Spring Forward on Your PSLF

Yearly Steps to Keep Track of PSLF Progress

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a slow process, but—thankfully—you don’t have to do a lot to keep up with it, which also makes it easy to forget about. There are two main components to PSLF that you need to certify: employment and income (for your income-driven repayment (IDR) plan). The latter is relatively easy to stay on top of; MOHELA—the student loan servicer for all those pursuing PSLF—is required to give you ample notice every year when your income recertification is due. Certifying your employment is really no more difficult than income, but no one is around to remind you to do it, so most of us tend to slack on that one, unfortunately. 

Employment certification is the most important criterion to qualify for PSLF, it’s how you show that you’re fulfilling the “public service” component of Public Service Loan Forgiveness. It’s somewhat confusing because you don’t fill out an “employment certification” form, you submit a PSLF Form, which is the same thing you send in when you’ve completed your 10 years of service and apply for student loan forgiveness. Now, thankfully, the office of Federal Student Aid has created the PSLF Help Tool which provides greater clarity and guides you through the process. Even though they recommend that “you should use this tool to submit a PSLF form each year or whenever you change jobs,” however, the one thing it doesn’t do is send you a reminder each year! 

Benefits to Certifying Employment Each Year for PSLF

Certifying your employment each year does more than just keep you up-to-date on your qualifying payments, it provides you with both peace of mind and a paper trail. We hear from new clients all the time, “I haven’t resubmitted in a few years, but I’m still working at the same hospital, so I know that my employment still qualifies.” While that is true, it doesn’t mean that it’s documented. Student loan servicers are notorious for bad record keeping, and MOHELA—sadly—is no better than the rest. [link to 03.23.2024 Tips about MOHELA Papers] You may be able to keep track of your QPs in your head, but what matters are the ones that you can prove. PSLF’s track record is doing a lot better under the Biden Administration, it’s still not perfect and borrowers continue to be impacted by inept student loan servicers. The best way to secure your path to PSLF is to stay on top of it regularly and make sure that you keep records of all of your progress. 

If you have any questions about PSLF, employment certification, or whether you may qualify, contact your student loan professional. They can help put you on the path to loan forgiveness and give you peace of mind so that you can enjoy the beauty and promise of springtime!

If you have Federal Student Loans, schedule your free 15-minute Discovery Session to find out if your loans can be forgiven after 25 years.