Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program
State HR - PSLF
What is the PSLF program?
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a federal program that forgives the remaining balance on Direct loans for individuals after they have made 120 qualifying monthly payments (approximately 10 years) under a qualifying repayment plan while working full time for an eligible public employer, such as a state agency or public higher education institution.
What's new for Washington state agencies?
In March 2022, in response to the student loan debt crisis facing the country, the state Legislature passed legislation to raise awareness and remove barriers for public service employees to access the PSLF program (RCW 28B.77.009, RCW 43.41.425, RCW 41.04.045, and RCW 41.04.055).
OFM State HR issued guidance on April 27, 2023 providing information about the PSLF employment certification process and alerting agencies that they must begin notifying their employees about the PSLF program.
What are the outcomes for state employees?
Efforts at the federal and state level to raise awareness of the PSLF program are already having an impact on public service employees in Washington state. Between March of 2022 and February of 2023 an additional 6,890 borrowers have had their PSLF forms processed, resulting in over $435 million of federal student loan debt being forgiven.
These charts show information collected beginning November 9, 2020. Data source: U.S. Department of Education. (2023, February 28). Public Service Loan Forgiveness Data. Federal Student Aid.
How does the PSLF employment certification process work?
Employees initiate the employment certification process by submitting the employment certification portion of the PSLF form to their agency's HR contact via the PSLF Help Tool.
State agencies digitally sign and return the form through the PSLF Help Tool, which is then submitted by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) to the PSLF servicer for processing.
For HR professionals
Sign in to the HR Professional Portal to access the following resources:
- Guidance from OFM State HR on the PSLF program
- Guidance from WSAC Student Loan Advocate on how to digitally sign PSLF forms via the PSLF Help Tool
- Templated employee notification letters about the PSLF program and ongoing program updates
Request to be added to the PSLF distribution list to receive updates from OFM State HR about the PSLF program
For Washington state employees
If you are completing you PSLF form and need to find your current or former agency's Employer Identification Number or HR contact information:
Office of the Student Loan Advocate
Do you need more help? The Student Loan Advocate has many helpful resources to help borrowers navigate the PSLF program. Visit their site to:
- Sign up for a webinar to learn more about the PSLF program
- Ask questions about your student loans or file a complaint