Eligible Veterans, active-duty service members and others can erase their student loans through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The program removes the burden of student debt on public servants, making it possible for many borrowers to stay in their jobs, and entices others to work in high-need fields.

Months on active duty count

The Department of Education will allow months spent on active duty to count toward PSLF, even if the service member’s loans were on a deferment or forbearance rather than in active repayment. This change addresses one major challenge service members face in accessing PSLF.

Service members on active duty can qualify for student loan deferments and forbearances that help them through periods in which service inhibits their ability to make payments. But, too often, members of the military find out that those same deferments or forbearances granted while they served our country did not count toward PSLF.

This change ensures that members of the military will not need to focus on their student loans while serving our country. Federal Student Aid will develop and implement a process to address periods of student loan deferments and forbearance for active-duty service members and will update affected borrowers to let them know what they need to do to take advantage of this change.

Giving federal employees credit

The Department of Education will begin automatically giving federal employees credit for PSLF by matching Department of Education data with information held by other federal agencies about service members and the federal workforce. These matches will help the Department of Education identify others who may also be eligible but cannot benefit automatically, like those with FFEL loans.

Qualifying employers

Any U.S. federal, state, local or tribal government agency is considered a government employer for the PSLF Program. This includes employers such as the U.S. military, public elementary and secondary schools, public colleges and universities, public child and family service agencies, and special governmental districts (including entities such as public transportation, water, bridge district, or housing authorities).

A government contractor isn’t considered a government employer.

You can visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Help Tool, which will help you determine if an employer is considered a qualifying employer under the PSLF Program.

Income doesn’t matter

There is no income requirement to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. However, since your required monthly payment amount under most of the qualifying PSLF repayment plans is based on your income, your income level over the course of your public service employment might be a factor in determining whether you have a remaining loan balance to be forgiven after making 120 qualifying payments.

Know you have creditable service?

If you know that you have qualifying employment that you have not yet certified with the Department of Education, you can certify that employment now by using the PSLF Help Tool.

Haven’t applied yet?

You will need to submit a PSLF form so the Department of Education can review your loans under the simplified rules and determine whether your current or past employers qualify for PSLF. You can submit this form through the PSLF Help Tool. Because the Department of Education expects an influx of applicants due to this announcement, you may see some delays in having your application processed.

Learn more

Fact Sheet: Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program Overhaul | U.S. Department of Education

Public Service Loan Forgiveness FAQs | Federal Student Aid

U.S. Department of Education Announces Transformational Changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, Will Put Over 550,000 Public Service Workers Closer to Loan Forgiveness | U.S. Department of Education

Share this story

Published on Aug. 15, 2022

Estimated reading time is 3 min.

Views to date: 120,526

50 Comments

  1. Ahmed September 12, 2022 at 6:36 am

    I know that this comment won’t be answered or addressed by ther VA. I’m a disabled veteran who after getting my degree years ago. Have since paid my total student loan debt off myself. Why am I not allowed for getting any money paid (up to the sum of loan forgiveness amount), paid back to me? I have after getting my degree have worked for ther VA for almost 20 years and have served my country for 8 on top of that. This is so unfair to have to pay taxes for other people to get a break, when I having gone thru hard times also, paid it off like the good citizen I am. This is another hit to my mental health (Made by the government) that keeps me medicated.

  2. John September 8, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    Does the student loan forgiveness apply for spouse of a veteran.

  3. Beth September 8, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    This program has been around for years! It has nothing to do with President Biden. Also if big corporations paid their fair share and didn’t get an even larger tax break from tRumps administration our country would not be in such a deficit. Also pres Biden has reduced that deficit. So…most of you uninformed folks on here r good with “corporate welfare” and paying a high rate on income taxes and federal subsidies for oil, gas and large farms and supporting an inflated military budget but not active members or veterans school bill. Shame.

