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Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) - Most Direct Path
November 2, 2017 (published) | November 2, 2017 (revised)
Anthony Bartels

Most direct path to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) for Veterinarians

Here's a guide to the fastest route to Public Service Loan Forgiveness:

1. Consolidate federal student loans immediately after graduation using a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. If you’re already in repayment or consolidation doesn’t make sense for you, skip to step 5.

2. Choose FedLoan Servicing as your student loan servicer in the Consolidation application.

3. Apply for an income-driven repayment plan in the Consolidation application. Choose the plan that will result in the lowest minimum monthly payment allowable based on your income and family situation, usually PAYE or REPAYE.

4. Waive the remainder of your grace period and begin income-driven repayment.

5. After a few months of payments, submit a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form. If you’re using a loan servicer other than FedLoan Servicing, your loans will be moved to FedLoan Servicing to track your PSLF progress.

6. Renew your income-driven repayment plan each year on time or whenever your income decreases.

7. Submit Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Forms annually.

8. Verify that your count of qualifying PSLF payments matches FedLoan Servicing’s count. You can track qualifying PSLF payments through your FedLoan Servicing account or through NSLDS.ED.GOV.

9. After making 120 qualified monthly PSLF payments, apply for forgiveness. You must be still working for a PSLF-qualified employer when you apply. You also should remain in income-driven repayment while your forgiveness application is processed.

10. Celebrate tax-free loan forgiveness!

Need a Plan B?

If you’re worried about interest accumulation while working toward PSLF and uncertain about your chances to receive PSLF, consider using REPAYE as your income-driven repayment plan. REPAYE provides a 50 percent subsidy on unpaid interest, which reduces your total repayment costs. On postgraduate debt, REPAYE has a 25-year repayment period, giving more time to save for taxable forgiveness, should you no longer qualify for PSLF. Think of REPAYE as helping to hedge your bets against PSLF. (Note that if you’re married, you’re required to provide your spouse’s income for the REPAYE calculation even if you file taxes separately.)

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