Since its inception in 2007, the U.S. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program has helped promote financial inclusion for people burdened by student loan debt. The program allows individuals who work in certain full-time public service professions with eligible employers – such as government, military or nonprofit – to have their student loan debt considered for forgiveness after making 120 qualifying payments.
To better support public service workers in living their financial best, Equifax Workforce Solutions launched a new feature within The Work Number® service that allows employees to directly access and download the required PSLF application forms already pre-populated with their available information. This self-service feature assists the employer by helping complete their required fields and streamlines the process by giving more control to the employee. This is just one of the employer and employee service enhancements made to The Work Number in conjunction with the recent launch of the PeopleHQ portal.
Based on Federal Student Aid (FSA) January 2023 statistics, between November 9, 2020, through January 31, 2023, over 15,000 individuals’ forms did not meet employment certification requirements specifically due to errors with the employment dates (e.g., dates before program started, before loan disbursement or end dates prior to start dates) even though they have direct loans and worked for an eligible employer.
“Research shows when employees are financially stressed, they are less productive, less engaged and more likely to leave their job, so employers are increasingly looking for opportunities to help support their employees’ financial wellness,” said Adrien Borger, Senior Director Product Management for The Work Number at Equifax Workforce Solutions. “Our latest feature within The Work Number helps streamline the process for public service employees, which can support their efforts to gain student debt relief and help increase their financial well being.”
Available to employers using The Work Number as part of PeopleHQ, The Work Number PSLF feature provides benefits for employers and employees alike. Some specific benefits are:
minimizes HR workload with automated service and HR signature,
reduces the risk of manual entry mistakes, by utilizing employer payroll information,
maintains better employee privacy and allows flexible PSLF application timing through self-service access.
In order to generate their individual paperwork, an employee can simply visit employees.theworknumber.com to log in, select PSLF from the Letters Center and choose the appropriate Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN) with a designated “friendly name” assigned by the employer. Employees will be asked to review and confirm pre-populated data in five simple steps. If the employee alters personal data, the HR signature is removed so the HR team can review any changes for accuracy.
Additionally, Equifax Workforce Solutions is working together with Savi, a social impact technology company that helps borrowers better manage repayment and apply for loan forgiveness. Through this relationship, employees receive access to a free assessment tool, student debt counseling, and digital applications so they can more easily navigate the complexities of PSLF plans and forms, helping to reduce debt. With the rising cost to retain talent, employers can more easily support their employees' efforts to help them reduce financial stress while better increasing results, goodwill, and retention.
To learn more about The Work Number and our PSLF feature, click here.