  4. Paul Anthony Chaisson September 8, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    In 1989 there was a Democrat President, Senate and Congress who let the original GI Bill expire. I borrowed 20K to finish school since I lost my GI Bill benefits. Now 30 years later I’m still paying for that student loan. Cant something be done to forgive Vietnam veteran student loans ? (For good)

    • Marco Battaglia September 8, 2022 at 8:16 pm

      George H.W. Bush was not a Democrat.

  5. Amador Soto September 8, 2022 at 11:59 am

    I am retired from US Army, may.I apply for this benefit

  6. Denise September 8, 2022 at 11:44 am

    I cannot believe the ED won’t count your service to your country if it was before Oct. 2007.
    I served in the U.S. Army from Nov 85 till Nov 88; but I’m not eligible for student loan forgiveness.
    I’ve been paying on my student loans for about 30 years now and, at the rate I’m able to pay, I’ll be 80 years old before I pay them all off.
    I just think that’s wrong!
    This is what it says:
    “Only qualifying employment on or after Oct. 2, 2007, can be counted toward PSLF eligibility. Please only add employers where you worked on or after Oct. 2, 2007.”

  7. Don September 8, 2022 at 11:12 am

    I am currently in school, graduate in May 2023. I was told I could not apply due to the fact I haven’t made any payments yet. I retired in Feb 2020 with 23 years of service. Is there a provision in the new rules for my situation?

  8. stanley ross mason September 8, 2022 at 9:39 am

    i co sign for my son which is not able to pay back i have been paying is there help for me

  9. Eugene J Bussolati, Jr. September 8, 2022 at 9:24 am

    What about people like me who paid their loans as promised?
    I taught at a State University for 11 yrs. Does that count for anything? During that time my salary was small, but I PAID MY LOANS. COMPLETELY. I want a refund.

  10. Robert Brien September 8, 2022 at 9:14 am

    I made a comment earlier which did not appear here:

    Can a veteran of over 25 years, who is currently disabled and cannot obtain employment; is considered low income with minimal SS and pension; and has been paying on a student loan for over 15 years, be considered? (I cannot obtain a prior Fed EIN)

    Or–does this only favor current active duty ???

    • THOMAS WESTFIELD September 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

      Check with the VA or better yet, contact a VSO in your area. If you are disabled and can’t work you should apply for Total Disability Individual Unemployment (TDIU) first, and then apply for loan discharge. You don’t have to be 100% disabled to be rated for TDIU. It’s a bit complicated but you may qualify to discharge that loan through a VA program, not just Public Service. Contact a VSO in your area.

  11. Dan September 8, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Is there a number to call someone about this program?

  12. The taxpayer cannot handle it. The economy of our country will cave under the burden. Who is in charge up there? September 8, 2022 at 8:45 am

    How in the heck is our government ever going to pay for everybody’s forgiven debts. The taxpayer cannot handle it. The economy of our country will cave under the burden. Who is in charge up there?

  13. William Wando September 8, 2022 at 8:45 am

    What about if I did the responsible thing and paid my loans off? Another scheme by brain dead politicians to buy votes at the expense of those who do the right thing…

  14. James Bingham September 8, 2022 at 7:25 am

    If you apply for loan forgiveness, you are STEALING from honest hardworking ethical principled honorable people who believe in keeping their word and not placing their self induced burdens on others. I cannot imagine having any self respect after taking this socialist welfare path!

  15. Ethel Howdeshell September 8, 2022 at 7:00 am

    I retired from federal service but still don’t qualify for forgiveness though I paid monthly for 10+ years! I was sent a letter advising me how to get the forgiveness which would require me to work another 7 or 8 years. My loans were not forgiven. I’m retired and do not an to return to the VA to work and I’m a little too old to keep up.
    Should I reapply?

