Police Officers can get three federal student loan forgiveness programs that are available:
- The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
- The Income-Driven Repayment Program Forgiveness Program
- The Perkins Loan Cancellation program
These forgiveness programs are only available for federal student loans.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which is one of three student loan forgiveness programs, will be most beneficial to the majority of police officers.
The PSLF Program provides the greatest student loan forgiveness to police officers.
It is also 2x faster than the forgiveness provided under income-driven loan repayment plans.
Let’s look at the requirements for each loan forgiveness program.
PSLF eligibility for law enforcement personnel
If they work full time for a municipality or state and are law enforcement officers, they may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
It doesn’t matter what your job is in the criminal justice sector.
It doesn’t matter if you are employed full-time by a government agency or non-profit organization.
These two employers are qualified employers.
For example, a corrections officer is eligible. You are also eligible if your job is in dispatch. You may also be eligible if your chief of police is a member.
PSLF Limited Waiver Opportunity
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Department of Education to announce a modification of PSLF program rules until October 31, 2022.
You can now get credit towards PSLF or TEPSLF for payments you have made on loans, even if they are not eligible for PSLF.
You can now use past payments as qualifying payments. PSLF does not require any restrictions regarding loan type, repayment plan, on-time payments, or full payments. Qualifying for employment is all you need now.
PSLF program requirements
The PSLF Program requires that you have a job with qualifying earnings, and there are four additional requirements (unless the Limited Waiver Opportunity is used).
- You must work full time.
- Federal Direct Loans are required.
- You will need to make 120 equal qualifying monthly payments.
- These student loan payments must be made under a qualified repayment plan.
The US Department of Education will forgive any federal student loans that are not fully satisfied if you meet these four conditions.
Forgiveness loans are available to eligible borrowers
Let me quickly address the Direct Loan requirement, which I believe is the only requirement that keeps people from the forgiveness program.
Only student loans that were made under the Direct Loan Program are eligible for forgiveness through the PSLF Program.
You may have federal student loans, depending on the year you attended school. These loans might not be eligible for the PSLF Program. These loans are loans that were not eligible for the PSLF Program, such as loans under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), and the Perkins Loan Programme.
You must consolidate non-qualifying loans to qualify for a Direct Consolidation loan. Consolidate at studentaid.gov for no cost
Public service loan forgiveness is available for part-time law enforcement personnel
Even if they work part-time, law enforcement officers can still be eligible for the PSLF Program.
To qualify, you must:
- A minimum of 30 hours per week is the average workweek.
- These hours can be worked for a qualified employer
- Any municipality, state, city, or non-profit recognized by the IRS is a qualifying employer.
How to apply for PSLF Program
After making their 120th qualifying payment on time, police officers can apply to the PSLF Program for student loan forgiveness.
You can help your loan servicer track your monthly payments by completing the Employment Certification Form each year.
An official at your job will sign the Employment Certification Form, certifying that you are working for a qualified employer.
The form can be submitted to your student loan servicer once you have submitted your annual student loan recertification.
Get the PSLF Employment Certificate Form
IDR loan forgiveness for officers
The IDR Plans offer no loan forgiveness, but it pales in comparison with the PSLF Program.
You won’t be able to get student loan forgiveness if you wait 10 years. Instead, you will have to wait between 20 and 25 years before your loans can be forgiven.
Here are the steps to get income-based loan forgiveness
- Federal student loans are required.
- You should be enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan.
- You will need to make either 240 or 300 qualifying payments.
Loans available to eligible applicants
All federal student loans can be forgiven under an income-driven repayment program.
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Direct Plus Loans
- Parent Plus Loans
- Federal Family Education Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans are eligible for loan forgiveness if they are combined into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
Income-driven repayment plan
These student loan repayment programs offer loan forgiveness:
- Revised Pay As you Earn Plan (REPAYE).
- Pay As You Earn Plan (PAYE)
- Income-Based Repayment Plan
- Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)
- Loan forgiveness is not available through either the Extended Repayment Plan or the Graduated Repayment Plan.
|Public service student loan forgiveness: More than 70,000 borrowers have been able to get their loans forgiven. Is this your next step?|
If you pay the monthly payment under an IDR Plan within 15 days, your payments are considered qualifying.
Qualifying payments do not include payments made during a deferment, forbearance, or suspension.
Monthly payments of 240 or 300
The number of student loans you have borrowed for graduate school will determine how many payments you will need to make before loan forgiveness is possible.
- Federal law requires that borrowers with student loan debt from graduate school make 300 payments.
- Only 240 payments are required for borrowers whose loans are only from undergrad.
Are correction officers eligible for loan forgiveness?
Federal student loan debt can be forgiven by correctional officers. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is the main program that forgives loan debt for correctional officers. This program allows correctional officers who work full-time for the government and non-profit organizations to get their entire Direct Loan balance forgiven.
For law enforcement officers, private student loans are forgiven
Private lenders are unable to offer loan forgiveness for law enforcement officers. However, there are some cities, states, and government agencies that offer student loan repayment bonuses to help you repay your private student loans faster.
Refinance for a lower interest rate is an option if you are unable to afford your monthly student loan payments.
Refinances will typically require a minimum credit score of 680.