Complete Guide to Submitting the PSLF Employment Certification Form – Forbes Advisor
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Borrowers who are considering applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), or who are currently in the process of doing so, have probably heard a lot about the PSLF Employment Certification Form.
Submission of the PSLF form for employment certification is not technically required. However, it can help you organize your work history so that you are fully prepared to apply for the PSLF when you are ready.
If you’re a federal student loan borrower pursuing PSLF, here’s what you need to know about certifying your employment through this form.
What is the PSLF Employment Certification Form?
Working full-time with a government or qualifying nonprofit employer while making 120 qualifying loan payments is an essential part of PSLF eligibility. To confirm that you work for an eligible employer and to help track the payments you have made, you can submit the PSLF Employer Certification Form each year.
This PSLF form is a self-declaration process, and submitting the form regularly to certify your employers has many benefits.
The information you provide on each PSLF form is added to your student loan file. It’s a useful way to create a 10-year digital trail of your work history. The information on the form is used to determine if your employer meets the PSLF program requirements. It also creates a log of your number of qualified payments to date.
If you have trouble remembering to submit the PSLF form, the Department of Education recommends recertifying your employment at the same time you recertify your income-contingent repayment plan each year. It may also be useful to submit the PSLF form each time you change employers.
There is no rule against submitting a decade of work history in one block with your final PSLF application. The downside, however, is to seek the signatures of authorized officials from every employer you worked for in those 10 years.
How to complete the PSLF form
Whether you have made 120 qualifying payments or are simply recertifying your employment, you will use the same PSLF form. The Ministry of Education offers a PSLF Helper Tool who can determine if you work for an eligible employer and guide you through submitting the form.
If you prefer to manually complete the PSLF form using a paper document or PDFhere are the steps to follow.
1. Provide your personal information
The first section of the PSLF Employment Attestation form asks for your personal information. This includes your name, social security number, date of birth, address, phone number, and email address.
If at any time during your refund anything in this section changes, such as an address or last name, check the box indicating that a change has occurred.
2. State the reason for submitting the form
The next section is where you will specify that you are submitting the PSLF form to verify your employer. Check the first box that reads: “I just want to know how many qualifying payments I have made or if my employer is a qualifying employer.”
Then read the legal recognition. Certify that the information you have provided is accurate by including your signature and date in this section.
Point: At the top of the next page, there is a line to write your full name and social security number again. Don’t forget to add this information to avoid processing delays.
3. Have your employer’s authorized representative complete the following sections
All of Sections Three and Four must be completed by an authorized officer designated by your employer. This is often someone from human resources or sometimes your direct manager. Your workplace must complete all fields in this section, including:
- Employer Information
- Your start and end dates of employment (if applicable)
- Employment status
- Your average hours worked per week
- Type of Organization
- Type of employer service
The official should then include their own name, title, phone number and email address on the form. Make sure they sign and date their sections.
4. Submit PSLF Employment Certification Form
Once you have obtained your employer information and an authorized signature, submit the PSLF form by mail, fax, or through your student loan account.
What to expect after submitting the PSLF form
Regardless of how you submit the PSLF form, your student loan account will be reviewed to ensure that you have eligible federal loans. You will know if you are employed by a qualified employer and if your payments are eligible for loan forgiveness. After confirming your employment, you will get a total tally of eligible payments you have made to PSLF so far.
PSLF waivers are available for a limited time
The Department of Education has temporarily relaxed the normal PSLF requirements to qualify for loan forgiveness. This is a limited opportunity available through October 31, 2022. Here’s how the PSLF waiver has changed the program’s eligibility requirements.
Provides job flexibility when applying for forgiveness
PSLF program rules state that you must be employed by a qualified employer on the date you submit your application for loan forgiveness. Until October 31, 2022, however, the PSLF waiver allows you to get loan forgiveness even if you are not currently working for an eligible employer.
More payments qualify
Generally, loan payments that were late, less than the total amount owed, or were not made under an eligible repayment plan did not count as an eligible payment for the PSLF. However, under the time-limited PSLF waiver, you will receive credit for these types of payments.
Adds more eligible federal loans
The normal PSLF program only counted payments for direct loans in your progress towards forgiveness. However, the limited waiver expands eligible payments to include those made for Perkins Loans and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL). Payments made for these types of loans can count toward your PSLF progress.
Includes teacher loan forgiveness period
Borrowers who applied for teacher loan forgiveness generally do not receive service and payment credit for that period. Thanks to the PSLF exemption, it counts for PSLF for a limited time.
To take advantage of these temporarily relaxed rules, you may need to take action before October 31, 2022. Some borrowers need only submit the PSLF form following the steps above, while others may need to be consolidating their federal loans before the deadline. Review the waiver details to see what steps you need to take.
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