Good news for anyone whose application for student loan forgiveness was denied: you may have a second chance.
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that it has an additional $350 million to help you wipe out your student loan debt. Dubbed the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, the funds are available to borrowers who couldn’t receive loan forgiveness because they were enrolled in an ineligible repayment plan, such as the graduated or extended repayment plans.
If you’re curious, don’t wait. The program is first-come, first-serve. When the funds run out, they’re gone for good.
Want to apply? Here are some important questions (and answers!) to help you get started.
Applicants must be employed for at least 30 hours per week in a federal, state or local public service job or at a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, per the terms of the Public Student Loan Forgiveness program. And of course, loan forgiveness doesn’t mean your debt is terminated right away. You must first make 120 on-time payments over the course of 10 years.
Which loans qualify?
Unfortunately, private student loans are ineligible, even if you work in public service. In other words, if you borrowed from a financial institution rather than the federal government, you’re out of luck.
Qualifying loans include Direct Loans, such as the Stafford Loan or a Direct Consolidation Loan. Additionally, you must be enrolled in an income-driven federal repayment plan.
Finally, your previous application for student loan forgiveness must have been denied only because some or all of your payments were not made under a qualifying repayment plan per the guidelines of Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
How do I get started?
First, the government wants to know if your job is eligible, so you should fill out the employment certification form (note: you’ll need to complete a different form for each of your qualifying employers along with your application).
For a complete list of application steps and other important details, visit the Department of Education’s web page for the temporary second-chance program. Good luck!