To participate in this program, your federal loans must be issued through the Direct Loan Program. As mentioned above, PSLF benefits are activated after you have made 120 qualifying payments on your student loan. So, after enrolling in the PSLF, start making payments on an income-driven repayment plan as soon as you can. Next, you’ll need to file a Certification of Employment to show that your employer qualifies for the program. If you start making qualifying payments after July 1, 2017, you can claim your benefits in August 2027.