Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program

UW, as both a state government institution and a public university, meets the federal requirement of a “public service organization” as defined by the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. You may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balances due on your Federal Direct student loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full-time by certain public service employers. The following information will help you understand if you qualify and the terms and conditions of the program.

How to apply for PSLF

UW Employees interested in participating in the PSLF program can manage the process by completing the required forms annually and requesting that the Integrated Service Center (ISC) verify your UW employment for continued eligibility in the PSLF program.

The ISC certifies employment for UW employees participating in the PSLF Program. If you are eligible to participate, please visit their website for instructions on how to complete your PSLF form.

Due to security requirements, the ISC cannot return the form to you by e-mail or campus mail.  Please be sure to include contact information in case the ISC has any questions.

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Who is eligible?

The PSLF program requirements are summarized below:

Employment in public service: The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) defines “full time” as working an average of 30 hours per week. This includes multiple part-time public jobs where your combined work averages 30 hours per week. If you are part-time academic personnel or part-time faculty UW will multiply your in-class teaching hours by 3.35 to calculate your hours worked.

Loans through the federal Direct Loan Program: This includes Direct Subsidized loans, Direct Unsubsidized loans, Direct Consolidation loans, and Direct Grad PLUS loans. If you have Perkins or FFEL loans, you must consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation. If you have Direct Parent PLUS loans, you may also need to consolidate if you want to access an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan. If you consolidate by the end of 2023, you will not lose PSLF qualifying payment credit due to the IDR Account Adjustment.

Time-sensitive tip: Certain periods you spent in forbearance, deferment or non- qualifying repayment plans may count towards PSLF due to the IDR Account Adjustment. Action MAY be needed before the end of 2023 for you to benefit. Visit the payment adjustment page to learn more.

Enrollment in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan: You must enroll in an IDR, which bases your payment on your income, debt amount, dependents and other criteria.

These include: Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Saving on A Valuable Education (SAVE, previously REPAYE) and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR). Payments you make on the 10-year Standard Repayment plan are also eligible for the PSLF program.

Make 120 qualifying payments (about 10 years): Your payments do not need to be consecutive or with the same employer. However, you must be employed full time for a public employer at the time you apply for PSLF, and during the month you make a payment for that payment to qualify. After you make 120 qualifying payments and apply for PSLF, ED will forgive your remaining loan balance.

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Getting help with PSLF

The Office of the Student Loan Advocate’s PSLF webpage has many helpful resources to help public service employees navigate the PSLF program. Access these resources if you need help navigating the PSLF program:

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Annual Recertification

To help you track your progress towards PSLF qualification the Department of Education (DOE) recommends submitting an annual PSLF recertification. UW has developed the Public Student Loan Forgiveness tool to allow UW employees to access their annual recertification forms at any time during the year. Please note this tool is not for initial enrollment in PSLF, only for your annual recertification.

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