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  4. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

If you have one or more federal student loans, you may benefit from temporary changes made to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. These changes, called the “Limited PSLF Waiver,” are making it easier for borrowers to have their loans forgiven. Employees who previously did not meet PSLF eligibility guidelines are encouraged to resubmit an application form under the waiver.

You must submit a PSLF form and/or consolidate your non-Direct federal student loans by October 31, 2022, to receive the benefit under the temporary waiver.

Overview

CBP full-time employees are eligible to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, a federal program designed to encourage college graduates to enter into public service. It offers tax-free forgiveness of student loan debts for government and non-profit organization employees after 10 years of public service and 120 qualifying payments.

CBP employees interested in PSLF can use the PSLF Help Tool to find out what actions are needed to meet eligibility guidelines. Student loan types and payment plans must meet program requirements and may need to be consolidated or restructured to be eligible for forgiveness once the 10-year employment requirement is met. 

Eligible Loans and Qualifying Payments

Note: Loan eligibility and qualifying payment rules have been suspended through October 31, 2022 under the Limited PSLF Waiver.

Not all student loans qualify for PSLF as the program specifies only William D. Ford Direct Loans are eligible.  Private loans or other federal student loans may become eligible if you consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan. 

Loan payments only count towards the 120 qualifying payments when made under a qualifying repayment plan, for the full amount shown on the bill, no later than 15 days after your due date and while employed by a qualifying employer.

Limited PSLF Waiver

The PSLF Waiver provides temporary rule changes allowing borrowers to receive credit for past periods of payment, even if previously told payments were made under the wrong loan type or repayment plan. that typically would not qualify for PSLF.  There is no special application for the waiver; borrowers use the standard PSLF form.

Things to Know

  • The waiver gives borrowers credits for past periods of repayment on federal student loans—even loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF (e.g., Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), Federal Perkins Loans, Federally Insured Student Loans (FISL), National Defense Student Loans (NDSL), and other types of federal loans that are not Direct Loans)—provided the borrower consolidates multiple loans into one federal Direct Loan.
  • Past periods of repayment now count, regardless of whether you paid on time, the full amount due, or on a qualifying repayment plan. The Department of Education will even count certain periods of forbearance toward PSLF.
  • If you have non-Direct federal student loans, you must first consolidate them into one Direct Loan before October 31, 2022. Once you have submitted a PSLF form and consolidated loans into the Direct Loan program, you are automatically opted into the waiver. This means that, if you qualify, you will lock in the benefits of the waiver and start accruing credit toward PSLF.
  • If you previously applied for PSLF and were denied because of your loan type, we encourage you to try again. If you previously applied for PSLF, we encourage you to update your employment certification by completing a PSLF form.

How to Apply

  1. Sign in to the Federal Student Aid website with your FSA ID. You can create an account, request your FSA ID, or reset your password as needed. 
  2. Use the PSLF Help Tool to determine if you have the correct loan type or whether you need to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify for PSLF.  The help tool will walk you through the consolidation process and help verify if your employer is a qualifying employer. CBP is listed as a qualifying employer. 
  3. Download the PSLF form or use the PSLF Help Tool to generate the form. It is important to use the appropriate Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). For CBP employees, please use USDA (72-0564834). Some federal agencies have the same EIN therefore you might see several agencies listed in the PSLF Help Tool once you enter the EIN. Be sure to select CBP from the list.
  4. Once Sections 1 – 3 are completed, sign and date the form. Electronic (PDF) forms require you to save the PDF file before it can be signed. Typed signatures (using cursive or other fonts) and digital certificate-based signatures are not accepted. Signature guidelines only allow hand drawn signatures which include:
    • Wet signature drawn in ink and sent in its original format
    • Hand drawn with a signature pad, mouse or finger
    • Scanned photo of a signature drawn on a piece of paper and embedded on the signature line of the PSLF form
  5. Next, access your Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) and save a copy of your CBP enter- on-duty SF-50. If you had a break in CBP service, all SF-50s must be produced to properly verify length of service. To access eOPF, you will need a computer connected to a secure government network. 
  6. Send your completed PSLF form and SF-50(s) to your support staff and/or supervisor for certification (Section 4). The PSLF form is returned to the employee.
  7. Finally, submit your completed form following the directions in Section 7 of the PSLF form.

Additional Information

Last Modified: August 1, 2022
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