Myth: Private Loans Can Qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness can be quite a relief.

Flickr user Lorenia

Qualifying for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) can be a huge relief for federal loan borrowers. After some hard work in the public service sphere, graduates can find their debt vanishing.

So, if students with private loans do the same thing—work as teachers, enlist in the military, work for the government, join a non-profit—could they qualify for PSLF?

In short: No. Let’s break it down.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Is a Federal Program

Federal program, federal loans. Unfortunately, despite your humanitarian efforts and dedicated payments, private student loans are not eligible for forgiveness. Ideally, you should have taken out federal loans before you took out private loans, so be sure to check out your eligibility for the fed loans.

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Variable APR from 1.87% – 5.33%
Fixed APR from 2.30% – 5.96%

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Are There Any Private Loan Forgiveness Programs?

The PSLF is a specific program, but are there any similar opportunities out there for private loans? Yes! Most programs are relatively new and have stringent requirements, but they’re out there. Some are on the state level, others are for particular fields, some are even based on which lender your loan comes from. Make sure you do plenty of research into the programs before you apply.

Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side.


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.88% - 5.64%*
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.79%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 1.90% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.75%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.80% - 9.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.15% - 9.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.64% - 5.65%*
Fixed APR: 2.25% - 5.75%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 1.96% - 7.02%*
Fixed APR: 2.59% - 6.94%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.97%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 1.87% – 5.33%**
Fixed APR: 2.30% – 5.96%**
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT Nelnet
Variable APR: 2.94% - 4.84%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 4.94%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 2.47% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS

*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

**Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.

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