Publication Date: August 15, 2012
Subject: Revised Direct Loan and FFEL Program Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application and Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Request
Summary: This letter announces the approval of revised versions of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application and Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Request forms for use by borrowers in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program and the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, and provides guidance on implementation of the revised forms.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved revised versions of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application and Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Request forms under OMB Control Number 1845-0059 with an expiration date of May 31, 2014. The revised forms replace the previously approved versions that have an expiration date of March 31, 2011, and are intended for use in both the Direct Loan and FFEL programs.
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application is used by borrowers to apply for loan forgiveness after they have completed at least five, consecutive, complete academic years of qualifying teaching service at a low-income elementary or secondary school, or for a low-income educational service agency.
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Request is used by borrowers to apply for forbearance while they are completing their qualifying teaching service prior to applying for loan forgiveness. A borrower may receive forbearance while performing qualifying teaching service only if the borrower’s expected maximum loan forgiveness benefit (up to $5,000, or up to $17,500 for teachers in certain specialties) will satisfy the borrower’s anticipated total outstanding loan balance at the time forgiveness is granted following the end of the fifth year of qualifying teaching service.
In general, the revised Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application and Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Request do not differ significantly from the previously approved versions. The most substantive changes are the following:
- References to educational service agencies have been added where necessary throughout the forms. The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 amended the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, to provide that an otherwise eligible borrower may qualify for teacher loan forgiveness based on teaching service performed as an employee of an eligible educational service agency. Accordingly, the forms have been revised to cover borrowers who teach at either a low-income elementary or secondary school, or for a low-income educational service agency, and a definition of “educational service agency” has been added to the “Definitions” section of each form. In addition, three new check boxes have been added to Section 2 of each form for the borrower to indicate whether his or her qualifying teaching service was performed at an eligible elementary school, at an eligible secondary school, or for an eligible educational service agency. The U.S. Department of Education’s (the Department’s) National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) will be modified to collect the eligible institution type (elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency) from program participants that process teacher loan forgiveness applications and forbearance requests. Future communications will provide more information on NSLDS reporting requirements associated with this change.
- The definition of “chief administrative officer” has been revised to more closely reflect the Department’s longstanding guidance that the individual who is authorized to certify the borrower’s qualifying teaching service may vary depending on the borrower’s employer and is not limited to the principal, assistant principal, or superintendent. The revised definition clarifies that the chief administrative officer is the official who has access to employment records that establish the borrower’s eligibility for loan forgiveness and who is authorized to verify the borrower’s employment.
The following forms are included as attachments to this letter, in both Microsoft Word and PDF format:
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application (TLFA)
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Request (TLFA)
Implementation and Transition to the Revised Forms
Program participants may begin distributing the attached OMB-approved forms to borrowers immediately. Beginning December 31, 2012, only the revised Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application and Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Request with the May 31, 2014 expiration date may be distributed to borrowers. However, the previous version of the forms with the March 31, 2011 expiration date may continue to be accepted from borrowers and processed after that date.
To accommodate imaging technology, each of the attached forms requires the borrower to complete and sign the form in ink. However, a pencil signature does not invalidate a form.
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application and Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Request must be printed using black ink on white paper. The typeface, point size, and general presentation of the forms may not be changed. Program participants should pre-print their name and address and provide a contact number in the section of each form that tells the borrower where to send the completed loan forgiveness application or forbearance request. Space at the top, bottom, or sides of the forms may be used for bar coding. No changes to, deletions from, or additions to the language of the attached documents are permitted.
Obtaining Copies for Reproduction
The forms are available in Microsoft Word and PDF format as attachments to this letter. In addition, they are available on the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs (NCHELP) web site at www.nchelp.org.
Guaranty agencies are responsible for ensuring that the forms they use are identical to the OMB-approved forms attached to this letter. No changes may be made to the forms except as expressly authorized above.
Jeff Baker, Director
Policy Liaison and Implementation
Federal Student Aid
U.S. Department of Education