Second chances like this don’t come very often, especially when it comes to student loans! Due to the incorrect advice and proper communication of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, the federal government is offering a one-time offer to help borrowers who received bad advice. In the Consolidation Appropriation Act, 2018 a 350 million dollar allowance was allocated to address this problem.
Numerous federal loan borrowers may now get a second chance to qualify for the PSLF program and be eligible for student loan forgiveness. Some specific rules and reasons are required, but this is an excellent opportunity for some to revisit loan repayment history to see if they qualify. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has created a new plan called the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) during the reconsideration period. The TEPSLF is only available to Direct Loan borrowers. Other borrowers with loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program are not eligible for the opportunity.
The funding is limited, and the money will be distributed on a first-come basis.
Who Should Apply for TEPSLF?
The borrowers who should apply are those who were previously denied or thought they did not qualify because they did not use the correct loan repayment method. PSLF requires that borrowers use one of the Income-Driven Loan Repayment Methods(IDR). Many borrowers were told that all the federal loan repayment methods would qualify, but this was not true. The TEPSLF program corrects this misinformation.
The TEPSLF announcement only states people that applied and were denied. If you have not applied, you could still qualify, or if you have not reached the 120 payments, the program is still available to you. You need to remember, that funds could be exhausted since they are limited to a specific dollar amount.
Other items that must be in place to qualify:
- Only Federal Direct Loans qualify (FFEL Loans do not qualify for PSLF)
- Have made or on track to make 120 on-time payments
- Can verify qualified full-time employment during the 120 on-time payments
- Total payments must be equal to or greater than one of the IDR methods in the last 12 months prior to submitting your TEPSLF application.
How to Apply for TEPSLF?
If you were previously denied due to some of the items listed above, then a simple email to FedLoan Serving can be submitted. The application needs to have the name that you used for your initial application. It will also need to include your account number and birthday in the email. The email should be sent to TEPSLF@myfedloan.org . A sample email is listed on the student aid site.
If you were not denied and wanted to apply, then a full application can be submitted. You will not need to submit your payment history, but you will need to submit the PSLF application and PSLF employment verification forms.
The TEPSLF program is an excellent opportunity for many borrowers to get a second chance to qualify for PSLF. It is great to see the DOE fix a wrong. At the same time, borrowers and parents have discovered how complicated the loan repayment process is, and the need for additional insights are needed. PayForED is the trusted second opinion for college funding and student loan repayment advice.