Jul 28, 2016
Resident [Any Field]
I'm an intern who just recently started residency. I have quite a large sum of money in educational loans and I was interested in applying for PSLF. I contacted the customer service organization and they informed me that I would have to submit an application every year that I am in residency by working with my residency coordinator so they can verify that I am working at an eligible institution. In addition when I submit the application all of my loans must be moved from Nelnet to FederalStudentAid as the servicer. I had never heard that loans only under FederalStudentAid would qualify for PSLF. Keep in mind that all of my loans are direct plus loans, stafford loans, or gradplus loans but are currently serviced via Nelnet.

I also didn't realize that I would have to submit an application every year to tabulate my years of commitment to PSLF. I was under the impression that many people would just submit one application detailing their work years at the end of the ten year period when they qualify for PSLF. Is this really not the case? If it is true that I will have to submit an application every year, when is the best time to do this? Is there a deadline every year? Let's say I do not file an application until my second year of residency, does that mean my intern year will not count towards PSLF?

Can anyone advise me further on this matter? Thank you very much!


10+ Year Member
May 16, 2007
Attending Physician
First you should read through this information: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service

To answer your questions:

1. After you submit your first PSLF Employment Certification form, your loans will be transferred to FedLoan Servicing. FedLoan is the designated PSLF servicer. There is nothing you can do about this and it's not a big deal.

2. You don't have to submit an an employment certification form every year. You can certainly wait until after you've made your 120 qualifying payments, but this would require you to track down the appropriate administrator from all your previous employers at the very end which could cause you headaches. It would be easier for you to certify more frequently (i.e. once after completing residency, once after completing fellowship, etc.) so you have less work to do at the end. Submitting more frequently also helps you keep track of how many qualifying payments you have made. Or you could submit a form every year, but that seems like overkill. There is no penalty for not submitting yearly. You won't lose out on anything. Submitting the employment certification forms along the way is just for record keeping purposes.

Nobody knows exactly how the final "application" process will work with PSLF because the program hasn't been around long enough yet. It began in 2007 so the earliest people will become eligible is next year in 2017.
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