  16. Mary A. Craddock September 8, 2022 at 6:42 am

    I’m a retired Military Veteran with over 21 years of service. When I came in back in 1979, no one even mentioned to me about signing up for a GI Bill for college, they were more interested in filling a quota. I ended up attending a University while I was almost out of the Navy and I had to apply for student loans, government and personal loans, just to get through Marymount and I graduated in 2007, and I’ve been paying back student loan debt since 2007 and never skipped a beat, with interest rates varying from 5 to 7%. I pay $987.00 dollars a month since 2007 for the last 15 years and yet my student loan debt hasn’t gone down, and I still owe over $100,000 dollars in student loan debt, in which $70,000 is the federal loan debt and the remaining are private consolidated loans and I never skipped a beat. on payments. I did the right thing and yet, my student loan payments aren’t going down, I surely would welcome the help of getting some of my debt lifted. How can this program help me?

  17. Randall September 8, 2022 at 1:25 am

    Any chance those of us that did the right thing and paid our loans without necessarily being able to afford to will be reimbursed?

  18. William Holten September 8, 2022 at 12:19 am

    What if I served on active duty prior to accumulating student loan debt?

  19. Gene Howe September 7, 2022 at 11:38 pm

    Let me get this straight. You took out a student loan by signing a contract stating you would repay with interest the amount you received. Right?

    Now you want to take advantage of a law requiring taxpayers to pay what you owe. Right?

    Because if that’s right, you are ignoring the obligation you incurred, and some taxpayer who may never have attended college is paying your student loan for you.

    Do you really feel good about that? I think you are being asked to do something shameful and will regret being part of it. Think about it.

    • Phil St.Onge, HMC(FMF), USM, Ret September 8, 2022 at 11:22 am

      It isn’t law or in stone. Its hasn’t even been through congress, who could make it law. I’m amazed how the VA can be so backasswards on this. PArt of being an American citizen is to not be a burden to society.

      [Editor: PSLF isn’t new, and it’s not what’s been in the news recently. You can learn more by reading the story and the links in the copy above.]

  20. Martin Deyoung September 7, 2022 at 11:01 pm

    I need help I am 65 with a 50,000 student debt

  21. Josh September 7, 2022 at 10:58 pm

    What about children of veterans? Thank you.

  22. Robert September 7, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    I agree with previous comment, I paid on my 8 plus years of college loans by working as many as 3 jobs until they were paid off. Do we get reimbursement for doing the right thing? I could use the free $

  23. Mark September 7, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    Just messed up. Couldn’t afford school in service. So choose not to take on loans. Now loans can just be erased. Great

  24. Dave Sisco September 7, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    I worked and saved so could go to college, and now I’m going to be screwed because now I’ll be paying, through my tax dollars, the debts of DEADBEATS!

  25. John September 7, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    No measure to address education costs, but hey, the “Government” will pay if for you! When in reality the Tax Payers pay it for you, because the education institutions don’t educate for free!

  26. Shannon Howard September 7, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Who do I contact to sign off on my paperwork stating I was in the military?

  27. Stacey Adams September 7, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    What about veterans who have already paid back their student loans? Do we get some sort of rembursement?

  28. Eric September 7, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    If someone is no longer connected to their command, who can certify/sign-off on the PSLF form that DoE requires?

  29. Richard Cooper September 7, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Forgiving student loans is immoral. You take out a loan, you pay it back.

  30. John Bosch September 7, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    The Government guaranteed the loans with no risk to the loaners
    The banks made interest money at no risk of loss
    The colleges all pumped up their charges to the maximum loan limits to students
    The students generally became indentured servants with no education guaranteed.

    The root causes of this problem was not even addressed and it’ll start all over again.

    • Yolanda B September 8, 2022 at 10:16 am

      That’s the most intelligent response on here.

  31. Edward Wynn September 7, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    I paid off my own student loans. Now I get to pay off someone else’s student loans. That’ll teach me, huh?

    FJB.

    • Phil St.Onge, HMC(FMF), USM, Ret September 8, 2022 at 11:23 am

      Im there with you. FJB

  32. Bertha Woods August 16, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    Is there a way to talk with someone concerning my loans?

