How to Apply for a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver

More public servants – including military members – can qualify for loan forgiveness in 2022, thanks to a temporary public service loan forgiveness expansion.
Advertising Disclosure.

Advertiser Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone. This article may contain links from our advertisers. For more information, please see our Advertising Policy.

The Military Wallet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Military Wallet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on The Military Wallet are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear, but does not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. The Military Wallet does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

public service loan forgiveness waiver

The Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is a program that promises to provide debt relief for teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, military service members and other public servants. 

On paper it looks great, but in practice, many have found that it’s not that simple.  

2.1% of all processed applications since PSLF inception have been approved according to the Education Data Initiative. Applicants have had difficulty getting approved because of complicated eligibility requirements and loan servicing errors.

Jerry Zeigler
Jerry Zeigler, MBA, AFC®, EA is a tax professional, Enrolled Agent and personal financial counselor. He is the owner of JZ Financial Management and a member of the Better Financial Counseling Network.

Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If your application was rejected, you may be eligible for a PSLF Limited Waiver. 

For a limited time, the PSLF Limited Waiver Opportunity can provide borrowers with credit for payments on loans that previously did not qualify for PSLF. 

Borrowers have until Oct. 31, 2022 to take action. This is part of the Covid-19 assistance efforts provided through the CARES Act and subsequent extensions. 

What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?

The PSLF Program forgives any additional qualifying federal student loan debt for individuals who have completed at least 10 years of qualifying public service AND 10 years of qualifying payments. 

The goal is to enable and encourage these borrowers to stay in public service and fill a public need by reducing the burden of their student loan debt. 

Am I Eligible for the PSLF Program?

There are five regular requirements for the PSLF Program:

  1. Employment with a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or a qualifying not-for-profit organization. Military service is considered qualified federal employment. 
  2. Work full time or at least 30 hours a week for that organization, whichever is greater.
  3. Have direct loans or consolidate other federal student loans into a direct loan
  4. Repay your loans under an income driven repayment (IDR) plan.
  5. Make 120 Qualifying Payments. 

What is the PSLF Limited Waiver Opportunity?

Under the limited waiver, any prior payments you’ve made count as a qualifying payment regardless of the loan type, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time. 

This waiver applies if you have direct loans, or if you have consolidated into the Direct Loan Program by Oct. 31, 2022

You should apply for the limited waiver even if your PSLF application has been rejected in the past.

PSLF Limited Waiver Opportunity Requirements?

If you qualify for PSLF, then you’ll definitely qualify for the PSLF limited waiver. But, the waiver expands eligibility to more borrowers who may not have previously qualified for PSLF.  

The PSLF limited waiver counts payments under any federal plan, not just under IDRs.

Also, you don’t have to reset the clock. 

Under the PSLF limited waiver, past ineligible loan payments can be counted. The most important eligibility requirement is to apply by Oct. 31, 2022. 

How do I know for certain that my payments are being counted?

This is where some borrowers ran into trouble. They thought they were on track for loan forgiveness, but they weren’t. 

To ensure you are on track for loan forgiveness you should submit a PSLF Form annually and anytime you change employers. The PSLF Employment Certification Form and the PSLF
Application Form are now combined into one form.

How Filling Out a PSLF Employment Certification Can Help You

  1. The PSLF Form helps you track your payments. You’ll be certain how many more qualifying payments that you need to make.
  2. When you file the PSLF Employment Certification form you will know for certain that your employment has been counted for that year or partial year. You won’t have to track down employers years later.
  3. It will prompt you to check that your account is up to date and to review your status at least annually. If there are important changes to the programs that are available, you’ll be less likely to miss them. 

You should use the PSLF Help Tool to navigate the process and get guidance on qualifications and required forms. Keeping your and loan servicer accounts up to date can also help you avoid snags. 

Remember to print out and keep copies of all records!

How to Apply for the PSLF Limited Waiver Opportunity

  • First, Verify what kind of loans you have in your loan types in your account. Federal Direct Loans qualify for the waiver, but if you have other federal student loan types you may still apply for the waiver, after completing step 3. (Exception: Parent Plus loans do not qualify for the waiver)
  • Next, use the PSLF Help Tool to verify eligible employment.
  • If you have any loans that are NOT Direct Loans, request a Direct Loan consolidation by Oct. 31, 2022. If you have any Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) or any Perkins Loans,they will have either FFEL or Perkins in the name, the loans must all be combined into a Direct Consolidation Loan. If possible, do this sooner, rather than later. A direct consolidation loan can take just a few weeks, but they have been known to take months. 
  • Submit a  PSLF Form using the  PSLF Help Tool by Oct. 31, 2022.

The PSLF Limited Waiver Opportunity can help service members and other public servants rid themselves of debt. But, you have to take action before the Oct. 2022 deadline. If you aren’t familiar with the PSLF employment certification form, then this is the time to get familiar, especially if you have had multiple qualifying places of employment. More details and Frequently Asked Questions can be found with the Department of Education and with

About Post Author

Get Instant Access
FREE Weekly Updates! Enter your information to join our mailing list.

Posted In:

Reader Interactions

Leave A Comment:


About the comments on this site:

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

The Military Wallet is a property of Three Creeks Media. Neither The Military Wallet nor Three Creeks Media are associated with or endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. The content on The Military Wallet is produced by Three Creeks Media, its partners, affiliates and contractors, any opinions or statements on The Military Wallet should not be attributed to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Defense or any governmental entity. If you have questions about Veteran programs offered through or by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, please visit their website at The content offered on The Military Wallet is for general informational purposes only and may not be relevant to any consumer’s specific situation, this content should not be construed as legal or financial advice. If you have questions of a specific nature consider consulting a financial professional, accountant or attorney to discuss. References to third-party products, rates and offers may change without notice.

Advertising Notice: The Military Wallet and Three Creeks Media, its parent and affiliate companies, may receive compensation through advertising placements on The Military Wallet; For any rankings or lists on this site, The Military Wallet may receive compensation from the companies being ranked and this compensation may affect how, where and in what order products and companies appear in the rankings and lists. If a ranking or list has a company noted to be a “partner” the indicated company is a corporate affiliate of The Military Wallet. No tables, rankings or lists are fully comprehensive and do not include all companies or available products.

Editorial Disclosure: Editorial content on The Military Wallet may include opinions. Any opinions are those of the author alone, and not those of an advertiser to the site nor of  The Military Wallet.