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Loan Forgiveness Programs

There are Federal and State Loan Forgiveness Programs. Below you will find detailed information regarding each.

 

Federal Public Service Forgiveness Program (FPSLF)

Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (FPSLF)

If you are employed in eligible employment and make 120 eligible payments on your eligible Federal loans, the government will forgive any balance remaining on your loans. The 120 payments need not be consecutive and you must be employed in the full-time, eligible public service position while making each of the 120 payments and when you request and receive forgiveness. Maintain proof of all 120 repayments and proof of your employment status during those payments. This forgiveness will not create a new income tax liability for borrowers.

Eligible Loans

Only Federal Direct Loans and Federal Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible for Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

If you have Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Loans or Perkins Loans which are ineligible for the Federal Forgiveness Program, you may consolidate those loans in the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program to make them eligible for FPSLF. Perkins loans have their own cancellation benefits that a borrower may obtain earlier than the forgiveness obtained through the FPSLF. Be sure you are ineligible for the Perkins Loan cancellation benefit before consolidating a Perkins Loan, as Perkins Loans lose the cancellation benefit once consolidated. Loans made by a state or private lender and Parent Plus Loans and consolidation loans that included a Parent Plus Loan are not eligible for FPSLF.

Fine-Print Details of the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, not to be overlooked:

Be sure your job qualifies for Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness.   Your job qualifies:

  • if you work full-time for the government or a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
  • If you do not work for a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization or the government, you can still qualify if you provide "public interest law services" for a "public service organization."
  • A public service organization gets at least some government funding and is not "a business organized for profit, a labor union, a partisan political organization, or an organization engaged in religious activities…"

To determine if your job qualifies for FPSLF, see 34 CFR 685.219, or go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service and click on Public Service Loan Forgiveness under Repaying Your Loans. Also, you may contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

Be sure your loans are eligible for Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Only Federal Direct Loans and Federal Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you borrowed your Federal Stafford and Grad PLUS Loans at Fordham Law prior to 7/1/10, you borrowed those loans through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). If you borrowed Federal loans as an undergraduate, those loans may be FFELP or Direct Loans, depending upon the school attended. To make FFELP loans eligible for the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you must consolidate them into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. If you have already consolidated one or more of your Federal Loans into a FFELP Consolidation Loan, you have the right to reconsolidate those loans into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan to take advantage of the Federal Forgiveness program.

Be sure not to include ineligible loans in your Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. Parent PLUS Loans are not eligible and consolidation loans that pay off a Parent PLUS Loan are not eligible for FPSLF.

Be sure your payments are qualifying payments. Only payments made on the Income Based, Income Contingent, Pay As You Earn Revised Pay As You Earn or the Standard (ten year) Repayment Plans will count toward FPSLF.

Do not choose the Extended or Graduated repayment options, as payments under these plans will not count. Check to be sure the payments under the payment plan you select qualify for FPSLF.

Finally, only payments made on time–those received within 15 days of the due date–will count. Payments that are less than the amount you are required to pay each month will not count, and payments that exceed the amount you are required to pay each month will count as only one eligible payment.

The Department of Education released its Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form which will assist you and your Federal loan servicer in tracking your periods of qualifying employment and your qualifying payments under this program. It is not mandatory that you complete the form, but it is probably a good idea to do so at least once a year or after changing your eligible employment.

FedLoan Servicing is the authorized Federal loan servicer handling all participants in the FPSLF Program. After completing the Employment Certification https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/public-service-employment-certification-form.pdf and receiving approval of your eligible employment, your loans will be transferred to FedLoan Servicing. 

See https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service for a summary of the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. 

New York State Loan Forgiveness Program

New York State District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan Forgiveness Program

Awards are being offered to retain experienced attorneys employed as District Attorneys, Assistant District Attorneys or Indigent Legal Services Attorneys throughout New York State.

An applicant must:

  • Be a legal resident of New York State for at least one year
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Be an eligible attorney
  • Have eligible student loan expenses
  • Not be in default of a federally guaranteed student loan
  • Not owe a service obligation under another program

The maximum lifetime total award is $20,400 or the cumulative total of eligible student loan expenses at the time of their first successful application, whichever is less. Awards will be paid in disbursements of $3,400 for each year of qualified service immediately preceding the application for payment.

To learn more and obtain an application, go to http://www.hesc.ny.gov.