All About Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) with Nika Booth – EP 245

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As the deadline for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Waiver draws near, we offer you an important episode breaking down the myths, steps, and ways to get your application approved. If you remotely think you might be able to benefit from this or are on PSLF and there are payments you don’t think qualify, you have to listen to this episode. We’ll get to hear straight from Nika who is working within that program and is in her debt payoff journey, a comprehensive explanation of PSLF and the things we need to be aware of. 

There’s enough changes in the PSLF that make it worth it to at least try.


  • Hearing your Bill of the Week. We air every Bill of the Week we get and that’s a lot. Even the bill we in our early days that just went “who dis?” Because of that it can take a little while to hear yours. Don’t want to wait? We now have a way for you to skip the line by taking us out to coffee. You don’t even have to be there for the coffee, you probably won’t be there. By joining our Patreon for $5 a month you get priority placement for Bill of the Week and not only that, you also get a bonus member episode where you ask us the questions, like what are Jill’s favorite frugal smoothie recipes, and a free Frugal Friends bumper sticker. Join the fun at

Nika Booth is an award-winning debt expert, personal finance content creator, and the founder of Debt Free Gonnabe. She’s on a journey to tackle her 6-figure debt and has paid off over $75,000 so far. Nika created Debt Free Gonnabe to document and share her journey and teaches others how to better manage their money and pay off debt, without sacrificing fun. You can follow Nika’s debt payoff journey on Instagram at @debtfreegonnabe and check out her blog at

The complexity of student loan debt

Nika finds it extremely complex that it’s almost ridiculous. When Nika knew a client from her coaching session who was pursuing a student loan that had 14 different repayment plans. There’s so much confusion around the student loans, updates and announcements that come out seemingly every week or month which is why people are so confused on the process of student loan debt. 

Updates, effects, and fulfilment to the PSLF

Last year in October, the Department of Education announced this limited opportunity to basically help propel people towards PSLF and have their loans forgiven. In previous years, the approval rate was anywhere between 2% of people who actually qualify for PSLF. They’re allowing late payment to apply towards the payment count. In addition to that, they’re also allowing a minimum of 12 months to count towards the payment requirement (no more than 36 months). They’re also allowing periods of deferment (military but not in school deferment) to count towards the payment of PSLF. Other updates related to PSLF are outlined in the PSLF limited waiver. 

Some of the most common reasons people get rejected

Nika noticed a lot of applicants get rejected for two of these reasons. One for not actually working for a qualifying employer. Nika has seen people not utilize the PSLF Help Tool on or the NEW employer search tool they have to know whether their employer qualifies for PSLF. The other common mistake is you cannot pass documents from your employer with digital signatures, the signatures have to be WET signatures or DRAWN-ON.

The new student loan forgiveness plan and PSLF

If you qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness Plan and PSLF, you will get both. One’s going to happen sooner than the other for a lot of people such as the 10 to 20 thousand dollar forgiveness that was announced in August will probably happen within the next few months before any PSLF takes place. For the student loan forgiveness plan, the application should be in October until Dec 21 2023 and it takes 4 to 6 weeks for it to be reflected on a borrower’s account so make sure to plan out your application weeks ahead of its deadline. 

Our biggest struggle in paying back student loans

  • Nika: Interest
  • Jill: Patience
  • Jen: Mindset. Starting and shame.

Get more from Nika Booth

Bill of The Week

Thank you Nika for sharing about your medical bill after having scary heart palpitations; having paid this off! (health savings account) 

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. Many of you know we have a private community where we do monthly money challenges and offer accountability groups. We want to congratulate one of our members for a big win.

When I decluttered my PJ/Bras/Etc, the storage space went from two drawers to one.

Just purchased some new items in this category, and because they won’t fit in the new, smaller space, I did what I always promise myself I will do (but don’t).

One in = one out

Congrats! If you want to check out our monthly challenge community head to to see what challenge we have coming up next.

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