How to Complete the PSLF Employment Certification Form
You’ve made the decision to pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Now what? How do you actually apply for PSLF? Is there anything you can do to help your chances of being approved? The PSLF employment certification form may have something to do with it.
One thing you can do to ensure you will be approved for PSLF is to fill out the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form the right way. If you meet all the requirement for PSLF, you will end up saving thousands (possibly tens of thousands) of dollars on your student loan debt.
What is the PSLF Employment Certification Form?
The application process for Public Service Loan Forgiveness actually occurs after you’ve made your 120 qualifying student loan payments. The U.S. Department of Education and FedLoan Servicing provide an employment certification form as a way to verify your employment and qualifying payments.
Because you must be employed by a qualifying employer while making all 120 qualifying payments, being able to track all of your information is vital to PSLF approval. Filling out the PSLF employment certification form will make applying easier for you and for your loan servicer.
Who is Fedloan Servicing?
FedLoan Servicing is the loan servicer chosen by the federal government to single-handedly run the entire PSLF program. The employment certification form is sent to Fedloan Servicing. Once your form is received and processed, your student loans are then transferred to Fedloan Servicing.
How do I Submit the PSLF Employment Certification Form?
You can find the PSLF Employment Certification Form on the Department of Education website.
Once you have downloaded the form:
- Fill out Sections 1, 2, and 3, which contain your personal and contact information, authorization signature, and your employer information. Be sure to fill in every detail required.
- Give Section 4 to your employer to fill out and return to you. This should be filled out by someone with information about your employment, such as a direct supervisor or your human resources department.
- Section 5 and provide instructions for filling out the form as well as information on qualifying payments and employers. Be sure to read through all of this and verify that you meet all of their requirements before sending your form in for processing.
Where Do I Submit My Completed PSLF Employment Certification Form?
To turn in your completed employment certification form, you can mail it or fax it to Fedloan Servicing.
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
Fax Number: (717) 720-1628
If your student loans are already being serviced by Fedloan Servicing, you can upload your form through their website.
Once you’ve submitted an employment certification form it will be processed by Fedloan Servicing. After your loans are transferred over to them, they will determine how many qualifying payments you’ve made. You will receive a letter letting you know how many payments have qualified.
If they need more information or to verify any details, they will reach out during this processing period.
One thing you will want to do is to keep copies of every employment certification form you submit. That way you have them for your records and can refer to them if there are any issues during the process.
If you want to see how many total qualifying payments you’ve made, you can view that information by logging into your student loan account online.
Reasons you should Submit the PSLF Employment Certification Form Annually
After submitting your initial certification form, be sure to continue to submit the employment certification form at least annually. There is no cost for submitting this form and there is no limit to the number of times you can submit the form. You can wait until your 120 qualifying payments are made before submitting the form, but there are advantages to submitting the form annually.
A PSLF Paper Trail
If you are like most people, trying to remember 10 years worth of information is extremely difficult. That’s essentially what you are doing if you wait until you’ve made all your qualifying payments to send in your employment information. By submitting the employment certification form at the start, you begin a paper trail that both you and Fedloan Servicing can follow. If you submit the form annually, you are even better prepared when the time comes to apply for PSLF. Your information will be up to date and you won’t have to go back to employers and try to get them to fill out forms after the fact.
It Helps You Track Payments
Not only will turning in the form help start a paper trail, submitting it annually will help you keep track of qualifying payments. Ten years of payments are hard to keep track of so being able to log into your account any time and seeing your payment total is useful. Not only that, if there is any type of error made, you can correct it in a timely manner instead of finding it during the application process.
It Helps You Track your Employment Record
Filling out the employment certification form annually will give you a record of your employment with qualifying employers. Having to go back to previous employers and have them fill out a form might prove to be difficult, depending on the circumstances behind you leaving their company. What if they refuse to help you out? What do you tell the government? By filling out the form annually, or whenever you switch employment, you avoid having to go back and retrieve old employment information.
Fedloan Servicing Becomes Your Loan Service Provider
As mentioned before, Fedloan Servicing id the federal loan servicer for the entire PSLF program. At some point, if you are pursuing loan forgiveness, they will take over handling your student loans. Doing this from the start of the process builds a relationship with them. It also allows you to become familiar with how they operate and establishes communications with them. Submitting the form annually continues that relationship and may end up coming in handy when you apply for PSLF.
There is no fee for filling out the PSLF employment certification form. There is also no limit to the number of times you can submit the form. Many people choose to submit their forms biannually. The Department of Education website even suggests submitting your form frequently, stating, “In order to ensure you’re on track to receive forgiveness, you should continue to submit this form both annually and every time you switch employers.”
It’s Practice for Applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you take a look at the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Application, it looks very similar to the employment certification form. Filling out the certification form annually will help you become more familiar with the type of information Fedloan Servicing is looking for and will make the application process much easier.
You Will Help Make PSLF Possible for Other People
If you’ve been keeping up on current events, PSLF is a hot topic in Washington, with several lawmakers working to end the program. One way to let the government know that PSLF is important is to continue to send in your employment certification form. The federal government tracks how many forms are submitted annually so the more they receive, the more it shows how valuable the program truly is to American citizens.
You have mounds of student loan debt and now that you’ve made a plan to pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness and are submitting the PSLF Employment Certification form annually, what comes next?
One of the most common mistakes people pursuing PSLF make is to assume once they’ve made 120 qualifying payments, their loans will be forgiven. That would be wrong. In order to receive loan forgiveness, you need to apply for PSLF. You can find the official application here.
Another thing to keep in mind is just because Fedloan Servicing has been verifying and counting authorized payments doesn’t mean you will automatically be approved. The approval process is completely separate from employment certification and there’s always a chance that they question something you’ve submitted along the way. Nothing is a given until you receive official word that your student loans have been forgiven.
If you are planning to pursue PSLF, take the time to fill out the employment certification form every year. This step is the single most important thing you can do to ensure you’re on track for loan forgiveness.
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