If you have made at least 10 years of payments on your student loans, but not while on an Income Driven Repayment plan, there is a chance you may be eligible for the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) program! If eligible, this could qualify you for complete student loan forgiveness. You must, however, meet the following conditions before you even apply:
#1 - You must have made at least 120 payments on your student loans. That's equal to at least 10 years of payments (although they do NOT have to be consecutive, don't worry). If you have been paying since 2010 and are seeking forgiveness in 2020, it is possible you have not made 120 payments. Periods of forbearance or deferment typically do not count as years of payments. While months spent during COVID administrative forbearance can count towards your 120 payments.
#2 - You also must have been working for a qualifying employer (a non-profit or government organization) during your 10 years of payments.
*What is a "qualifying payment?" - A qualifying monthly payment is a payment that you made after Oct. 1, 2007; for the full amount due as shown on your bill; no later than 15 days after your due date; and while employed full-time by a qualifying employer.
#3 - You also must make payments in an amount equal to or greater than the lowest payment you would be required to make under an Income Driven Repayment plan for the 12 months prior to applying for TEPLSF. The easiest way to assure that this stipulation is met is to enter an IDR for the year before applying.
#4 - Your Loans must be Federal Direct loans during these payments. However, neither defaulted Direct Loans nor Direct PLUS Loans made to you as a parent borrower are eligible for forgiveness under TEPSLF. Borrowers who have only Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program, nonfederal, and/or private loans are not eligible for the TEPSLF opportunity.
#5 - Finally, you must have submitted the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Application for Forgiveness and had that application denied only because some or all of your payments were not made under an Income Driven Repayment plan. If it is denied for another reason, you would have to resolve that reason first, before trying to apply again.