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Pitfalls

  • The name of the game is to pay the least over time, not forgiveness. If you have a fairly low balance or high income, paying your loans off aggressively rather than pursuing forgiveness might be a better strategy.
  • You can use the repayment estimator at Studentaid.gov/loan-simulator/ to determine if PSLF is right for you.
  • The PSLF program could change for new loans, you should never borrow assuming forgiveness.
  • Always ensure you are on an eligible plan and have eligible loans.
  • Never pay more than what you are billed when pursuing PSLF. Doing so can put you in a “paid ahead” status which can cause future payments to not qualify for PSLF.
  • If you aren’t sure if you will be pursuing PSLF for the full ten years and are concerned about accruing interest, we recommend opening a separate savings account and putting any extra payments you might be tempted to make in that account. If you end up not pursuing PSLF, you can make a lump sum payment from that account at that time. If you do end up pursuing PSLF, you can use that money for retirement or a vacation!
  • Ensure you submit your ECF forms annually and keep copies for yourself.
  • Remember that Parent PLUS borrowers must pay under the ICR plan to benefit from PSLF.
  • Consolidate only if you have to, and if so right away.