On May 23, the U.S. Department of Education, led by Betsy DeVos, announced a major change to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Those who previously were denied for being on the wrong repayment plan might now be reconsidered thanks to a temporary $350 million expansion.
If you want to claim some of the money set aside for Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF), you’ll need to take action right away. Forgiveness will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, so once the $350 million runs out, TEPSLF will end.
Here’s what you need to know about this development and how to be reconsidered for loan forgiveness.
Changes to PSLF
Under PSLF, borrowers with certain federal student loans, not private student loans, can get the remaining balance on their loans forgiven after making 120 qualifying payments on a qualifying repayment plan while working full time at a government or nonprofit organization.
Congress bolstered PSLF in March by setting aside $350 million to expand the program.
In the past, thousands of borrowers might have been denied loan forgiveness because they were on the wrong repayment plan. Under the previous PSLF structure, only borrowers on one of the following income-driven repayment plans could qualify for PSLF:
- Income-Based Repayment
- Income-Contingent Repayment
- Pay As You Earn
- Revised Pay As You Earn
There are other alternative repayment plans, including Graduated Repayment, Extended Repayment, Consolidated Standard Repayment, and Consolidated Graduated Repayment. However, they weren’t considered qualifying repayment plans under PSLF.
TEPSLF will expand the list of qualifying repayment plans to include those listed above and allow borrowers who made payments on a previously nonqualifying repayment plan to be reconsidered and potentially receive loan forgiveness.
This development has the potential to help thousands of students. According to the Office of Federal Student Aid, there were over 800,000 students pursuing PSLF as of December 2017.
What TEPSLF means for you
If you have federal student loans and were previously ineligible or denied for PSLF, you might qualify now. To be eligible for TEPSLF, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, or Direct Consolidation Loans.
- You must have previously submitted an application for PSLF and been denied because some or all of your payments weren’t made under a qualifying repayment plan.
- You must have worked full time for at least 10 years at a qualifying nonprofit organization or government agency, been certified by the employer, and had your employment approved by the Department of Education.
- You must have made 120 qualifying payments under the new TEPSLF requirements while working full time for a qualifying employer.
How to apply to be reconsidered for PSLF
If you believe you qualify, you must send an email to TEPSLF@myfedloan.org to request reconsideration for loan forgiveness as soon as possible. It should take you only a minute or two to write and send the email. The email should include your full name, which should match the name you submitted on your previous PSLF application, and your date of birth.
The Department of Education provided the following template:
Subject: TEPSLF request
I request that ED reconsider my eligibility for public service loan forgiveness.
Name: [Enter the same name under which you submitted your PSLF application]
Date of Birth: [Enter your date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format]
Once you send the email, the Department of Education will work with FedLoan Servicing, a federal loan servicer, to confirm that you previously submitted an application for PSLF and that your application was denied. You’ll receive an email from TEPSLF@myfedloan.org notifying you of the results of the initial check and what the next steps are.
You’ll receive one of the following messages:
- You’re being considered for TEPSLF: If you previously applied for PSLF and were denied, FedLoan Servicing will review your case and contact you when it’s finished or if it needs additional information.
- You have a PSLF application under review: If you have a PSLF application currently under review and are denied, FedLoan Servicing will automatically review your case for TEPSLF. It will contact you once the review is complete.
- You are not eligible for TEPSLF at this time: If you didn’t apply for PSLF in the past and have your application denied, you’ll receive a message notifying you that you’re ineligible for TEPSLF.
If you have questions about TEPSLF or can’t email FedLoan Servicing, contact FedLoan Servicing at 1-855-265-4038.
Although this new process could help thousands of borrowers, it’s not a fix for everyone. If you’re struggling with student loans and don’t qualify for PSLF or TEPSLF, check out our guide on how to pay off your loans faster.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|