Everything You Need to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven | Student Loan Planner


Here’s everything you need to get your student loans forgiven. It’s actually a lot simpler
than you think it is. There’s really only two big
kinds of forgiveness that exist. There’s the Public Service
Loan Forgiveness program, or PSLF. That program allows you to get your loans forgiven tax-free, after working 10 years at a not-for-profit or government employer while paying on an income-driven repayment plan. The other kind of loan
forgiveness that’s available is taxable loan forgiveness,
or IDR forgiveness. This is when you’re paying based off of one of the income-driven
plans for 20 to 25 years. At the end of that period,
you have to pay income taxes on your forgiven student loan balance. This latter kind of
forgiveness is something that you don’t have to apply for, while the PSLF program is something that you do have to apply for. What forms do you need for
both of these programs? For PSLF, you need two forms. The first is the Income-Driven
Certification Form. You need to send this in every single year to your loan servicer,
whenever they tell you to, and certify your income. Otherwise, your payment will revert to the standard 10-year plan, which is going to be dramatically higher than your income-driven
repayment probably will be. So, you fill this out. You have to give them information about your marital status, your income, you have to allow them
access for tax returns in most cases. And this is what keeps your payment low. You have to do this. Otherwise, you could
potentially be on a program that doesn’t qualify for PSLF forgiveness. So very, very important
to fill this form out. The next form for PSLF is the
Employer Certification Form, or the ECF. The Employer Certification
Form needs to be filled out as soon as you get a
job at a not-for-profit or government employer full-time. You send this in, and this
will forcibly move your loans from your loan servicer
where you’re already at to FedLoan Servicing. This is the servicer that’s contracted with the government to
do the PSLF program. So, once this transfer happens, you will get signed up for an income-driven repayment program, and then you want to resubmit this Employer Certification Form, or ECF, once a year at the same time
that you certify your income. This will build the paper
trail that’s needed, so that you don’t fall into
that huge group of people that applied after not submitting
any forms for 10 years, and just hope that their
loans would be forgiven without any paper trail. That is what’s causing,
part of what’s causing, the problems right now,
is people do not submit this ECF form annually, and you should. The difference between PSLF and taxable, or IDR forgiveness, is
the IDR forgiveness is when you pay under a program like pay as you earn, or revised pay as you earn, or income-based repayment. And instead of a 10-year period, it’s 20 or 25 years, depending on the plan and what kind of degree you earned. Now, this kind of forgiveness is accessible without an
application unlike PSLF. It’s accessible because
the government knows how many monthly payments that you’ve made under these different programs. And they’re counting that in something called the
National Student Loan Database. Once you’ve hit this magic
number of monthly payments under each plan, the loan
is automatically forgiven. There’s nothing to apply for. Of course, you could
have to pay income taxes on that forgiven balance. And I would expect a lot
of legislative effort in the future to change that, because of how crazy that really is in terms of actually being able to collect that amount of money on taxes. It’s very unlikely, even
though that’s what the rule is. So, the income-driven repayment form, or the IDR certification form, is the only form that you need. The other thing that you
need to get loan forgiveness, in some cases, is
studentloans.gov, the website. If you log into this website, it will allow you to
consolidate your student loans. In some cases, you consolidate because you have an ineligible
loan for loan forgiveness, like a loan from the Department of Health. Example of that is health
profession student loans. Usually these are serviced by ECSI, or FFEL loans, that were
issued from before 2010, or Perkins Loans. A lot of these loans can be consolidated and made eligible for loan forgiveness when they previously were not. Another thing to consider
is you can consolidate your student loans into one loan, which is highly recommended
if you have never made any payments yet, that you would wipe away by creating a brand new
loan and consolidating. Consolidating your student
loan just makes it far easier to manage, and signals
to the loan servicer that you do intend likely to go for student loan forgiveness. When you consolidate, we
recommend that you send your loan to FedLoan Servicing if
you’re doing the PSLF program, or Great Lakes Servicing
if you’re doing taxable or IDR forgiveness over
20 to 25 years based on their better customer
service track record according to information that we have
internally and externally. The form
you’re gonna have to get use to filling out every year is the Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request. So, it’s the second thing that shows up in Google it looks like, and we can see that the expiration date
is far into the future. So, this way you know that
you’re looking at the right one. You go down here. You’ll have to enter
all of your information. You’re going to have to say what plan that you wanna be signed up for, and I do recommend that
people not check this box that says I want the one with
the lowest monthly payment. Sometimes that can put you on one that you did not intend to be put on. So, you can be put on a specific one that you request by checking this box. How many children do you have, and they’ll ask you information
about your marital status. And this is a form that has to be filled out every single
year, and you only have to think about it once a year. So think about this kinda like your taxes. Now the next kind of form
that you’re going to want to look into is something
called the ECF form. You just type in PSLF ECF in Google, and you’ll see this PDF,
and you just click on it. This is the form that you need
to certify every single year if you plan on getting your
loans forgiven tax-free with the not-for-profit or government employer forgiveness program that is most popular in America, which is this PSLF program. You need to fill this out once a year. You’re gonna have to get
your employer’s signature. You’re gonna have to fill out information about your employer. And one of the top reasons
this firm gets denied is simply because it’s not
filled out completely. It’s that simple. So make sure you fill this out once a year so that you build a wonderful paper trail of your credit towards loan forgiveness. The last website that
you need is right here, StudentLoans.gov. All you need to do is log
in, and it will allow you to fill in your FSA ID and your password. And if you don’t remember
that, you can reset that. And that is the thing that allows you to consolidate your student loans. So remember the look of those
two forms and this website. It is the primary way that you do things with your federal student loans. So, remember that this is how you get your student loans
forgiven is to be familiar with these resources. When you’re thinking about what you need to get loan forgiveness, perhaps
the biggest thing you need of all is resilience. You have to tune out the noise. You have to tune out the
misleading headlines, and you have to stay consistent
and stick with your plan. And if you don’t have a plan, that’s what we do professionally. Studentloanplanner.com/help
for more information. Thanks so much, and share your questions about student loan forgiveness
in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven | Student Loan Planner

  1. Good morning,
    I seen an article that says your wife was in a PSLF program but it was a nightmare. You both decided to just pay off her student loans. What obstacles did she face in the program? Do you think the program will be around for 10 years? What methods did you use to pay off her loans? Why does your do a interest capitalize when you switch plans? I was told you couldn't have an IRA roth account while on this program, is that correct?

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