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PSLF Qualifying Payments

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  • PSLF Qualifying Payments

    I started my residency and then shortly after found out about "How to Enter RePAYE Early."  At that point, I had already been making $0 monthly payments on loans from undergrad, as I certified my income between med school graduation and day 1 of residency.  However, my loans from medical school were in grace period.  To enter RePAYE early, I consolidated my medical school loans into one loan and kept the undergrad loans out of the consolidation to avoid resetting the PSLF clock to 0 for those loans.

    Because I did not consolidate until after I started, I did end up having to make monthly payments for the consolidation loan starting in August or September, as opposed to having the de facto $0 "monthly payment" for the entire year until recertification.  However, until May, when I was required to apply for recertification, I was allowed to make $0 monthly payments for the undergrad loans.  At the end of June when I finished my intern year and moved elsewhere to start another program for PGY-2, I had my intern year program fill out my PSLF Certification Form, and I sent it to FedLoans.  Today, I finally received confirmation that I had made PSLF-qualifying payments (see attachment).  However, although I received credit for 10 monthly payments for the consolidation loan, I only received credit for 2 monthly payments of the non-consolidated, undergraduate loans.  This would seem to correspond to the two months starting in May after which I had to make non-zero dollar monthly payments for those loans.  Apparently, the $0 "monthly payments" I made up until May were not counted as eligible payments, even though I had been employed for most of that time.

    Are any other WCI'ers running into this issue?  I have already written to FedLoans to ensure that this isn't a mistake.  If it's not, this would seem problematic for the entering RePAYE prior to starting residency strategy, as you would not receive PSLF credit for the months during which you paid $0.

  • #2
    Were you full-time employed by a nonprofit while you made those payments on the undergrad loans? Most people aren't full-time employed in med school...


    • #3
      Other than for May and June between med school and residency, yes, I made $0 "monthly payments" while employed by as PSLF-qualifying employer (my residency program).  I did not make payments while in medical school.


      • #4
        Sometimes they only update them once per year, and then they jump up by 12 at a time. Some servicers don't have a "ticker" that does it. My wife's loan with FedLoan went straight from 10 to 22 that way. If you think they've failed to count properly-made payments, you definitely should call them on it as you did. It is possible to retroactively certify payments. $0 payments are still supposed to count for the 120.


        • #5
          Thanks for always commenting on my posts, DMFA.  Will keep you updated.


          • #6


            Thank you for contacting FedLoan Servicing!

            You are currently in a Paid Ahead status.

            If you are actively pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), you must make your full, scheduled monthly payment on time (received no later than 15 days after the payment due date) each month for it to qualify.

            For example, if your monthly payment amount is $50 and you pay $100 this month, you still must make $50 on-time next month in order for you to receive credit for two qualifying payments (even though your 'amount due' on your bill for next month will show $0).

            Note: If you make a monthly payment for more than the amount you are required to pay, you can receive credit for only one payment per month, no matter how much you pay. You can't qualify for PSLF faster by making larger payments. However, if you want to pay more than your required monthly payment amount, you should request to have paid ahead status permanently removed from your account. This will ensure that you receive the maximum credit toward forgiveness for your payments. In addition, no partial forgiveness is available for making fewer than 120 payments.

            Payments made while on an Income Driven Plan do count towards Loan Forgiveness. However, please keep in mind only payments made while a loan is in a repayment status counts towards your qualifying payments. Our records indicate your loans were in an In School deferment from August 7, 2012 to May 6, 2017. You loan payments do no have to be consecutive, however, and you will receive forgiveness after you have reached 120 total qualifying payments.


            • #7
              My response:
              Your records are incorrect.  I was only in school until May 6, 2016 (not 2017 as you stated).  My loans from my undergraduate studies then entered repayment status, and because my income was $0 when I certified my income in May 2016, I made $0 monthly payments until it was time to recertify my income a year later.  However, I did not receive credits for the payments I made after I began my full-time employment around June 20, 2016, and the original message I sent to FedLoans was inquiring about this error.

              Also, I should not be in a paid ahead status.  Other than for April 2017, I have been using the automatic payment feature of FedLoans and have not made any extra payments.

              I am getting frustrated.  Please fix these issues.


              • #8
                FedLoans Response:
                The School Deferment did end on May 6, 2016, please accept our apologies for the incorrectly provided date.

                We have submitted your account for a review to track and apply all previous qualified payments that may not have been added to your current payment count, and to determine if any payment records were not forwarded from a previous servicer. Please be assured you will receive notification once this review is complete.


                • #9
                  We'll see what happens.  I'd advise everyone to make sure to look closely when your PSLF payments are credited, especially when your loan service provider becomes FedLoan, as apparently, Navient (my old service provider) may have forgot to record or forward PSLF-qualifying payments.  Also, I have no idea why they thought I was in paid ahead status.  I have been using automatic payments with the exception of April, when the remainder of my Navient loans were transferred to FedLoans and I had to make one manual payment until the automatic payment registration process was complete for those loans.


                  • #10
                    Came here with fedloan issues and now that I have an attending job that qualifies, have been getting my loans in better order.

                    I planned ahead for this and entered IBR about 6 months into residency. I had a year of "0 dollar payments" along with 2 additional years of payments.

                    Recently went through and certified my employment for the last 3 years (hadn't done so since early on). Got the letter with PSLF qualifying payments. Complete mess. Even though every one of my payments is spread across all my different loans, I had variable numbers of qualifying payments for all of them, all wildly incorrect (They should all be within spitting distance of 36, and some are 19, some are 21, makes no sense).

                    Tried to call them to get it straightened out. The person told me she would submit a request for a review of my qualifying payments, and that it takes about 120 days (!!!).

                    Anyways, same issue here. Oh, and they can't calculate my standard monthly payment amount, either.

                    Complete clowns over at fedloan.


                    • #11
                      Any updates on this?

                      Mine are still in review (which they claim takes 90+ days)



                      • #12
                        Nope.  Still waiting  


                        • #13

                          Figured i'd check in - any updates?

                          As I submitted this request in August and its now October, and they said 90 days, I sent them an email today.


                          After looking over my loan details, it does seem that probably at least part of the issue for my end is that they aren't counting a full year's worth of 0 dollar payments - which from everything Ive read should still count.



                          • #14

                            Still nothing on my end


                            • #15
                              Update!  At long last, the issue is fixed.  I received a message from FedLoans today to which an updated and corrected PSLF payment document was attached.  Although it took months, I hope this is helpful for any of those out there dealing with a similar issue.  FedLoans took its time, but it got fixed.