The federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was created by Congress in 2007 in order to forgive the outstanding debt of federal student loan borrowers if they met certain requirements. Unfortunately, when public servants started becoming eligible for PSLF, they encountered many obstacles. In fact, over 90% of PSLF applications were denied as of October 2021. This was a broken promise to our public servants, and our members with NEA and AFT organized to make this program deliver on that promise. 

Through those efforts, the Limited Waiver is now currently in effect. It temporarily relaxes many of the strict PSLF requirements, allowing for many more applicants to receive loan forgiveness. If you think you may be eligible for PSLF now or in the future and want to take advantage of the benefits under the Limited Waiver, you need to submit your PSLF application before October 31, 2022. This is when the Limited Waiver is set to expire. 

Educators who have been recipients of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program may be able to count their months of payments towards TLF as qualifying payments for PSLF under the Limited waiver. 

Here are the 3 Basic Requirements: 

1. Work full-time for 10 years for a Qualifying Employer
  • All government employers, including public school districts, and certain other nonprofits qualify!
  • Full-time means an annual average of 30+ hours per week.
2. Have eligible federal loans
  • Federal Direct loans
  • Individuals with FFEL or Perkins loans need to consolidate into a Direct loan and submit a PSLF application under the Limited Waiver in order to count past payments towards PSLF.
3. Make 120 Qualifying Payments
  • Late payments, partial payments, months during the CARES Act payment pause, and non-Income-Driven Repayment plan payments now qualifying under the Limited Waiver.
  • Payments do not have to be consecutive.

Below are some helpful resources to help you navigate your student debt: 

  • Federal Student Aid website to access the PSLF Help Tool and submit your application: StudentAid.gov/PSLF 
  • NEA Student Debt Support page, including the Student Debt Navigator powered by Savi which can connect you with student loan experts, complete e-filing, and more—all at no cost to members: nea.org/student-debt-support 
  • AFT member benefit–Summer online student loan management platform—available at no cost to members: aft.org/benefits/summer 
  • Forgive My Student Debt website for more on meeting the basic requirements to obtain PSLF: forgivemystudentdebt.org/ 
  • Reach out to us if you have additional questions or a particularly challenging case at 701.223.0450 or comments@ndunited.org. We may be able to refer you to NEA’s student debt team for individual assistance.