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PSLF - Most Direct Path


Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a federal student loan provision establishing a pathway to have certain student loans forgiven tax-free after ten years of qualifying payments.

PSLF is a benefit you apply for and might receive IF you do all of the right things for a period of at least 120 months, or 10 years.   In order to be eligible to apply for PSLF, you must have made 120 monthly on-time payments to Federal Direct Loans using an income-driven repayment plan (ICR, IBR, PAYE, REPAYE) or standard 10-year plan, while working full-time as an employee of a federal, state, tribal entity or 501c3 organization. If you’re working towards PSLF or expect to receive PSLF in the future, then submit the PSLF Employment Certification Form at least annually to be sure.

Veterinarians may qualify for PSLF if they work in positions such as academia (every U.S. veterinary teaching hospital is a 501c3 nonprofit), shelters, zoos, aquariums, state veterinarians, military veterinarians, working for the USDA veterinarians or any other federal government agency, other university research positions, lab animal medicine, many wildlife organizations, or teaching in veterinary technician programs (excluding private, for-profit school programs), just to name a few.

Most direct path to PSLF for Veterinarians

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

1. Consolidate federal student loans immediately after graduation during your grace period using a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. We also have a New Graduate Veterinarian Student Loan Repayment Playbook webinar and toolkit you can review.  If you’re already in repayment or consolidation doesn’t make sense for you, skip to step 5.

2. During the Consolidation, choose to waive/end your remaining grace period (select the "Do Not Delay Processing" option) so your loans begin repayment immediately after your consolidation is complete, ideally before you start your qualifying PSLF position.

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

4. Apply for an income-driven repayment plan during 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. Review recently proposed changes to REPAYE and watch for them to take effect.  The updates to REPAYE will make it the best plan to use while working toward PSLF.

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

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

7. Submit PSLF Employment Certification Forms annually.

8. Verify that your count of qualifying PSLF payments matches FedLoan Servicing’s MOHELA's count. You can track qualifying PSLF payments through your FedLoan Servicing MOHELA account or through your Student Aid Data File available when you're logged into https://studentaid.gov/.  There is also a PSLF Status tab in the VIN Foundation My Student Loans tool when you upload your student aid data file.

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!


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