Student Loan Forgiveness: A Guide to Debt Relief

Student loan forgiveness

Student loans can be a heavy burden for many individuals seeking higher education. Fortunately, there are various types of loan forgiveness programs available to help alleviate this financial strain. In this article, we will explore two popular forgiveness programs: Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and income-driven repayment forgiveness.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

PSLF is a program that offers forgiveness for qualifying federal student loans after 120 qualifying payments (equivalent to 10 years of payments) while working for a qualifying public service employer. If you have worked or are currently working in public service, such as government or certain non-profit organizations, you may be eligible for this program.

To qualify for PSLF, there are several important factors to consider:

Make sure you qualify

The U.S. Department of Education provides a helpful tool called the PSLF Help Tool. It can guide you through the qualification process and provide the necessary forms to document your employment and payments.

Ensure you have the right type of loans

Only federal Direct Loans are eligible for forgiveness through PSLF. If you have other types of federal student loans, such as Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) or Perkins Loans, you may be able to qualify by consolidating them into a new federal Direct Consolidation Loan.

Keep proof of your payments

It’s crucial to save digital receipts or monthly statements for every payment you make. These records will serve as evidence of your qualifying payments.

Check your payment tally

Regularly monitor the PSLF Help Tool to ensure that your progress towards the 120 qualifying payments aligns with your records.

Understand the CARES Act Payment Pause

During the COVID-19 pandemic, loan payments were paused. The good news is that these paused payments still count towards PSLF as long as you meet all other qualifications.

Request credit for deferments and forbearances

Certain deferment periods and forbearances can be counted as qualifying payments towards PSLF. Be sure to consult the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman for more information on how to request credit for these periods.

Set a yearly reminder for paperwork

Recertify your income-driven repayment plan and employer annually to ensure you stay on track for loan forgiveness. The PSLF Help Tool will guide you through the process.

You can appeal if you’re denied

In the event that your PSLF or Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) application is denied, you have the option to request reconsideration from the U.S. Department of Education. Gather all necessary information, such as proof of payments and employment, to support your appeal.

Stay out of default

To remain eligible for PSLF, it’s essential to avoid defaulting on your federal loans. If you do fall into default, you will need to rehabilitate or consolidate your loans to get back on track.

Income-Driven Repayment Forgiveness

Another option for loan forgiveness is through income-driven repayment plans. These plans cap your monthly loan payments based on your income and family size. After 20 or 25 years of repayment, depending on the chosen plan, the remaining balance on your loans may be forgiven.

One-time adjustment to fix IDR loan forgiveness

The Department of Education recently announced changes that will benefit borrowers enrolled in income-driven repayment plans. These changes include a one-time adjustment that counts any month spent in repayment, certain deferment periods, and some forbearance periods towards loan forgiveness. If you have been in repayment for more than 20 or 25 years, your loans may immediately qualify for forgiveness.

What counts towards IDR forgiveness?

Several factors contribute to the 20 or 25 years required for IDR forgiveness, including months in repayment status, consecutive forbearance periods, economic hardship or military deferments after 2013, deferment periods prior to 2013, and repayment prior to consolidation on consolidated loans.

What loans qualify for the IDR one-time adjustment?

Only federal student loans managed by the Department of Education qualify for the one-time IDR adjustment. Borrowers with Direct Loans or federally-managed FFELP loans will automatically benefit from this adjustment. Borrowers with FFELP loans held by commercial lenders or Perkins loans not held by the Department of Education can consolidate into Direct Loans to benefit from the adjustment.

How to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan

If you have a federal student loan, you can enroll in an income-driven repayment plan online through the Department of Education’s enrollment website. This website will provide information on the types of loans you have and guide you through the enrollment process.


Q: What happens if I am denied forgiveness under PSLF or TEPSLF?
A: If your application is denied, you can request reconsideration from the U.S. Department of Education. Be sure to gather all necessary documentation, such as proof of payments and employment, to support your appeal.

Q: Can I consolidate my loans to qualify for PSLF or IDR forgiveness?
A: Yes, consolidating your loans into a federal Direct Consolidation Loan can make them eligible for forgiveness under certain programs. However, it’s important to review the terms and conditions before consolidating.

Q: Are there any fees involved in receiving loan forgiveness?
A: No, there should never be any fees associated with receiving loan forgiveness. Be wary of anyone asking for payment in exchange for loan forgiveness, as it is likely a scam.


Student loan forgiveness programs provide crucial relief to borrowers burdened by educational debt. Whether through Public Service Loan Forgiveness or income-driven repayment forgiveness, these programs offer viable options for those seeking financial relief. Remember to carefully review the requirements and follow the necessary steps to ensure eligibility. For more information on student loan forgiveness and other important news, visit Instant Global News.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or legal advice. Please consult with a professional for customized guidance on your specific situation.