This program is available to all borrowers who work in public service jobs for ten (10) years and participate in a eligible repayment plan (IBR or ICR). The remaining balance of the student loan (principal and interest) is forgiven after ten years of public service is completed.
The program applies only to Direct Loans which encompasses Stafford, Plus, and Consolidation loans. Some borrowers may find it advantageous to consolidate their direct loans with their non-direct federal government loans in order to take advantage of this benefit.
Borrowers with non-direct loans should consolidate with direct loans as soon as possible because only payments made through the Direct Loan Program count towards the ten year forgiveness period. Borrowers who have previously consolidated their loans are eligible to reconsolidate their loans (combine direct loans with non-direct loans) to take advantage of this loan forgiveness program.
In order to qualify, borrowers must not be in default and must have made 120 payments on their loans after October 1, 2007. Payments can made through any of the eligible repayment plans (IBR or ICR). Borrowers must be employed in a public service job at the time of the forgiveness.
Jobs with federal, state, local, or tribal government organizations, public child or family service agencies, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or universities should be considered “public service jobs.”
Borrowers who are working for organizations that provide any of the following services should qualify: Law Enforcement, Public Interest, Military service, Public safety, childhood education, public health care occupations, and public education.
It is important to note that the loan forgiveness is based upon the employer’s eligibility, not the type of job. Anyone working full time for a qualifying employer, regardless of his or her job, may qualify. There is no requirement that borrowers must work in the same public service job for the entire ten year period.
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