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Step 1: Pledge

Every American deserves a fair shot at higher education, but student debt has become a barrier to accessing the American Dream. Raise your voice for college affordability. Take the NEA Degrees Not Debt pledge.

NEA has recommended many solutions to lower student debt, including: more need-based aid (e.g., federal Pell Grants); affordable student loans; expanded loan-forgiveness programs; and state re-investment in higher education.

Step 2: Fasfa ID

icon 2Get a Federal Student Aid ID!

It provides you access to your Federal Student Aid and Loan records and allows you to apply for lower student loan repayment programs. You now need an FSA ID instead of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), four-digit PIN to log in. If you’re a student, parent, or borrower and you’re logging in to a U.S. Department of Education (ED) website – like fafsa.gov, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) at www. nslds.ed.gov, StudentLoans.gov, StudentAid.gov, and Agreement to Serve (ATS) at teach-ats.ed.gov – you will be asked to create new log-in credentials known as the FSA ID. It’s FREE and it’s EASY Step 1) Enter Personal Information Step 2) Submit Your FSA ID Application Step 3) Receive Your FSA ID s

If you have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then you have a four- digit PIN.

If you have a Federal Student Aid PIN, but have lost or forgotten it, you can request a duplicate by selecting Request a duplicate PIN from this home page.

  1. Enter Personal Information
  2. Submit Your PIN Application
  3. Receive Your PIN

The PIN may take 72 hours to arrive via email.

Step 3: Public Service

icon 3Do you want to be in the best position to have your student loans forgiven after working 10 years in public service?

Borrowers who work in public service jobs (such as education) often qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This means that loans could be completely forgiven after ten years of working and making payments. Use the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) form to keep track of your eligible employment and qualifying loan payments.

  1. Complete sections 1 and 2 of the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Form. An authorized official from the public service organization at which you are/were employed must complete Section 3, which provides details of how long you have been employed, what type of organization do you/did you work for and if your job considers you full-time or part-time.
  2. After section 3 has been completed, get the form back and mail the completed PSLF form to FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), the PSLF servicer, following the instructions on the form. Update the form annually or whenever you change jobs.
  3. FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) will review your Employment Certification form and based on the information provided by your employer, determine whether you qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Step 4: Payment

Are you an educator or education support professional eligible for lower payments?

There are different plans that may help you lower your monthly student loan repayments. The most common are Income Based Repayment (IBR), Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) and the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) plans.

Many other plans exist that could potentially save you money.

Find out which one is right for you!

Note: Private student loans you may have received are not federal loans and are not eligible for these repayment plan options. You can submit a complaint about private student loans, which are often issued by a bank, a credit union, your school, or another lending institution on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.

Step 5: Promote

icon 5Start and advance the conversations about NEA Degrees Not Debt and solutions to college affordability and student debt.

If you are interested in organizing on Degrees Not Debt give us a shout out at degreesnotdebt@nea.org.


RELATED ITEMS

Testimony of NEA board member Jim Grimes, House Education and the Workforce Committee Democrats, March 2, 2016

Download the PDF version of 5 Steps to Kick Student Debt.

Did you know…

...average student debt is $30,000?
…more than 33 million Americans qualify for Income Driven Repayment plans (IDR)?
…1/4th of the workforce qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?
NEA can help?