EMERYVILLE, Calif., Dec. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is one of the most publicized student loan forgiveness programs, but it might be one of the least utilized. About a quarter of the workforce may be eligible based on their employment, but only about 739,000 borrowers have had their employment certifications approved. So why aren't more people taking advantage of it? In some cases, borrowers might not realize their employment qualifies, especially if they are not a teacher, public defense lawyer, or police officer. American Financial Benefits Center, a document preparation company that helps federal student loan borrowers apply and recertify for income-driven repayment plans, looks at every client's employer and helps align qualifying clients in the PSLF program.
To be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, borrowers must make 120 qualifying payments while employed for a qualifying employer. What does that mean? A qualifying payment is a full, on-time payment made on loans in either the Standard or one of the income-driven repayment plans. A qualifying employer is either a government agency of any level or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Though a lot of attention is put on teachers and public defendants, job function is not considered for eligibility.
"What a lot of people don't realize about PSLF is that the employment requirements only apply to their employer, not their own work," said Sara Molina, Manager at AFBC. "It's not only teachers and firemen and people working directly with the public that are eligible for PSLF."
Because the qualifying employment requirement focuses on the employer and the company's function rather than the employee, the possibilities may seem endless. A recent article reminds borrowers that jobs as diverse as groundskeepers, geoscientists, and translators can be eligible for PSLF depending on whether the employer is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) or government agency.
Though the future of PSLF is unclear, the new legislation being proposed now that might end the program would do so only for new borrowers; all borrowers who currently have federal student loans would still be able to take advantage of PSLF. Therefore, AFBC encourages all current federal student loan borrowers, even if they are not employed as teachers or police officers, to take a few minutes and determine if they might be eligible for PSLF. AFBC helps each client do just that and will also help with the yearly employment certification if they need it.
"Borrowers should pay less attention to what they do and more to who their boss is when it comes to PSLF eligibility," said Molina. "It might surprise a lot of people that they could be unknowingly working toward PSLF. One of our goals at AFBC is to inspire stories about people who are already a couple years into PSLF, instead of hearing the more common ones about those who lost several years of qualifying payments."
About American Financial Benefits Center
American Financial Benefits Center is a document preparation company that helps clients apply for federal repayment plans that fit their personal financial and student loan situation. They adhere to strict customer service guidelines and strive for the highest levels of honesty and integrity.
AFBC is a member of the Association for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR), and each representative on the phone has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
To learn more about American Financial Benefits Center, please contact:
American Financial Benefits Center
1900 Powell Street #600
Emeryville, CA 94608
SOURCE American Financial Benefits Center