Public Student Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification

Overview

The Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after an individual has made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan, while working full-time for a qualifying employer

The process requires your employer to certify your employment so that eligibility can be determined. The Office of Human Resources (OHR) certifies all NIH employment for the purposes of the PSLF Program.  

OHR certifies any current or previous federal employment with the NIH, and any previous employment with another HHS Operating Division (e.g., CDC, FDA, IHS) if we are currently in possession of your personnel records. NIH no longer has access to your records if you are presently employed by another HHS Operating Division. We also cannot certify any employment with another federal agency.  Please contact the HR Office in your current HHS Operating Division or your other federal agency to certify your service.

Visit the Department of Education website for more information on PSLF.

Important

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) and the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) are distinct and separate incentives. The Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) permits agencies to repay Federally insured loans up to $10,000 annually ($60,000 lifetime) as a recruitment or retention incentive upon an employee signing a service agreement. Such repayments are made directly to the lending institution.

If an employee receiving an SLRP benefit also applies for PSLF forgiveness, they may receive a refund check if the PSLF application is approved prior to the SLRP payment being disbursed.

SLRP payments may only be applied to the current loan balance, the employee is not entitled to any payments after a loan has been forgiven. Employees should contact their Recruitment, Staffing, and Classification Contact(s) for information about how to return these funds.

Information on your application

  • Employer: National Institutes of Health
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN): 31-1575142
  • Address: 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892 US
  • Website: nih.gov
  • Employment Begin Date: Effective Date on appointment/first SF-50
  • Employment Begin Date: Effective Date on separation SF-50

Certification process

Step #1: Locate your Recruitment, Staffing, and Classification Contact(s) by Institute or Center (IC). 

Step #2a (Current NIH Employees Only): Send your PSLF application to your Recruitment, Staffing, and Classification Contact(s) via a secure email using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) encryption or the NIH Secure Email and File Transfer Service.

Step #2b (Non-NIH Employees): Send your Recruitment, Staffing, and Classification Contact(s) an email but do not attach your PSLF application. You will receive a reply email from the NIH Secure Email and File Transfer Service or SEFT.  Follow the instructions in the email to register your email account with SEFT, allowing you to securely email your PSLF application to your HR contact.

OHR cannot modify PSLF applications. If you are unsure of any information on your application, including dates of employment, please contact us first.

We will return all incomplete applications, and applications containing errors.

Step #3: Your HR Contact will review, certify and provide you with a copy via email.

Certification Timeframes

  • Current NIH Employees:  2-3 business days.  
  • Non-NIH Employees – response time will vary depending on the availability of employment records.

Digital signatures

Signatures must be hand drawn. The Department of Education has strict rules on digital signatures. Typed signatures, even if made to mimic a hand-drawn signature, or security certificate-based signatures are not accepted. Please familiarize yourself with the regulations before signing your PSLF application.

Allowed Signature Types
Signature Type Allowed?
Hand drawn from signature pad, mouse, or finger Yes
Typed using a cursive font or any other font No
A scanned photo of a signature that was hand-drawn on paper Yes
Digital certificate-based signature No
A wet signature that was drawn in ink and sent to us in its original format Yes

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