Public service

Am I eligible for student debt relief in California?

Time is running out for the nearly one million Californians who work in public office to seek federal debt relief.

The deadline for the Cancellation of civil service loans the schedule is October 31 – in less than three months.

What exactly qualifies a job in the public service? Here is what the The United States Department of Education requires:

What jobs are eligible?

According Federal Student Aid websiteeligible jobs have more to do with who you work with than what you do.

Eligible employers include nonprofit agencies or government organizations operating at all levels, whether state, federal, local, or tribal. Working in any capacity for the U.S. military also meets the eligibility criteria.

Other government organizations include public elementary and secondary schools, public colleges and universities, child and family service agencies, and other government departments, such as transportation, water, and land authorities. lodging.

Nonprofit groups should be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

However, other selected non-profit organizations may also be eligible, provided they provide other “eligible public services”.

These services include emergency management, military service, public safety, law enforcement, public interest legal work, early childhood education, elder or disabled care services, public health, the public library and other school libraries or school departments.

Occupations can range from teachers and nurses to firefighters and the military, depending on the employer. Full-time AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps volunteers are also eligible for debt relief.

To help determine eligible employers, Federal Student Aid encourages interested applicants to use its employer search tool.

What jobs don’t count?

Employers who are not eligible for the PSLF include unions, partisan political organizations, and for-profit groups.

How long do you have to be in the public service?

Federal student loans can be canceled after working in the public service for at least 10 years.

To be eligible for the PSLF, applicants must have made 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for an eligible employer, which takes at least 10 years.

These payments do not have to be consecutive, as long as they accumulate up to 120. They must also have been made after October 1, 2007 and no later than 15 days after their due date.

Which loans are cancelled?

After paying the monthly obligations, PSLF cancels the remaining balance of applicants’ direct loans, which are the only loans eligible for the program.

Loans that are not eligible for the program include Family Education Loan Program and Federal Perkins Loan Program, but may be included if consolidated.

According to Forbesthe program forgave on average $82,804 in April 2021.

How much should I work?

Applicants must work full-time with their employer or at least 30 hours per week, whichever is greater.

Working multiple part-time jobs also qualifies for the program, as long as employees are still working a combined average of 30 hours per week.

Those working under contract directly with an eligible employer are also eligible for service debt relief.

How to register

Applicants must complete the PLSF form and mail it to MOHELA, the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Loan Officer, or fax it to 866-222-7060.

MOHELA’s address is 633 Spirit Dr., Chesterfield, MO 63005-1243.

Digital signatures are not accepted by PSLF and forms must be mailed or faxed.

Meeting these specific payment criteria is essential for loan forgiveness approval, and more program details are available at Federal student aid website.

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This story was originally published August 9, 2022 2:22 p.m.

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