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Loan Forgiveness Programs


FORDHAM LAW'S LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM

  • Available to J.D. alumni who borrowed from Fordham’s Revolving Loan Fund and who are employed full time in law-related positions in government (federal, state or city) or public interest 501(c)(3) organizations and have qualifying incomes below $70,500 for calendar year 2015.  The income cap is adjusted annually for inflation and career progression.
  • No interest accrues and no payments need be made on the Revolving Loans for the first three years.
  • One-third of the total Revolving Loan debt is forgiven at the end of the third, fourth and fifth years of participation.
  • Applications are accepted between September 1 and November 1 immediately following graduation or within one month of obtaining eligible employment, but no later than three years from the date of graduation.
  • Graduates employed as judicial clerks are eligible.
  • The application consists of the Application, an Employer Certification Form and, if married, your spouse’s employer must complete the Spouse’s Employer Certification Form.
  • Participants must be recertified semi-annually

The following forms are in PDF format:

PDF Loan Forgiveness Application
PDF Employer Certification Form
PDF Employer Certification Form for Applicant’s Spouse

There is a separate application for judicial clerks and the following forms are in PDF format:

PDF Loan Forgiveness Application for Graduates Employed as a Judicial Clerk
PDF Employer Certification Form
PDF Employer Certification Form for Applicant’s Spouse

Questions concerning this program may be directed to kkeenan@law.fordham.edu

FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM (FPSLF)

If you are employed in eligible employment and make 120 eligible payments on your eligible Federal loans, the government will forgive any balance remaining on your loans.  The 120 payments need not be consecutive and you must be employed in the full-time, eligible public service position while making each of the 120 payments and when you request and receive forgiveness.  Maintain proof of all 120 repayments and proof of your employment status during those payments.  This forgiveness will not create a new income tax liability for borrowers.     

Eligible Loans

Only Federal Direct Loans and Federal Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible for Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you have Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Loans or Perkins Loans, you may consolidate those loans in the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program to make them eligible for FPSLF.  Perkins loans have their own cancellation benefits that a borrower may obtain earlier than the forgiveness obtained through the FPSLF.  Be sure you are ineligible for the Perkins Loan cancellation benefit before consolidating a Perkins Loan, as Perkins Loans lose the cancellation benefit once consolidated.  Loans made by a state or private lender and Parent Plus Loans and consolidation loans that included a Parent Plus Loan are not eligible for FPSLF.

Fine-Print Details of the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, not to be overlooked:

Be sure your job qualifies for Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness.   Your job qualifies

  • if you work full-time for the government or a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
  • If you do not work for a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization or the government, you can still qualify if you provide "public interest law services" for a "public service organization."
  • A public service organization gets at least some government funding and is not "a business organized for profit, a labor union, a partisan political organization, or an organization engaged in religious activities…"   

To determine if your job qualifies for FPSLF, see 34 CFR 685.219, or go to http://www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov and click on Public Service Loan Forgiveness under Repaying Your Loans. Also, you may contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

Be sure your loans are eligible for Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness.   Only Federal Direct Loans and Federal Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you borrowed your Federal Stafford and Grad PLUS Loans at Fordham Law prior to 7/1/10, you borrowed those loans through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).  If you borrowed Federal loans as an undergraduate, those loans may be FFELP or Direct Loans, depending upon the school attended.  To make FFELP loans eligible for the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you must consolidate them into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. If you have already consolidated one or more of your Federal Loans into a FFELP Consolidation Loan, you have the right to reconsolidate those loans into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan to take advantage of the forgiveness program.    

Be sure not to include ineligible loans in your Federal Direct Consolidation Loan.   Parent PLUS Loans are not eligible and consolidation loans that pay off a Parent PLUS Loan are not eligible for FPSLF.    

Be sure your payments are qualifying payments.   Only payments made on the Income Based, Income Contingent, the new Pay As You Earn or the Standard (ten year) Repayment Plans will count toward FPSLF. 

Do not choose the Extended or Graduated repayment options, as payments under these plans will not count.  Under the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program, repayment over a term of more than ten years is sometimes referred to as "standard" repayment.  Don't be fooled. Check to be sure the payments under the payment plan you select qualify for FPSLF. 

Finally, only payments made on time–those received within 15 days of the due date–will count. Payments that are less than the amount you are required to pay each month will not count, and payments that exceed the amount you are required to pay each month will count as only one eligible payment.

The Department of Education released its Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form which will assist you and your Federal loan servicer in tracking your periods of qualifying employment and your qualifying payments under this program.  It is not mandatory that you complete the form, but it is probably a good idea to do so at least once a year or after changing your eligible employment. 

Instructions for Completing the Employment Certification Form for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PDF)

Employment Certification Form for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PDF)

Department of Education's Letter to Borrowers about the process (PDF)

FedLoan Servicing is the authorized Federal loan servicer handling all participants in the FPSLF Program.  After completing the Employment Certification and receiving approval of your eligible employment, your loans will be transferred to FedLoan Servicing. 

See the Federal Student Aid Fact Sheet for a summary of the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  For more detailed information, consult the Department of Education's Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Questions and Answers.

FEDERAL LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR SERVICE IN AREAS OF NATIONAL NEED

Entitles borrowers to receive forgiveness of not more than $2,000 of their Federal student loan obligation that is outstanding after the completion of each year of employment up to a total of $10,000 and for not more than five years of service.   The one area of need that pertains to law graduates is under the heading of Public Sector Employees which includes public interest legal services (including prosecution, public defense, or legal advocacy in low-income communities at a non-profit organization).   Borrowers will not qualify for loan forgiveness for the same service in this provision and other provisions of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act.  See Pub. L. 112-283.


NEW YORK STATE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND INDIGENT LEGAL SERVICES ATTORNEY LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM

Awards are being offered to retain experienced attorneys employed as District Attorneys, Assistant District Attorneys or Indigent Legal Services Attorneys throughout New York State.

An applicant must:

  • Be a legal resident of New York State for at least one year
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Be an eligible attorney 
  • Have eligible student loan expenses
  • Not be in default of a federally guaranteed student loan
  • Not owe a service obligation under another program

The maximum lifetime total award is $20,400 or the cumulative total of eligible student loan expenses at the time of their first successful application, whichever is less.  Awards will be paid in disbursements of $3,400 for each year of qualified service immediately preceding the application for payment. 

To learn more and obtain an application, go to http://www.hesc.org.