    Bertha Woods

  33. Jim August 16, 2022 at 9:13 am

    What about the ones who payoff and did the right thing on Student Loans?

    • Dude September 7, 2022 at 6:14 pm

      They shall commended for being better than everyone else. I assume that is what you want right? Dude….get over yourself.

    • Uncle September 7, 2022 at 7:15 pm

      Good job

    • Zoltan Cantrell September 7, 2022 at 8:37 pm

      whataboutism is actually a class in College

    • John September 7, 2022 at 8:59 pm

      We are the suckers Jim.

    • Jim September 7, 2022 at 9:00 pm

      We get nothing. That’s fair though, right?

    • Prisca September 7, 2022 at 10:57 pm

      Oh stop with paid and did the right thing. People serve in the military and get education benefits and some still have to get some kind loans because by the time they want to go to college their benefit is up and the cost of college is higher to include the attached interest rate. No one has outwardly said they weren’t willing to pay, it’s the interest rate that is so ridiculous people can not put a dent in what they do pay. Plus why are you assuming that people who are receiving forgiveness, have not already paid something towards their loan?
      I work everyday and also do the right thing, should I expect people that receive food stamps to be penalized and accused of not doing the right thing? People fall on hard times and do they best they can with what they have. So how about start a scholarship program instead of be bitter

    • Dave September 7, 2022 at 11:18 pm

      Good for you! Do you wanna cookie? ;)

      Seriously, don’t waste your time worrying about policy changes which are better than what was available to you, eg I was enrolled in VEAP in early 80’s, a 2-to-1 matching VA educational program which matched my $2.4k contribution with $4.8k paid by VA, for a total benefit of $7.2k. A few years later, Congress started giving vets a total amount of $20k, with lower contribution paid by soldiers.

      It happens…

    • Joe September 7, 2022 at 11:29 pm

      Jim, you do realize that this is a federal program that was instituted by a Republican president (Bush) and expanded under Trump, while being maintained through both of the Democratic presidents, right? This is a bi-partisan program that has existed for ~15 years. So… not sure what you mean by doing “the right thing” since this has existed for a quite a while as an incentive.

    • James II September 8, 2022 at 12:24 am

      What about them?

    • Jesse September 8, 2022 at 5:55 am

      Ooh Jim, boo who.

    • Jay September 8, 2022 at 8:33 am

      I’d say we are probably screwed. The Biden administration has done a wonderful job with this matter…yeah right. it’s gonna suck for a lot of people who have already paid off their loans.

    • Phil St.Onge, HMC(FMF), USM, Ret September 8, 2022 at 11:18 am

      And what about us who paid as we went: register for a class, pay for it and have incentive to finish the course with a worthwhile grade based on effort given to the studies. All these wise-cracks about – “whataboutism’ are so immature. I’m retired Navy, completed 25 active duty in 2003. I worked hard to obtain an AS BS and a 2-year Graduate level Certificate in HRM. It all wasn’t easy nor cheap. Tuition Assistance Program was a blessing. All this loan forgiveness is just a way to buy votes from those willing to dump their financial obligations onto others. This is particularly concerning to see that veterans who paid their way are now to possibly be on the hook for another’s irresponsible behavior. One who participates in this ‘the taxpayers will pay your debt’ program simply undermines being a responsible citizen and veteran. Lastly, I don’t understand how one would take out a loan without a plan in place to repay one’s own debt? Completely absurd, and in the end, its JUST GOING TO RAISE TAXES ON THE WORKING PERSON INCLUDING THOSE STILL IN UNIFORM. This whole idea of student loan ‘forgiveness’ breeds more irresponsibility.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM), and it’s time to remember that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

  • VA has simplified and streamlined the application process for medical debt relief, allowing Veterans better access. Apply for and receive medical debt relief now.

  • Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers has expanded to now include caregivers of eligible Veterans of all service eras.