Do Any of My FFEL Consolidation Loan Payments Count Towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness? – Amelie


Dear Steve,

I have a Student Loan with Navient. I’m paying it (on time) since 2000. They were FFEL Stafford Subsidized Loans that were converted in a FFEL Consolidated Loan on 1999 with Sallie Mae.

I am an employee of 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).

Do I qualify for the Public Loan Forgiveness Plan even though I’m paying for the loan since 2000?



Dear Amelie,

I hate to be the delivery guy of bad news but it appears none of your payments to date have counted towards the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The program has great benefits, like eliminating your federal student loan balance after 120 on-time payments.

It sounds like your employer would qualify as eligible under the PSLF program as well as long as you are working more than 30 hours a week.

But here is where the problem lies based on what you’ve told me.

According to the Department of Education, “you will not receive PSLF unless you make the majority of your 120 qualifying monthly payments under an income-driven repayment plan.”

Your FFEL Consolidation Loan would be eligible to drop into a new Direct Consolidation Loan as long as your FFEL loan was not joint. You would then opt for an income driven repayment plan and those payments would count towards forgiveness. Payments under this plan may be lower than what you are paying now.

Only payments made on the Direct Consolidation Loan will count toward the required 120 qualifying payments.

The 120 required payments must be made under one or more of the following Direct Loan Program repayment plans:

  • Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE Plan)
  • Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE Plan)
  • Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR Plan)
  • Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR Plan)
  • 10-year Standard Repayment Plan
  • Any other Direct Loan Program repayment plan; but only payments that are at least equal to the monthly payment amount that would have been required under the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan may be counted toward the required 120 payments
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If you take these steps, you can then make sure your payments are counting towards forgiveness if you complete the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form and submit it yearly or so.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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