Federal Student Loan Forgiveness – For New and Not-So-New Archivists

Now that it’s graduation season (congratulations, new grads!), I’d like to plug some info that may be useful to you – whether you’re a new grad or not. This is the time that student loan repayments start coming due, so I’m spreading the word about this, a program that not enough people know of:

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. If you have federal student loans, you may be eligible for this federal program. You also need to be employed at least 30 hours per week at a federal, state, or local government agency, entity, or organization or a not-for-profit organization that has been designated as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

There is a wide net of jobs that qualify for this program. It encompasses many higher education institutions, museums, organizations, and other types of employers that archivists, librarians, and other info professionals work for. Many of the types of jobs I post on this very site fall into the employer categories stated above. So, if you have this type of loan and this type of job, if you sign up for the PSLF program and make 120 qualifying payments (translating to 10 years’ worth of consecutive monthly payments), the remaining balance of your qualifying student loans is forgiven.

The PSLF may or may not make sense for you given your personal situation, but check it out, and share with others who might find this information useful. Your financial aid office may have someone on staff who can help you with information about this program, or just check the website linked above and do your own research. You do not need to be a recent grad to participate in the PSLF program.

As a personal note, I’m participating in the PSLF program right now. In my experience it does take a bit of time to research the program, consolidate loans, and get the paperwork filled out, but once that’s done you just have a couple of forms to file annually.

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