The following are various student loan programs participating agencies may offer to Finalists and Fellows. Finalists should ask the hiring agency if it participates in any of these programs when interviewing for a PMF appointment. The PMF Program Office does not track what agencies offer. Current Fellows should consult with their agency's HR Office for any questions.
Federal Student Loan Repayment Program:
Federal agencies are authorized to repay student loans under the Federal Student Loan Repayment Program, as provided for in Part 537 of Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. The amount paid by the agency is subject to the following maximum limits: (1) $10,000 per employee per calendar year, and (2) a total of $60,000 per employee. Finalists accepting appointments as Fellows are eligible to receive student loan repayments; however, these programs are agency-specific.
Before repaying any student loans, the agency must establish a student loan repayment plan, which is to include the designation of officials with authority to review and approve repayment benefits, situations when the loan repayment authority may be used and criteria that must be met, procedures for making loan payments, a system for selecting employees to receive repayment benefits that ensures fair and equitable treatment, requirements for service agreements, and documentation and recordkeeping requirements. For complete details, visit OPM's website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/student-loan-repayment.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program:
If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Talk to your agency’s HR Office to learn about eligibility and enrollment. Information about PSLFP can be found under the U.S. Department of Education's website at https://www.PSLF.gov. The Department of Education has announced time-limited changes to PSLF that provide an easier path to forgiveness of all outstanding debt for eligible federal student loan borrowers who have served at a non-profit, in the military, or in federal, state, tribal, or local government for at least 10 years, including non-consecutively. Those who have served less than 10 years may now more easily get credit for their service to date toward eventual forgiveness. These changes allow eligible borrowers to gain additional credit toward forgiveness, even if they had been told previously that they had the wrong loan type. You can find out other information about the temporary changes and check your eligibility at https://www.PSLF.gov. You must apply to PSLF before the temporary changes end on October 31, 2022.
Federal Student Debt Relief:
On August 24th, 2022, the Biden Administration has announced targeted debt relief efforts for Federal student loan borrowers that may also be applicable to you:
(1) The Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education, and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients. Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their individual income is less than $125,000 ($250,000 for married couples). Current students with loans are eligible for this debt relief. Borrowers who are dependent students will be eligible for relief based on parental income, rather than their own income. The Department of Education will work quickly and efficiently to set up a simple application process for borrowers to claim relief. This debt relief will not be treated as taxable income. The application will be available no later than when the pause on federal student loan repayments terminates at the end of the year. To learn more about this effort, you can go to https://www.studentaid.gov.
(2) Also, to ensure a smooth transition to repayment and to prevent unnecessary defaults, the pause on federal student loan repayment will be extended one final time through December 31, 2022. Borrowers should expect to resume payment in January 2023.
To learn more about the Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan, go to https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief-announcement/.