APPLY FOR PSLF: Submit Your Employer Certification Form
Before taking the final step and applying, have you:
Note: Some borrowers are not required to consolidate their loans if they are Direct Loans. For more information see our FAQ.
If you have worked in the public service, such as the federal, state, or local government employment or working for a non-profit, you will need to certify that employment. You can do this at any point, but we recommend doing it annually. To benefit from the temporary changes to PSLF, make sure you certify your employment by October 31, 2022.
How to certify your employment:
Watch the video or read below for step-by-step instructions.
Follow the steps below to certify your employment by submitting your PSLF Form, formerly called an Employment Certification Form or “ECF”
1. Go to the federal government’s website studentaid.gov/pslf and navigate to the PSLF Help Tool
Log In using your FSA ID. If you do not have an FSA ID, create one.
2. Use the PSLF Help Tool to generate a PSLF Form. The Tool will guide you through the process.
3. Have your employer sign the PSLF Form. Navigating the Tool will result in a PDF that you must print, sign, and have your employer sign to verify your periods of employment.
4. Submit your PSLF Form online.
Once you have the form signed by your employer, you should submit it to FedLoan Servicing using the instructions and contact information included on the form. FedLoan Servicing is
currently the exclusive federal student loan servicer for the PSLF program. If this changes, the Department will make an announcement.
TIP: If you have had multiple employers since October of 2007, be sure to submit a PSLF Form for every qualifying employer you’ve worked for.
What Happened: Public Service Loan Forgiveness Gets an Overhaul to Deliver Promised Relief
The Department of Education’s Announcement:
On October 6, 2021, the Department of Education announced changes to the PSLF program to finally deliver the promise of debt forgiveness to hundreds of thousands of public service workers. Even if you were previously ineligible, you may now qualify for credit toward PSLF for public service work you’ve done since 2007.
Use our Step-By-Step Guide to Find Out if You Are Eligible and Apply!
With these changes, borrowers can receive credit toward forgiveness for any months since October 1, 2007, during which:
● They worked full-time for a qualifying public service employer, AND
● They were in repayment on any federal student loan.
The major changes are that borrowers can receive credit regardless of what loan type they have, regardless of what repayment plan they were in, and regardless of whether they actually made a payment for a given month, as long as their loan was not in a deferment, forbearance, or default.
Because PSLF forgiveness is granted after borrowers receive 120 monthly credits, and the Department is awarding credits retroactively for qualifying months going back to October 1, 2007, this announcement will result in complete federal student loan forgiveness for an estimated 50,000 public service workers, and will result in credit toward the required 120 months for more than 550,000 others.
How long do I have to get my paperwork in? This new policy is only in effect through October 31, 2022.
The Department of Education will only grant credit as described above if you take action on or before October 31, 2022. For borrowers who take action by the deadline, it may take additional time to apply the new credits to their accounts. After October of 2022, you will only be able to receive credit toward PSLF if you meet the traditional eligibility requirements:
- On-time payments based on specific repayment plan
- Direct Loans only
- Minimum of 30-hours a week for a qualifying public service employer, or more if your employer determines “full time” to be greater than 30 hours
If you previously certified all of your work that is eligible for PSLF since October of 2007 and only have Direct Loans, there is nothing you need to do by this deadline in order to benefit from the temporary program. The Department will automatically review your files and award you credit. The Department will contact these borrowers on a rolling basis with information about the credit they can expect.
For other borrowers, they will need to either “consolidate” their loan—essentially refinance with the federal government—and/or file a PSLF Form, formerly called an Employment Certification Form or “ECF,” with the federal government to request credits.
If, as a result of this process and receiving credit for past years, you exceed the 120 months required for PSLF loan forgiveness, your loans will be forgiven and you may be credited back for monthly payments you made above the 120 that are required, if those extra payments were made on a Direct Loan. If you receive some credit but have not met the 120 requirement yet, you can continue to accrue more credits after October 31, 2022, adding to those that you received during this special process.