The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is a well-intended federal student loan program that, if navigated correctly, will erase federal Direct student loans after 10 years. However, 98% of the student loan borrowers that apply for the forgiveness are rejected according to government records. GradFin created a PSLF membership program to help borrowers get into compliance with PSLF and ensure their payments are counted correctly, helping borrowers successfully navigate the loan forgiveness process.
GradFin interviewed Dr. Megan Phillips to discuss her success with the PSLF program and how she achieved forgiveness on a $330,000 federal student loan in September 2020. We are excited to share her story with you.
Megan, we are so excited for the successful outcome of the forgiveness on your federal student loans. First and foremost, how does it feel to have this loan finally forgiven by the federal government?
It’s surreal. Making payments every month for the last 10 years has been a sacrifice, and it has cost me a lot of money. Since COVID-19 arrived in March, my salary has been cut by 20%, and there was real talk about layoffs and furloughs – so I was thinking to myself: I only have a few payments left until I’m eligible for forgiveness, are they still going to accept my application if my hours are reduced?
Fortunately, my application was accepted, and those fears are now quelled. Now at work, I feel less of a prisoner to my student loans. You know you have to work at a nonprofit organization to stay in compliance with PSLF, so that weight has been lifted and I feel more freedom financially and professionally.
Really, I just can’t believe it. There’s been so much negative talk around PSLF, I felt like everything had to be perfect. I got the chills when I saw $0 on my student loan balance.
How did you hear about GradFin? Why did you find it necessary to enroll in GradFin’s PSLF Membership Program?
I heard about GradFin through my Financial Advisor who I’ve been working with for the last 5 years. He’d done some work with GradFin in the past for his wife. He was helping me a great deal and mentioned that there was a company I should speak with for assistance with PSLF. I trust my Financial Advisor, so I agreed.
In addition, I wanted to make absolutely sure that my student loans were going to be forgiven. From what I’ve read and from what my Financial Advisor said, GradFin really knows the ins and outs of PSLF. I wanted to know with complete certainty that I was going to successfully navigate the forgiveness process.
How did enrolling in GradFin’s PSLF Membership Program change your experience with PSLF?
It was comforting having GradFin’s knowledge, expertise, and backing. I consistently had three-way meetings with my Financial Advisor and GradFin. I really needed their assistance to get into compliance and it provided me with peace of mind. They told me exactly what I had to do and how to do it.
There were steps in the process that I would have never known about, and the loan servicers were always wrong. They would tell me, “You owe 5 more payments, and now you owe 10 more payments.” GradFin would call the loan company and resolve the situation for me.
I left my trust in my Financial Advisor and GradFin, and we all worked together to ultimately get it done.
You were able to successfully take advantage of over $300,000 in tax-free loan forgiveness through PSLF. This is obviously an incredible achievement for you. Given your unique insight on PSLF, would you recommend the program to other student loan borrowers? For those pursuing PSLF, do you recommend inquiring about GradFin’s PSLF Membership Program?
Definitely. It’s a financial sacrifice, and it’s tough when you’re making a resident’s salary, but it is so worth it. To be honest, I think I’m still a little in shock, and I can’t believe it in a sense because there has been so much negativity around PSLF.
All you ever hear about is the horror stories where this person’s application was rejected, and this other person was unable to take advantage of the program. But if you do it right and connect yourself with the right resources, the reward is enormous.
After this experience, I recommend PSLF and GradFin’s Membership program to anyone who’s interested. I have recommended it to my nephew and many of my colleagues.
*This interview represents a true account of a GradFin client. For privacy reasons, GradFin did not disclose the client’s actual name.
If you are interested in learning more about our PSLF Membership Program, click here.