According to US News and World report, the median range of high school teachers’ salary is roughly $59,000.00. It seems a reasonable average until one considers the cost of getting a degree, then the loan repayments really eat away at earnings. As it is one of the most critical (yet unappreciated) jobs in the country, no teacher is going to enter the profession to get rich; people become teachers because they care.
What the PSLF Can Offer Public-School Teachers
Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or PSLF, was enacted into law in 2007. It offers a fantastic opportunity for anyone in the teaching profession. The PSLF is geared toward teaching professionals with a Master of Education degree. So, if you’re a teacher in good standing and have been teaching in the public-school system while making your student loan payments, then you may qualify to get forgiveness on the balance of your student loans. The minimum number of loan payments required is 120, or ten years’ worth, and they should all be on time and for the required amount and all paid after 2007. The beautiful thing about this program is that it is almost tailor-made for those in the teaching profession.
The important thing about the program is that it includes all aspects of the teaching spectrum, from physical education to math and sciences to the arts. Janitorial staff and teacher’s aides are also included in the program, as is any employee of the public school system. If you are teaching at a publicly funded school, then your contribution to public education may entitle you to this particular debt forgiveness program.
What Are the PSLF Requirements for Teachers?
The PSLF essentially has three requirements. First off, teachers must have made at least 120 payments while working full-time for a certified employer. In this case, the public school system, which includes non-profit charter schools. Second, your loan must be a direct loan, Federal Perkins Loans and the Family Education Loan program do not qualify, but organizing them under a Direct Consolidation Loan, one may be eligible for the PSLF, only those loans made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program are eligible. Be aware, any payments made before enrolling in the Direct Consolidation Loan program will not count toward the PSLF, meaning your required 120 payments begin at the point of consolidation. The program is only available for William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program; you can check to see if your loans fall under this program here.
As a teacher working part of the year and not teaching during the summer break, the PSLF still considers you full time if you meet the following criteria. First, your contracted employment period was for at least eight months, and you worked at least 30 hours per week or more during that period. Also, your employer needs to certify that they consider you employed full time during the summer break.
Your Employer’s Part in the PSLF Program
Your employer plays a critical role in college loan forgiveness through the PSLF program. First off, they should have copies of the forms available and, if not, there are other avenues to obtain them. Second, if they do have the forms available, then they will have already partially completed their portion of the certification, which puts you ahead of the game. Further, many government employers offer loan repayment assistance, which can help. Ideally, they may help make the monthly qualifying payments on your behalf. Also, your employer needs to be in contact with you at least annually regarding the program and to ensure that you fill out the yearly form. While your employer may be of enormous help to you, they cannot do everything. Moreover, once you qualify, there is still a lot of which to keep track. Losing track means the possibility of being taken off the program.
How Do I navigate the Maze of Responsibilities When in the PSLF?
Once someone has qualified for the PSLF, there remains much work to be done. Coordination is key to receiving the benefits of this program, and that means ten years of diligence on monthly payments, annual paperwork, process, and paperwork requirement changes and, not least, the day-to-day snafus that occur with any complicated procedure like this.
Unfortunately, some have found merely keeping track of their requirements to be overwhelming and have lost their eligibility as a result. Luckily other means exist for the maintenance and servicing of your loan under the PSLF.
Student Debt USA Qualified to Help Teachers.
Student Debt USA has a detailed understanding of the processes and documentation necessary for establishing your enrollment in the PSLF as many people are unaware of what type of employment regimen qualifies for the PSLF, because of the broad spectrum of teaching positions. We are experienced at coordinating all aspects of the program for the teaching community, and because we understand the PSLF program down to its smallest detail, we can quickly advise you on your best course of action to qualify for the plan. We even coordinate with your employer.
The volume of paperwork involved in the process is intimidating. We know the documents and the proper sequence needed to fill them out. Our experts eliminate the back and forth commonly associated with these activities. We fill out the forms completely and correctly, the first time. We ensure your annual paperwork is done correctly ahead of time, thus helping to keep you on track.
When it comes to supporting you, our motto is: follow up, follow up, follow up. We pride ourselves on our diligence and follow up is the key to your completing the PSLF program. You worked hard for your education, and you deserve to focus on what you do best. We eliminate the tedium and frustration so that you can teach.