Pursuing God’s call to ministry has caused many to assume financial burden. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a program that may allow individuals to get the remainder of their federal student loans discharged. Every ELCA rostered minister is receiving this email because of the potential benefit of the PSLF program.
Until July 2021, the PSLF program excluded church workers from consideration, but that exclusion has been removed, and many pastors and deacons may now be eligible. This is an opportunity for those who have served congregations or specialized ministries to greatly reduce the burden of their educational debt.
Determining whether you qualify for PSLF and completing the application process can be cumbersome, but there are resources available to help you. You can schedule an appointment with:
A financial counselor at LSS Financial Counseling, by calling 800-528-2926.A financial planner at Portico Benefit Services (for Portico plan members), by calling 800-922-4896 or booking online.
LSS Financial Counseling also provides a financial counseling blog with additional information.
Hear what your colleagues have said about the process:
“For the last decade, so many of our family’s everyday financial planning decisions were in some way affected by student loan debt from both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. We made decisions so that we could qualify for different repayment plans and stay on them so that we could meet other financial goals at the same time. When I applied for forgiveness through the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, I was skeptical — I had heard so many stories of disappointment. But then, a month or two later, I got an unassuming email informing me that my loan balance was $0. I couldn’t believe it. The feeling of relief and freedom was incredible — a true gift and jubilee.”
The waiver period, during which more people and loans qualify for PSLF, is currently scheduled to end Oct. 31, 2022, so don’t wait to act.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is pleased to once again partner with LSS Financial Counseling and Portico Benefit Services. They are here to help you navigate this unique opportunity.