Student Loan Forgiveness: If your student loan payments are unmanageable and a source of great stress, student loan repayment may be an enticing option to help reduce the debt burden. But what services are there and how are you applying?
In this guide, we will discuss how the largest and most popular student loan forgiveness programs will repay your student loans.
Federal student loan forgiveness programs
If you have federal student loans, there are various federal student loan forgiveness programs that you may be eligible for.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Do you have a government job or a non-profit job in the public sector? You may be eligible for Loan Forgiveness from the Public Service.
The program provides compensation for student loans to workers of the public sector after completing 10 years of service and making 120 contributions. You don’t have to make the payments sequential either. To qualify, apply annually to stay on top of eligibility, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Job Certification Form.
You will make the formal request for repayment for the Public Service Loan at the end of 10 years. One of the main benefits of this plan is that the forgiven debts are not considered taxable income, so you’ll just get your loans forgiven outright without any tax consequences.
Federal Perkins loan cancellation
Federal Perkins loan borrowers could have up to 100 percent of their loans forgiven by working as a teacher. In order to qualify, you must teach at a low-income school or work in special education, or teach math, science or any other subject in need.
Teachers who qualify can get their loans forgiven over a period of five years. Each year you can get a percentage of your loans forgiven:
- 15 percent for year one and year two
- 20 percent for year three and year four
- 30 percent for the fifth year
The good news is that this also includes some interest as well. Other occupations may be liable for termination as well. Of example, lenders in the military, a correction officer, firefighter or librarian may also be eligible to receive forgiven a portion of their loans. The map provided by the Federal Student Aid website can be checked to see the qualifying occupations as well as the amount forgiven.
When you’re ready to forgive the debts, you’ll have to go to the school that gave the loan or loan service to the Perkins. They will help you fill out the forms to get cancellation of Perkins Loan.
Income-driven repayment forgiveness
All four of the income-driven repayment (IDR) programs are also eligible for student loan forgiveness. The IDR plans are:
- Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
- Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
These four programs allow student loan borrowers to pay 10 to 15 percent of their discretionary income for 20 to 25 years. Depending on your plan and eligibility, if you have a student loan balance after making consistent payments over the 20 to 25 repayment period, you can get your loans forgiven.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Are you a teacher working in a low-income school or educational center? You could receive up to $17,500. In order to qualify, you must teach full-time for five consecutive years.
To get Teacher Loan Forgiveness, you must not have any balances on Direct or FFEL Loans as of October 1, 1998. Additionally, you must be deemed a “highly qualified teacher” and work at a qualifying low-income elementary or secondary school. Another thing to keep in mind is that Federal Perkins Loans and PLUS loans don’t qualify for this program.
What makes a “highly qualified teacher” varies depending on the grade level you teach but all teachers must have a degree and state certifications. You can read more of the criteria listed on the website of Student Aid.
To order to qualify for this scheme, the school you are teaching must be in the Annual List of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancelation Benefits (Low-Income School Directory).
Although the system offers repayment on student loans of up to $17,500, the amount you are forgiven depends on the subject you teach. Teachers in mathematics, science and special education may be eligible for the full amount. You may be eligible for up to $5,000 if you’re not under that umbrella.
You can apply for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application to receive student loan forgiveness after five years of service at a low-income school.
- Private Student Loans and method of Application
- Prosper Personal Loans 2020 Updates
- Nelnet Student Loan
- Scholarships for Low Income Students 2020
How To Qualify For Student Loan Forgiveness
You will want to recertify your program each year in order to qualify by submitting an application for a revenue-driven repayment plan. Keeping in touch with your loan service provider over the years will help you earn student loan forgiveness if there is still a balance at the end of the repayment period.
The downside of this form of student loan forgiveness is that after you get your loans forgiven, you could be met with a tax bill. The amount that is forgiven is considered taxable income, so start saving for taxes now if you intend to go this path.
How to qualify for student loan forgiveness by profession
Depending on your profession, there may be specific student loan forgiveness programs that you are eligible for. See below for various programs available, by profession.
1. Healthcare Professionals
Being a healthcare professional– whether you’re a doctor, a dentist with student loans, nurse, etc.– can be a rewarding job, but one that comes with a lot of debt. Luckily there are several student loan forgiveness programs designed just for healthcare professionals.
The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP) offers student loan repayment assistance to primary care clinicians in a variety of fields. In exchange for a two-year service commitment, applicants who work full-time can receive between up to $30,000 to $50,000 depending on where they serve.
Who is eligible for this program?
- Allopathic physicians (MD) — including psychiatry
- Osteopathic physicians (DO) — including psychiatry
- Physician’s Assistant (PA) — including mental health and psychiatry
- Nurse Practitioners (NP) — including mental health and psychiatry
- Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)
- Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
- Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD)
- Dental Hygienists
- Health Service Psychologists (HSP)
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
- Psychiatric Nurse Specialists (PNS)
- Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT)
- Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)
You must be a U.S. citizen, eligible to work at an NHSC facility, and a participant in the Medicaid, Medicare, and State Children’s Health Insurance Program to qualify.
Your application can be submitted online. It may take up to three weeks to complete the application process and provide the supporting documents. Further information about the curriculum and how to apply can be found on the NHSC website.
Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program may be available for registered nurses who work full-time in a suitable critical shortage facility in a designated high-need area.
When eligible for this plan, borrowers with a two-year service commitment will receive 60 percent of their student loans. With a third year of service, you can get an extra 25 percent of your student loans forgiven. At the moment, this software does not accept applications.
It’s no secret that lawyers are able to take on a huge amount of loans. Lawyers working in the public sector or legal assistance may be eligible for compensation assistance for student loans.
Aside from repayment programs related to general law, you may be able to find your state-specific student loan assistance. Each state will, of course, have its own eligibility requirements, but there are many options for public sector lawyers to work.
There are 24 LRAPs sponsored by the state, according to the American Bar.
The Loan Repayment Program for Veterinary Medicine (VMLRP) provides eligible veterinarians with student loans up to $25,000 in student loan repayment assistance for up to three years each year. Veterinarians also have to work in a specialized field of shortage. The application period for the program is currently closed, but search for updates with the VMLRP link.
The American Veterinary Medical Association is also has a list of state-specific loan repayment assistance programs.
The above-mentioned occupations have the most extensive opportunities for student loan forgiveness and compensation for repayment. Apart from these, teachers may have incentives for repayment for state-specific loans. The American Teachers Union has a searchable database that can be checked out. Loan forgiveness opportunities for all other occupations may be limited.
As you can see, there are numerous options available to repay student loans. Many are based on location, occupation, or need. Reading through the fine print, eligibility requirements and submitting a full application is critical.
Getting your details together and applying for one of these services will help relieve some tension and get you the support you need for student loan repayment.