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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?

The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. The U.S. Department of Education’s webpage,, is the definitive source for information about, and establishes the policies for, PSLF.

Who is eligible for this program?

Harvard Law J.D. graduates in qualifying positions with qualifying loans are eligible.

Do I have to join the new PSLF program? 

No, the PSLF based program is simply another option for J.D. graduates.

Does my position qualify?

In accordance with the Department of Education, qualifying employment is determined by organization, not by position. Eligible employment includes U.S. government positions at the federal, state, local, or tribal level, as well as not-for-profit organizations that are classified as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Qualifying work must be full-time by your employer’s definition of such, or at least 30 hours per week.

Other types of not-for-profit organizations: If you work for a not-for-profit organization that is not a 501(c)(3), it can still be considered a qualifying employer if it provides certain types of qualifying public services. Please see for additional information.

Per the Department of Education, the following types of employers do not qualify for PSLF:

  • Labor unions
  • Partisan political organizations
  • For-profit organizations, including for-profit government contractors
  • Self-employment
  • International governments, NGOs, or not-for-profit organizations without US 501(c)(3) status

Do my loans qualify?

Federal Direct Loans qualify for PSLF. Perkins loans will need to be consolidated in order to qualify. Because this is a federally-based program, private loans do not qualify.

I have only borrowed private loans. What are my options?

The traditional Low Income Protection Plan (LIPP) program covers both private and federal loan borrowing.

I have a mix of federal and private loans. Which plan is best for me?

The HLS PSLF-based loan repayment assistance program (LRAP) will not cover monthly payments on private loans, so those payments will need to be made out-of-pocket. You can utilize the tool on to calculate your federal monthly loan payments on an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan to determine if the benefit you would receive by switching to this plan would result in a lower total monthly payment than your current LIPP participant contribution on the traditional plan.

I am an admitted student and am not sure what loan program is right for me.

Call us, let’s talk about your options!

I am currently working for a PSLF-eligible employer, but I am unsure of my career path and want to keep my options open. What should I do?

We recommend filing an Employer Certification Form for the PSLF program with your loan servicer so that you can have your current employment tracked should you consider switching to the HLS PSLF-based loan repayment assistance program in the future. You can do so without changing to an income-drive repayment (IDR) term but we recommend you work closely with your servicer to ensure this.

How do I sign up?

Before taking any steps to switch to PSLF with the U.S. Department of Education, please speak with us. We will begin advising on this plan as soon as our policies are posted later this spring, and we will provide instructions on switching plans within the HLS LRAPs and through your federal servicer.

If I know I want to switch to this plan, should I discontinue paying on my federal loans at the standard amount now?

Please reach out to us to determine if submitting an adjustment application at this time is advisable for your individual situation.

When can I expect further information?

Further details regarding policies and next steps will be posted on our LIPP webpage and sent to all current LIPP participants later this spring.