Employees of faith-based and community-based nonprofits are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Borrowers who are employed by, the military, federal, state, Tribal, or local government, and many non-profits may be eligible to have their student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Under normal PSLF rules, borrowers must make 120 payments on a Direct Loan while on a qualifying repayment plan and employed by a qualifying public service employer. For a limited time, the Department of Education is waiving some of the rules and allowing borrowers to get credit for past periods of repayment that normally don’t qualify for PSLF. These time-limited changes expire on October 31, 2022. After that, normal PSLF rules will apply. That means if you haven’t already applied for PSLF, you must submit a PSLF form and/or consolidate your non-Direct federal student loans by October 31 to take advantage of the waiver. For more information on PSLF eligibility and requirements, go to PSLF.gov.

Borrowers seeking to determine whether their not-for-profit work qualifies for PSLF can use the Department’s employer eligibility tool. But don’t panic if your employer is listed as “undetermined” or “likely ineligible.” That may indicate that we simply have not added the employer to our database yet. We’ve found that many smaller, local governmental organizations and smaller faith-based nonprofit organizations aren’t in our database yet.

Rest assured—if you are an employee of a local or state government entity or a 501(c)(3) non-profit, your employer will qualify. Also, if you work for a house of worship or similar not-for-profit organization that is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code but does not have an IRS determination letter, it can still be considered a qualifying employer. Some other non-profits can also qualify if they provide a qualifying public service. Employees of not-for-profit organizations whose job duties include religious activities, such as clergy, are also considered eligible.

If your employer is listed as “undetermined,” use the PSLF Help Tool to generate your PSLF form, and your employer will be reviewed by our employer adjudication team. If you upload a W-2 or other supporting documentation with your form, it can help our research and review, and we can use your submission to add your employer to our database for future use.

Over 211,000 borrowers have already had their loans forgiven through the PSLF waiver and over a million more are closer to forgiveness. Don’t wait, take advantage of this opportunity before the waiver expires on October 31, 2022. Even if you have not been in repayment for 10 years, you can keep working towards PSLF after that. For more information on the limited PSLF waiver, click here.


Please note that PSLF is PSLF is different from the one-time student loan debt relief of up to $20,000. PSLF is a program for people who work in public service in federal, state, tribal, or local government, or for a non-profit organization. Borrowers can apply for both PSLF and one-time debt relief. Learn more about one-time debt relief here.