I have been in public service for 22 years and have been in repayment since 2007. I only recently found out about the TEPSLF/PSLF when it was announced on the news in October 2021!! I figured this as a "no brainer" as I calculated from memory at least 147 qualifying payments under the TEPSLF waiver. I filed my applications and actually received the results fairly quickly.(December 3rd). I received the results that I only qualified for 74 payments. My jaw dropped to floor. They (loan servicer) give you no real explanations when you try to call customer service for any help. You can tell they are reading from a script.
I pulled my total loan history from Federal Student Aid (former known as NDSLS) and it shows that information is completely missing years from 2008-2013. The loan servicer at that time failed to report ANY of my student loans and they have since gone out of business. That is five (5) years of payments un-accounted for!!!
I filed a complaint with FSA on the feedback website and also contacted the Ombudsman Office to start an investigation. I'm mortified that whomever is in charge of evaluating this stuff, just blew by the fact that total loan history goes BLANK from 2008 to 2013 without any explanation and they don't follow up on it. The Ombudsman office had me fax my Federal Income Tax records 1098-E showing interest that was paid during that time showing I obviously was making payments during those years. It is my only evidence since ACH, credit reports and bank records do not keep records beyond 7 years.
Will I get credit/qualifying payments for these missing years??
I think it's important to dive in a little here - but also realize mistakes and errors do happen.
A few follow-up questions:
- Who was your loan servicer (then and now)
- What type of student loans did you have?
- Did you ever consolidate your student loans?
- What repayment plans have you been on?
For reference, PSLF requires 4 main criteria:
1. Direct Student Loans
2. Qualifying Repayment Plan (income-driven)
3. Qualitying Employment
4. Each of the above 3, certified via the employment/PSLF application form, done for all 120 qualifying payments
TEPSLF is a special program designed to help fix issues with wrong repayment plan only. To qualify, you can get wrong repayment plan payments to count, but you need to make sure you've been on a qualifying repayment plan for the last 12 payments.
Finally, Biden's waiver. This is a special review that lasts until October 2022 only, where you can get wrong loan type fixed. This applies to those who may have had FFEL or Perkins loans.
Answering your questions..
-my loan servicer from 2008 - 2013 - was Direct Loan Servicing (Greenville, TX); 2014 Sallie-Mae for the first 6 months and then Navient until they transferred it to FedLoan Servicing to handle the PSLF process currently
-my loans were Direct Unsubsidized Consolidation ($105k)
-my loans were consolidated August 2008
-I have only been on an Extended Repayment plan (That plan prohibits me from PSLF, but does qualify now under the Biden waiver under TEPSLF
On the FSA website, it only shows my original loans from the late 1990's and then NAVIENT. There is nothing covering the years from 2008-2013??
The Biden waiver doesn't resolve the Extended Repayment Plan issue - Biden's waiver only fixes FFEL loan issues. TEPSLF (which is different and is a program that has been around about 3-4 years now) fixes wrong repayment plan issues, but you need to have the last 12 payments be qualifying. So if you haven't switched to a qualifying repayment plan, do it NOW! Then you can apply under TEPSLF.
Meanwhile, you did right by filing a request to get your payments counted from 2008-2013, but I don't think the Department of Education will move quickly on your application given you don't qualify under any program yet. But when you hit 12 months of qualifying payments, they should also have resolved the missing payments and you should get forgiveness.