The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program(PSLFP) was established to inspire students to enter into public service jobs on a full-time basis. Under this program, students might be eligible to have a large portion of their student loans forgiven. The PSLFP program was established by congress along with the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007.
In order to receive the benefits of this program, students must make at least 120 qualifying payments on their outstanding loans. There are criteria that have to be met for payments to qualify:
- Payments should be made no later than 15 days after the due date of each scheduled payment.
- The payments should meet or exceed the scheduled monthly amount.
- Large lump payments made all at once, or made in advance do not count toward qualifying payments.
- If these payments are made while a student is in an in-school deferment or forbearance period, they will not count.
- Students must be working on a full-time basis at a public service institution when these payments are made.
Only loans acquired under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program are eligibility for this program. If students received loans under the Federal Family Education(FFEL) or Perkins Loan Program(PLP), they do not qualify for the PSLFP. However, these loans can be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan in order to qualify for the PSLFP. Payments that were made before these loans were consolidated will not count toward the 120 qualifying payments.
There are other options available to students who still do not qualify for loan forgiveness under the above mentioned guidelines.
The Peace Corps is an organization established by the United State’s government that organizes volunteers to help with the issues associated with development on an international level. These issues include eduction, information technology, environmental issues, business, agriculture and health. Graduating students who join the Peace Corps will be contracted to work for 27 month periods. Student loans are then deferred until after the student leaves the program. After leaving the program, student loans may then be reduced as much as 70%.
Loan recipients who sign up for public service through Americorps can get $4,725 towards paying of their student loans after completing a year of service. AmeriCorps is a federal government program that is concerned with building communities through education and public service.
Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) is another branch of the AmeriCorps organization. It was founded in order to fight against illiteracy, homelessness and poverty in the United States. Loan recipients who complete at least 1,700 hours of service through Vista can receive $4,725 towards paying off their loans.