PSLF Employment Certification Form 2020: Steps for Filling it Out.
PSLF Employment Certification Form: When you work in the public sector and work for Loan Forgiveness for Public Service (PSLF), the main action to stay the course is to apply the Employment Certification Form for Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Loans.
We’ll cover what the PSLF Employment Certification Form is in this post along with how to complete and apply it in 2020.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form
The PSLF Employment Certification Form 2020 is an official form from the Department of Education. It’s used to help borrowers stay on track with their employment under the PSLF program.
Under PSLF, borrowers must work for a nonprofit or government agency for 10 years and make 120 qualifying payments in order to receive student loan forgiveness. Once you submit the PSLF Employment Certification Form, your loans are transferred to FedLoan Servicing, which manages the program.
FedLoan will review your PSLF Employment Certification Form and let you know how many qualifying payments toward forgiveness you’ve made.
How to complete the PSLF Employment Certification Form?
As you can see, the PSLF Employment Certification Form 2020 is important for you to fill out so you know where you stand in the program. Here’s how to complete the form in four steps:
Step 1: Fill out personal information
After downloading and printing the PSLF Employment Certification Form, fill in your personal information. This includes your name, address, Social Security number, etc.
Step 2: Sign the terms and conditions
The second part of the form is basically the fine print. You’ll authorize that you understand how the program works and how to qualify.
Step 3: Give the form to your employer to fill out Sections 3 and 4
Section 3 of the PSLF Employment Certification Form can be filled out by you or your employer. Since your employer will have all the necessary information and will need to certify the form, you can have them fill out this section, too.
So once you’ve filled out the first two sections, bring the form to your employer and ask them to fill out the third and fourth part of the form. Your employer will provide basic information about your start date, employment status, hours and the type of organization they are.
Once they complete Section 3, an official from your organization will need to sign, date and certify your employment in Section 4.
Step 4: Send in the completed form
Once you’ve completed the PSLF Employment Certification Form, you’ll need to send it to FedLoan. You can do this by mail, fax or through FedLoan’s website:
U.S. Department of Education, FedLoan Servicing
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
You can upload the form online at MyFedLoan.org/FileUpload, if FedLoan is currently your loan servicer.
After certifying the first time, you should complete this form once a year as well as each time that you change jobs.
Why recertification is important
Certifying your employment the first time is important because you can make sure your employment qualifies and get your loans transferred to FedLoan, which manages the PSLF program. Note that if FedLoan fails to get back to you about your certification status, you can ask for a manual recount of your payments.
But recertifying each year is important, too, for a number of reasons. First, it can help you track your payments so you know you’re on your way to making 120 payments. On top of that, if you change jobs, you can ensure that your new employment still qualifies for the program so there are no surprises.
And as your loans will be serviced FedLoan during this process, you’ll have practice filling out forms for when it’s time to officially submit the full application.
If you don’t recertify, there are no hard consequences — but you’ll have to submit the PSLF Employment Certification Form for the previous 10 years of work. Might as well stay on top of it as you go through the process.
After you submit your first Employer Certification Form, the DoE transfers your student loans from your current servicer to FedLoan. Once your loans are transferred, two things happen:
- You learn how many eligible repayments you’ve made toward PSLF so far.
- You start making repayments to FedLoan, instead of your previous servicer.
The DoE and FedLoan recommend you continue to submit your ECFs each year until you’ve reached the 120 mark. At that point, you’re ready to fill out the PSLF application form.
Why submit the ECF right away?
Submitting your ECF as soon as you’ve started making eligible repayments toward PSLF is a way of checking to make sure your repayments actually qualify toward PSLF. Once FedLoan processes your application, you’ll be able to see how many eligible repayments you’ve made and how many more you need to make before you can apply.
FedLoan recommends that you continue to submit an ECF each year — even if your employers stay the same — to make sure your repayments continue to qualify toward PSLF. Even after your loans are transferred to FedLoan, your account won’t reflect the eligible repayments you’ve made for that year until after you submit a new ECF confirming your employment.
Mistakes to avoid with the PSLF Employment Certification Form
There’s been press about borrowers not receiving student loan forgiveness through PSLF, but some of that is user error. To ward off any issues, here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Not filling out the form completely. Any blank space should be filled in.
- Not turning in the form every year of employment.
- Not recertifying when changing jobs.
- Forgetting to sign and date the form.
- Not having an official from your employer fill the form out.
- Not following up with your employer about filling out their part.
- Submitting the form to the wrong place.
- Not keeping copies for your own records.
Opting for student loan forgiveness under PSLF can be great for the right borrower. You can get your loans wiped away after 10 years and won’t have to pay taxes on the amount forgiven — but you must stick to the process to actually have this happen.
If you avoid these common mistakes, you can stay on track with your student loan forgiveness under PSLF. In 2020, submitting your PSLF Employment Certification Form each year can make the process easier and prevent issues down the line. If you have any additional questions, be sure to contact FedLoan about the process or your status.
Frequently Asked Questions
I think I made eligible repayments toward PSLF at my last job. Can I submit an ECF?
Yes, you can submit an ECF at any time after you’ve made an eligible repayment toward PSLF. FedLoan and the DoE recommend that you submit your ECF sooner than later just to make sure you’re on the right track.
I was rejected for PSLF because I wasn’t enrolled in the right repayment plan. What can I do?
You have a few options. You can apply for Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF), which offers forgiveness to borrowers who received wrong information about their repayment plan requirements. This is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply as soon as possible.
Another option is to continue to make eligible repayments until you meet the 120 mark and reapply for PSLF. Use the student loan repayment estimator on StudentLoans.gov to make sure it’s worth it — in some cases, you might save more by paying off the loan in full on a different repayment plan.
If my repayment amount on an income-driven repayment plan is $0, does that count toward PSLF?
No — if the total due on your student loans is $0, you must pay the installment amount listed on your bill for it to count toward PSLF.
I’m employed full-time by a qualifying not-for-profit organization, but my job duties include religious activities. Does my employment qualify for PSLF?
It depends on how much of your job is related to religious activities. When determining whether you are a full-time employee for PSLF, your employer may not include the time you spend participating in religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing.
What will happen if my PSLF application is approved?
If your PSLF application is approved, you will be notified that the entire remaining balance of your eligible Direct Loans will be forgiven, including all outstanding interest and principal. If you made payments after your 120th qualifying payment, those payments will be treated as overpayments and refunded to you.
What will happen if my PSLF application is denied?
If we determine that you are not eligible for loan forgiveness, you will be notified of this determination and will be provided with the reason(s) you were determined to be ineligible. You will then be required to resume making payments on your loans according to the terms of your Master Promissory Note.
If you do not qualify for forgiveness, interest that accrued (accumulated) during the period when your application was being evaluated (and you were not required to make payments on your loans) may be capitalized.
Capitalization means that we add accrued interest to the unpaid principal amount of your loan. Capitalization increases the unpaid principal balance of your loan, and we will then charge interest on the increased principal amount.
Note: Sometimes you may be able to submit documentation or make additional qualifying payments to resolve the circumstances of the denial. In some cases, you may be eligible for consideration under the Temporary Expanded PSLF Program. Contact the PLSF servicer to discuss this option.
Applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness can be easy if you plan ahead. To get the fastest results, submit PSLF Employment Certification Form in 2020 each year you work a qualifying public service job — especially if you change employers. And keep track of how many qualified payments you’ve made so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute.
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