Which Jobs Qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Facebook icon Twitter icon Print icon Email icon

By Kristen Kuchar

February 9, 2021

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a program that forgives the remaining balance on Direct Federal Loans if you are employed full time by a U.S. federal, state, county, local or tribal government or not-for-profit organization. These are the jobs that qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the jobs that do not qualify.

Jobs that qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness  include:

  • Emergency Management
  • Government (excluding time served as a member of Congress)
  • Military Service
  • Public Safety
  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations, as such terms are defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Public Education
  • Social Work in a public child or family service agency
  • Public Interest Law Services (including prosecution or public defense or legal advocacy on behalf of low-income communities at a nonprofit organization)
  • Early Childhood Education (including licensed or regulated childcare, Head Start, and State funded prekindergarten)
  • Public service for individuals with disabilities
  • Public service for the elderly
  • Public library sciences
  • School-based library sciences and other school-based services
  • 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations
  • Teaching as a faculty member at a Tribal College or University
  • Teaching as a faculty member in a high-need subject area or shortage area (including nurse faculty and foreign language faculty)

Volunteering full-time for the AmeriCorps or Peace Corps also counts as qualifying employment for PSLF.

Employers that do not qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness include: 

  • For-profit government contractors (as opposed to directly working for a government agency)
  • For-profit business
  • Labor Unions
  • Partisan Political Organizations
  • Religious organization (unless the job is unrelated to religious instruction, worship services or proselytizing)

Requirements for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

You must be employed full-time, at least 30 hours per week. Several qualifying part-time jobs may also count if it adds up to at least 30 hours per week.

The borrower must make 120 qualifying payments towards the direct loan while simultaneously working for a qualifying employer The payments do not need to be consecutive.

Every year, submit the Public Service Employment Certification Form (ECF).

Read our following guides for federal student loan forgiveness. Many are eligible for the PSLF program and also other federal student loan forgiveness opportunities and repayment plans:

A good place to start:

See the best 529 plans, personalized for you


Deal with student loan debt better.

Sign up for our newsletter.