I have student loans totaling $14,000. I began repayment 9 years ago, but took deferment while in grad school for about 18 months, and then CARES act automatically put my loan into forbearance in March 2019, so I have another period of 22 months without payment. Do both of these periods count against my repayments required for PSLF? The PSLF waiver FAQ says, "Under the new, temporary rules, any prior period of repayment will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan program, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time." Is deferment or Covid forbearance a 'period of repayment'?

(I am 2 months from the 10 years public service employment requirement.)

Am I one year, three years, or five years from qualifying?


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    When it comes to the PSLF, don’t assume anything. Read all you can, but make sure you talk to your loan servicer and ask them questions. Too many people apply for forgiveness and get rejected for not understanding the technicalities. studentloanplanner.com/pslf-discharge-approval-rate
    – Ben Miller
    Dec 17, 2021 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


From your link, I would read this (first under "Unchanged"):

Make 120 payments or the equivalent

to mean that you do need to make 120 payments (10 years of 12 payments per year) in order to qualify for PSLF, so periods of forbearance where you do not make payments for that period do not help you. It sounds like you've made payments from 2012->2019, so if that is Jan 2012 to Mar 2019, that would be 7*12+3=87 payments, minus 18 for grad school, so 69 payments in total; just over half of the 120 payments you need.

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