Not all of the student loan repayment plans offered by the Department of Education meet the PSLF program’s eligibility requirements.
This requirement was a big reason why many teachers had their applications for forgiveness denied.
For years, they had been paying their loans under the wrong repayment plan.
If your application was denied because you made your payments under the wrong plan, reapply for forgiveness. But this time, submit the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness application. The federal government created the TEPSLF program specifically to help school teachers like you get student loan debt forgiven.
Only the monthly payments you make under an income-driven repayment plan count towards the 120 payments you need to get your Direct Loan balance forgiven.
You don’t have to make the loan payments consecutively. So if you miss a month because you were in a deferment, that’s okay. You could also miss several years and not worry about getting kicked out of the program.
The only thing that matters (at least in terms of payment) is that you make 120 qualifying payments.