By David Gourley, CSLP®
Last October (2021), there was an announcement made by the Department of Education that a Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Limited Waiver was taking place. Originally, the details were very unclear, but as time went on the student loan planning community realized this was the biggest thing that has ever happened with student loans!
Here’s the deal. As a member of the public service community, you can go back and “collect” credits for Public Service Loan Forgiveness even if you weren’t in the correct repayment plan or the correct loan type.
Most teachers’ first question is, “What is the right repayment plan and loan type?”.
I’m glad you asked!
In order to receive PSLF you must have Direct Loans, be in an income-driven repayment plan, work for a public service employer, and make 120 qualifying payments towards your loans.
The limited waiver allows you to go back and get credit for every month of payment to count towards your 120 total credits needed, even if you had FFEL loans or were in the graduated/extended repayment plan.
This is incredible stuff… but here’s the problem.
The Limited Waiver is set to expire October 31st, 2022!!!
This means that as of the time of writing this article, you have less than 2 months to take advantage.
Normally two months wouldn’t seem like a big deal… plenty of time! (Especially for those who like to procrastinate a little bit).
However, there are so many planning opportunities surrounding this that it might take a full two months in order to take advantage of them all.
Here are some potential planning opportunities:
- Getting refunded for all of your payments made since March 2020
- Consolidating your loans to take advantage of the longest payment history of all of your loans
- Getting Parent Plus loans out of that status and into a loan status that qualifies for PSLF and the limited waiver
All of the action items mentioned take time… and time is not in our favor anymore!
This waiver is set to expire soon, so if you are a teacher who has student loans, you CANNOT procrastinate any longer. I already know that I’m going to have some very tough conversations in November with teachers who didn’t take advantage during the window of opportunity, and I don’t want you to be one of those people!
Finally, let’s talk about who can benefit from the limited waiver because there can be confusion on this.
This applies to any public service employee (aka teacher) who doesn’t have every month of credit already counted towards the 120 needed for PSLF.
You might be a teacher who:
- Has been making payments for 20+ years on FFEL loans
- Came out of school in the graduated repayment plan in order to keep costs down before eventually switching into an income-driven repayment plan
- Qualifies immediately for forgiveness but didn’t know
- Doesn’t qualify right away but can get more credits than you previously had
If you are a teacher who has been struggling with student loan debt, book a consultation and let’s have a chat before this window of opportunity expires.
I don’t want you to miss out on something that can be truly life changing (and has been for so many already)!!!
As always, you Teach, we’ll Plan, you Retire!
David Gourley, CSLP® is a Financial Planner with Teach Plan Retire, an independent financial planning firm specializing in finance for teachers. He served for eight years as a high school mathematics teacher before transitioning into the financial services industry. He joined Teach Plan Retire in 2022 and his passion for serving as a fiduciary for teachers and a student loan planning expert runs deep, as his wife and several other family members have served as educators for years. He's a proud member of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City.