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Under new regulations effective July 1, 2021, clergy and religious workers may now qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

According to attorney Adam Minsky writing for Forbes.com, the PSLF program was launched in 2007 as a way to help those working in public service with their student loan debt. Under the program, an individual who meets the program qualifications including performing qualifying work for a qualifying employer may submit an application to have their student loans forgiven.

When the program was first initiated, religious work was not considered qualifying work and was specifically excluded from PSLF eligibility. These new regulations, now in effect, have expanded PSLF eligibility to include time spent on religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing as part of the job responsibilities being counted toward meeting the full-time employment requirement.

The Department of Education has updated its website to reflect this change in the definition of full-time employment and qualifying work.

While the expansion of PSLF for clergy may be good news for many, Minsky cautions student loan borrowers to be aware of certain challenges. The program continues to struggle with application backlogs and low approval rates. Also, there is no guarantee that the program will continue in the future. The federal government could end or alter the program at any time.

To learn more and determine eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, visit the helpful tool at the Federal Student Aid website.

Source ECFA

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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

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