Deena was doing locum tenens work for 10 months while she was between regular jobs. During that time, she continued to make her loan payments, but—contrary to her belief—that employment didn’t qualify her for PSLF. Since those weren’t qualifying payments, it didn’t make sense for Dr. Deena to have lost that money.
By working with FedLoans (it’s both FedLoans and Fed Loan Servicing –I added the ‘s’ to the end), we were able to go back and get those 10 payments refunded—totalling over $7,000— without disturbing her PSLF progress (or other language with similar message).
More than just number crunchers
Student loan repayment should be a straightforward process, but there are all kinds of hidden circumstances, evolving rules and regulations, and surprising circumstances that can catch people off guard.
That’s why we make sure to ask questions; you don’t know what you don’t know, but it’s our job to stay on top of the shifting student loan landscape. It never hurts to check with the experts and see what kinds of “unknown unknowns” you might have missed; it might just save you a lot of money.