Regarding Recent News About PSLF Certifications
You may have heard in the news about an ongoing lawsuit involving student
loan borrowers who have had their interim PSLF certifications reversed by the
Department of Education. We want you to know that the issue in this case
is very limited in scope and does NOT involve borrowers employed by any
government (federal, state, local or tribal) or 501(c)(3) employers.
As a reminder, there are three categories of employers who are qualifying
employers for purposes of PSLF:
1. U.S. government organizations at any level (federal, state, local,
2. Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;and
3. Other types of not-for-profit organizations that provide certain types
of qualifying public services.
The borrowers involved in the lawsuit worked for the American Bar
Association (a 501(c)6 organization) and Vietnam Veterans of America (a
501(c)19 organization) which do not automatically qualify under either category
1 or 2 but which must qualify for PSLF eligibility, if at all, under the more
subjective criteria of category 3. The borrowers' loan servicer had
certified that the employers did in fact qualify under category 3 but the
Department of Education disagreed and maintains that the servicer's initial
certification is not binding.
While we do not believe the issues at stake in this case have any material
bearing on borrowers working for government or 501(c)(3) employers, we continue
to encourage that you keep careful records of your employment throughout your
PSLF-qualifying months regardless of your employer.