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Public Service Loan Forgiveness Information for Clergy

8/11/2022

Clergy and employees of not-for-profit organizations engaged in faith-based work may now qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. However, time is of the essence. More favorable temporary rules expire October 31.

Below are helpful notes from the Center for Clergy Excellence, as they field questions on this topic:

  • No department in the Annual Conference Office can sign the employee verification form.
  • Each local church where the clergy person has served must complete the employee verification form, because the local church was the paying entity. 
  • It is appropriate for the SPRC chairperson, the chair of trustees, or the church finance staff-person or chair to sign the form and verify the clergy person was indeed employed by and paid by the church.
  • Clergy can log into Data Services at ngumc.org to retrieve your appointment history – use the link to the online journal and then look for the Directory and Service Record of Clergy Members section. Use this information to complete the Employment Verification form by providing the dates of employment for each church. Pre-filling as much of the form as possible for each church will speed up the process. Unless you had a mid-year move your appointment dates will be 7/1/XX-6/30/XX.
  • Use the clergy directory in Data Services to look up the church and the current pastors as she or he may need to help you obtain the name(s) and contact information of the person who needs to sign the form.
  • Ask the people completing the forms to sign and return them directly to you, this way you can upload the form with each employment entry on the PSFL application website. You have to have a form for each church, and you need record of consecutive years of service, so you need them all.
  • To take advantage of the Limited Temporary Waiver applicants must be in the process by 10/31/22:
    • New Rules for Qualifying Payments: 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. But you do continue to need qualifying employment. This change will apply to borrowers with Direct Loans, those who have already consolidated into the Direct Loan Program, and those who consolidate into the Direct Loan Program by Oct. 31, 2022.
Resources:
Wespath: Wespath.org/r/PSLF
StudentAid.gov: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service
Wespath Webinar: https://www.wespath.org/about-wespath/events/PSLF 
Duke Divinity School Webinar: Watch Zoom Recording 

Upcoming Webinar:
The Church Pension Group of the Episcopal Church will host an informational webinar on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program on September 7, 2:00 to 3:15 pm—and clergy and lay people from all denominations are welcome. Featuring Scott Filter from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the webinar will walk through the requirements for employees who work for religious and not-for-profit organizations, as well as the process for getting credit for current/past employment towards the 120 months needed for loan forgiveness. Register at: https://cpg.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0Ct94G4LQJmQEQel9ZCYHg

 


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