How to Apply for a Public Service Loan Forgiveness

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The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 created a new debt forgiveness program for those people pursuing public-service careers. The goal of the program is to discharge any remaining debt after 10 years of full time employment in public service. While the program helps the borrower, they still need to have made 120 payments on their loan to qualify.

Qualify for the program. The most important consideration for qualifying for the program is making 10 years of payments after October 2007. Put another way, in order for loans to be forgiven, you must have proof of making at least 120 payments starting October 2007. This means, the first loan will not start to be forgiven until October 2017.

Be sure that your loan repayment plan falls into one of the eligible loan categories. These are: Income Based Repayment (IBR) Plan, income Contingent Repayment Plan, Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period, and any other Direct Loan Program repayment plan such as the Standard Repayment Plan.

Obtain proof that you were/are employed in the public sector for all 120 of these payments. Common examples of public service jobs are: Government, Military, Education and Public Safety.

Obtain proof that loans are in the Direct Loan program. Those in the FFELP program can consolidate their loans into the Direct Loan program to qualify.

Once you qualify, contact the direct loan center connected to your account to request a Federal Student Aid Public Service Debt Relief Form.