Temporary Expanded PSLF

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Updated on September 26, 2022

TEPSLF is an extension of the original Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which allows borrowers to work full-time in public service for 10 years and have their remaining balance forgiven tax-free. Congress created TEPSLF in 2018 to help public servants who were denied relief under PSLF because they made payments under the Extended or Graduated Repayment Plans instead of one of the income-driven repayment plans.

Although TEPSLF has helped some borrowers, it’s done nothing for the tens of thousands of borrowers whose PSLF applications were rejected because they had the wrong type of federal student loans. That fix didn’t come until last October when the Biden administration introduced a second temporary opportunity: the Limited PSLF Waiver.

Since being introduced, the PSLF Waiver has helped more than 175 thousand borrowers get rid of over $10 billion in student loan debt.

TEPSLF still exists, and funding remains available, but the Limited PSLF Waiver has effectively replaced it.

Related: How to Apply for Biden Student Loan Forgiveness

PSLF vs. TEPSLF vs. Limited PSLF Waiver

It can be confusing to understand how the PSLF program works. The program has its own set of complex eligibility requirements that lawmakers have never permanently simplified. Instead, they created three different opportunities to temporarily solve different problems.

  • Temporary Expanded PSLF helped borrowers who already had Direct Loans but paid under a non-qualifying repayment plan.

  • The Limited PSLF Waiver helped those who made payments toward ineligible loans — Federal Family Education Loans and Federal Perkins Loans — get retroactive PSLF credit after consolidating into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

  • The Income-Driven One-Time Waiver & Account Adjustment increased the payment counts for borrowers who had been in long-term forbearances and some deferments.

Each of these opportunities shares the same application. So when you apply for PSLF, you’re also applying for TEPSLF, the PSLF Waiver, and the IDR Waiver — at least until the PSLF Waiver ends Oct. 31, 2022.

Once that deadline passes, you’ll no longer be able to use the PSLF Form to get retroactive credit for payments made toward FFEL and Perkins Loans or the periods when your loans were in deferment or forbearance.

Related: FFEL Loan Forgiveness

TEPSLF Eligibility Requirements

Although the Limited PSLF Waiver has effectively replaced TEPSLF, Temporary Expanded PSLF can still help you after the waiver ends in October. To qualify, you must have:

  • Made all of your payments under an eligible repayment plan (Extended, Graduated, or Standard Repayment Plan) towards eligible loans — i.e., loans made under the Direct Loan Program.

  • Had at least a decade of full-time employment approved by FedLoan Servicing or MOHELA, the Education Department’s new servicer for the PSLF Program.

  • Made 120 qualifying payments on time while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

Note: A qualifying monthly payment is one that was made after Oct. 1, 2007, for the full amount due, no later than 15 days after the due date, and while you were working in public service.

Related: PSLF Eligible vs. Qualifying Payments

How to Apply for TEPSLF

If you think you might qualify for TEPSLF, the first step is to submit the PSLF Application. You can do this by using the PSLF Help Tool on the Federal Student Aid website, StudentAid.gov.

The tool will ask you to provide an EIN from a qualifying employer — i.e., any government or nonprofit organization you worked full-time for any time after Oct. 1, 2007. It will then generate a PSLF Employment Certification Form that you’ll give to every government or not-for-profit organization you worked for in the past 15 years.

After you submit your paperwork to MOHELA, you’ll get a notice from MOHELA requesting information about your family size and income. You must submit the requested information within 21 days of the notice to avoid having your TEPSLF request canceled. You’ll need to apply again if the Education Department cancels your request.

Download: PSLF & Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF) Certification & Application

How long will TEPSLF last?

Temporary Expanded PSLF will last until funding runs out. Funding will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Once all of the funds are used, the TEPSLF opportunity will end.

How to get help with TEPSLF?

Bottom Line

TEPSLF is one of the many student loan forgiveness programs the Education Department offers its borrowers. While the program has helped a handful of student loan borrowers get their loans forgiven, the Limited PSLF Waiver is a much bigger, broader opportunity. If you haven’t already done so, take advantage of the waiver before it ends on Oct. 31, 2022.

Let’s talk if you’d like help figuring out the best option for you.

UP NEXT: How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness

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