Let's take a look at the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program so you can get your loans forgiven.
What is the TEPSLF Program
The TEPSLF program offers student loan forgiveness to public servants who were: (a) previously denied forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program only because (b) they made payments under the wrong repayment plan.
The critical thing to note here is that you have to have submitted the Public Service Loan Forgiveness application and been denied debt relief.
The PSLF application is different from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification form you submitted each year to show you had qualifying employment.
On October 6, 2021, the Department of Education announced a change to PSLF program rules through October 31, 2022, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now through Halloween 2022, you can receive credit towards PSLF and TEPSLF for past payments made on loans that otherwise might not qualify for PSLF.
Past payments may now count as qualifying payments. Loan type, repayment plan, full payments, and on-time payments are no longer barriers for PSLF. The only thing you now need is qualifying employment.
What is a Qualifying Payment
For the PSLF program, a qualifying payment is a timely payment under an income-driven repayment plan.
Under TEPSLF, a qualifying payment is broader – at least, it was before the October 2021 waiver, and will probably be after the waiver's end in October 2022.
It includes, at a minimum, all payments that you made:
- after October 1, 2007 (this was when the PSLF program started)
- for the full payment amount due as shown on your bill (this includes payments under the Graduated Repayment Plan, Extended Repayment Plan, Consolidation Standard Repayment Plan, and Consolidation Graduated Repayment Plan.)
- no later than 15 days after the due date
- while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
Basically, under TEPSLF any payments plan is a qualifying repayment plan so long as you were making the payments on time, for the amount due, and were repaying a Direct Loan.
Click here to learn Are Consolidation Loans Eligible for PSLF?
How to Apply for TEPSLF
There isn't a formal TEPSLF application.
Instead, according to the U.S. Department of Education, you apply for the TEPSLF opportunity by emailing FedLoan Servicing a request that the Education Department reconsider your eligibility for PSLF.
Why the Department of Education stuck with the same loan servicer that screwed public servants out of getting their student loan debt forgiven under PSLF is beyond me. You would think they would use a different servicer like Nelnet or Great Lakes to process applications under the new program.
In that email, you'll want to include the name used on your PSLF application and your date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format.
Submit your TEPSLF request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Long Does it Take FedLoan Servicing to Approve TEPSLF Requests
There's no formal timeline for approval.
That said, I came across a Reddit thread of borrowers sharing their approvals. The general timeline for approval seems to be less than 120 days.
Learn More: Reddit student loan questions and answers
FFEL Loans Aren't Eligible for TEPSLF
The TEPSLF program only works for Direct Loans.
So if your PSLF application was denied because you had the wrong type of federal student loan, TEPSLF wouldn't help.
You'll need to consolidate your Federal Family Education Loans into a Direct Consolidation loan and then make 120 monthly payments under a qualified loan repayment plan to get your federal loan balance forgiven.
Is TEPSLF Working
Over 38 thousand student loan borrowers have submitted an application for forgiveness.
Of those, less than 300 have gotten their student debt forgiven.
The reasons for the denials include:
- failing to submit income information
- making less than 120 monthly payments
- not previously being denied under the PSLF program
Getting relief under the TEPSLF program should be relatively straight-forward. You simply need to show you made at least 10 years of payments while working full-time for in the public sector.
FedLoan Servicing may, however, follow-up with a request for additional information.
If that happens, don't sweat. Just get FedLoan the information they're requesting. Remember, you have one goal: federal student loan cancellation.
I've helped other borrowers successfully get approved under both the PSLF and TEPSLF programs. Let's talk if you'd like help.