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Follow up on prior post: voluntarily choosing not to chase PSLF

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  • Follow up on prior post: voluntarily choosing not to chase PSLF

    Hi everyone! I wanted to create a follow up post to the following topic:

    There are additional details in the post above, but basically here was my situation: with 527k in student loans and a combined household income of 500k, I was debating skipping out on the PSLF in favor of aggressive refinancing and repayment. I am technically in year 4/10 in terms of qualifying payments, and my current employer does qualify for the non profit designation. Despite this, my reasons for wanting to skip out on PSLF were mainly psychological. Financially, I would come out 300-400k ahead if I did choose the PSLF, but the risks associated with the program had me doubting myself.

    After some of the excellent advice received in the prior post, I did additional research and reviewed my MPN. I also realized that with the COVID-19 forbearance waiver, I may actually have an additional 15 months of payments that could count towards PSLF, meaning that I'm likely already half way there! And finally, in the event that I were to move, I researched all major hospital systems at my next possible site of work in California - all of those hospital systems also qualified for PSLF.

    Given all of the above and further soul searching, I have decided to indeed go ahead and pursue PSLF! I owe a big thank you to everyone that replied, as that thread honestly could save me a clean 400k or more, based on how my minimum payments shake out. My current ~2% refinance quote from Laurel Rd is set to expire at the end of this week, and prior to that I just wanted to answer a few last minute questions.

    1. Is there a recommended professional or legal service I can consider hiring to help me fill out the appropriate forms for my prior payments? I've worked for the same employer through residency and now as an attending, so I'm guessing this should be pretty easy to do. It just might take some work to find some paperwork for my prior employer from 2013-2014.

    2. During 2013-2014, prior to enrolling in medical school, I made 15 qualifying payments on student loans while being employed full time for qualifying employer. This was prior to accruing medical debt, but would these 15 payments still qualify among my 120?

    3. Do these 0 dollar payments during this 0% loan forbearance truly qualify for the 120 payments as well?

    Thanks again everyone!

  • #2
    Yes, each month of student loan pause counts towards 120 payments (provided you are working for qualifying employer during this time).

    You need to go to and get your pslf certification form via their pslf help tool.
    You then will need your employer to sign the form as well. Then you will upload it to your federal loan lender.
    Submit your pslf certification form annually.

    Then get ready to wait for months as they have a backlog. It just took me exactly 3months for review of my pslf certification form that I send in annually.

    Also remember that you must be working at a qualified employer at time of forgiveness after you have made your 120payments and submitted everything. That means waiting for months as they review your final submission form (hopefully this process will get more smooth).


    • #3
      Oh and read more pslf posts on this forum and you will get lots of info.


      • #4
        1.) Read this post
        2.) You can receive credit for those and even increase the payment count from what you've already made post medical school. This can be completed with a direct federal consolidation. You would need to complete this prior to October 31, 2022. After that time, completing a direct federal consolidation would erase your prior payment counts.
        Helping student loan borrowers manage their student loans. [email protected]


        • #5
          I thought that in california hospital systems cannot directly employ physicians. Is it just some other nonprofit that technically employs them?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Turf Doc View Post
            I thought that in california hospital systems cannot directly employ physicians. Is it just some other nonprofit that technically employs them?
            Several workarounds and exceptions:
            governmental/county exceptions for designated underserved/rural areas, and for educational (any hospital that provides training for residents). The technique is a dual contract. Employed by the “xxx health science entity (W-2) and the physician’s group (which runs the group) and benefits paid by the state/university system.