Occupational Therapy Loan Forgiveness: Occupational therapists (OT) can do a lot by helping others, but it comes at a cost. Though the median pay for occupational therapists as of 2017 is $83,200 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational therapists are six figures in debt, and in many cases, closer to multiple six figures.
If you love your job but feel saddled with enormous debt, know that there are options for available. In this guide; I will cover occupational therapy loan forgiveness and repayment assistance that can help you manage the overwhelming rise of your student loan debt.
Occupational Therapy Loan Forgiveness
Occupational therapy (OT) is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations; of individuals, groups, or communities. As an occupational therapist they are many loan forgiveness programs just for you. I have carefully highlighted them below;
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Occupational therapists who want to get their loans forgiven in a relatively short time period with no tax consequences should apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Under this program, you can work at a government agency, or a nonprofit healthcare organization or hospital and get your loans forgiven after 10 years of service.
After 10 years of service at an eligible organization with 120 payments made under your belt, your remaining federal student loans may be forgiven. This can be a great option if you’re willing to work in the public sector.
Depending on the size of your debt, it may seem completely unmanageable. If that’s the case, signing up for income-driven repayment(IDR) can help. Under IDR, your monthly payments are set at a specific percentage of your discretionary income, between 10 to 20 percent based on your plan.
Under one of the four income-driven repayment plans, you can get your loans forgiven if you still have a balance after 20 to 25 years, depending on your repayment term. The options are:
Pay As You Earn
Revised Pay As You Earn
Each of these repayment options has their own eligibility requirements so it’s best to talk to your loan servicer about what’s the best fit. Just be aware that you’ll be liable for taxes related to your forgiven loans under IDR.
Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program
Many of the health-related forgiveness programs afforded to doctors and nurses don’t extend to occupational therapists. But with the Indian Health Service loan repayment program, occupational therapists are eligible.
Under this occupational therapy loan forgiveness program, you can get up to $40,000 in student loan repayment assistance after serving two years in facilities that work with American Indians and Alaska Native communities. Opportunities are based on the needs of the community.
Refinance Student Loans
If working in the public sector or paying your loans for up to 25 years isn’t part of your plans, you might want to look at refinancing your student loans. Though this route isn’t technically occupational therapy loan forgiveness, it can help you get out of debt faster.
How? Refinancing works by providing you with a refinanced loan at a lower interest rate. That loan pays off your student loans. Then, you have just the one refinancing loan at a lower interest and different repayment term.
In some cases, you could save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. Using the extra dough, you can obliterate part of your principal balance, too.
Never the less though this option is great for saving money, you will give up the option to pursue PSLF or IDR. Additionally, each refinancing company has their own eligibility requirements. But many of them allow you to check your prospective rate before applying.
Occupational Therapy Loan Forgiveness Jobs
In some cases, you may be able to get occupational therapy student loan repayment assistance from your employer. Here are some highlighted jobs you might like;
Mercy Miami Hospital – Miami, FL
The staff occupational therapist is also responsible for providing occupational therapy to patients/customers throughout the lifespan and able to provide age…
Estimated: $74,000 – $100,000 a year
Genesis Rehab Services – Rawlins, WY
The Occupational Therapist is responsible for organizing and conducting occupational therapy programs to facilitate rehabilitation.
The Occupational Therapist II develops and delivers comprehensive occupational therapy programs to patients requiring these services. 1.0 (40 hours per week).
Estimated: $67,000 – $96,000 a year
Raulerson Hospital – Okeechobee, FL
Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy Required. Current Florida Occupational Therapy (OT) License Required. Full Time, Day Shift, 0.9 FTE.
Estimated: $77,000 – $110,000 a year
Skyline Medical Center – Nashville, TN
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and registered occupational therapist. TriStar Skyline Medical Center is currently looking for…
Estimated: $69,000 – $97,000 a year
St. Mark’s Hospital – Salt Lake City, UT 3.8
National Board Certification for Occupational Therapists. The Occupational Therapist is responsible for providing a full range of occupational therapy services…
Estimated: $74,000 – $94,000 a year
Continuum Rehabilitation – New Haven, CT
Salary & Benefits based on therapist schedule: Continuum Rehabilitation is a rapidly growing therapy provider in search of a talented and motivated Occupational…
Estimated: $67,000 – $89,000 a year
Research Medical Center – Kansas City, MO
The Occupational Therapist functions as a member of the healthcare team. Missouri State Occupational Therapy License. You contribute to our success.
Estimated: $81,000 – $100,000 a year
West Florida Hospital – Pensacola, FL 3.9
The Occupational Therapist (OT) is responsible for the evaluation, planning, directing and administering of occupational therapy modalities of treatment as…
Estimated: $69,000 – $99,000 a year
For more occupational therapy loan forgiveness jobs, go to the website. OTPotential.com
Unfortunately, occupational therapy doesn’t have a ton of loan forgiveness options like some other health-related professions. Though there has definitely been a push to try and recognize the need for occupational therapy loan forgiveness and repayment assistance.
You can check out the programs above to get help or check in with us about your student loan options. I recommend the PSLF or PAYE or REPAYE options, but of course, it depends on your situation.