Student Loan Forgiveness in North Carolina: Top 5 Programs to Consider.
Student Loan Forgiveness in North Carolina – North Carolina has beautiful beaches, wild horses and nightlife towns to boast. The amount of student debt that its people bear is what it can’t boast about. An average, students from North Carolina graduate with a student loan debt of $34,610. And overall, 6.9 percent of them owe more than six student loan debt amounts.
Such figures may not be as surprising as some of the most prestigious schools, including Duke University, are home to North Carolina. North Carolina, however, is not oblivious to the issue in student loan debt. To help its residents handle student loan debt, it has several state-specific loan forgiveness programs in place.
Below are the North Carolina student loan forgiveness programs to look out for.
5 student Loan Forgiveness Programs in North Carolina
Loan forgiveness services are for those in public service in North Carolina. It includes doctors, nurses, specialists in mental health, lawyers and teachers. For each forgiveness program, be sure to look into the eligibility criteria to see if you qualify.
1. North Carolina State Loan Repayment Program
The Rural Health Department of North Carolina administers the North Carolina State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). The program helps mental health providers in rural and underserved areas to provide primary and clinical care.
The places you can serve vary and are dependent on need. The positions are, but not limited to:
- Federal Community Health Centers (also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHCs)
- State-Sponsored Rural Health Centers
- County Health Departments
- State Mental Health Hospitals
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Centers
- Community Mental Health Facilities
The SLRP needs two years of service from North Carolina. Enhanced student loan repayment is also available. This can only be done if an extra one-year deal is offered. The sum paid is based on the amount of available educational loans, working hours per week and working at an integrated care facility. You will obtain a loan forgiveness of up to $50,000.
2. North Carolina Legal Education Assistance Foundation program
You may be eligible for the North Carolina Legal Education Assistance Foundation NC LEAF loan repayment program if you are a lawyer working in North Carolina and have received your approved degree in the past 10 years. To motivate law school graduates to join and continue in the public service, NC LEAF is in effect. Lawyers are required to comply with the following requirements:
- Work full time in a North Carolina qualifying public service job
- Be in good standing with the North Carolina Bar
- Must first use other sources of loan forgiveness available; this includes Loan Repayment Assistance Programs offered by employers
- Annual gross income from all sources may not exceed $55,000 for a single person or $95,000 jointly
- Must have at least $10,000 of student loan debt
- Must receive monthly bills from a law school loan provider
If you meet these requirements, you can receive up to $400 of monthly help to repay your student loans. The total amount of forgiveness can’t exceed $4800 annually.
3. Forgivable Education Loans for Service
The Forgivable Education Loans for Services (FELS) program offers student loan forgiveness for North Carolina resident students pursuing their degree. This loan is administered by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. Your degree can be in any of the following fields:
In these areas, there are limitations on which region of specialization you select. However, for undergraduate and graduate school, the program is open only to certain areas. Check the list of approved education programs to see if you apply for your degree.
To order to qualify for grants for undergraduate or graduate programs, FELS students must be enrolled for at least six credit hours per course. You also need to be willing to work in a vital shortage position approved by North Carolina.
You must also maintain a certain minimum cumulative GPA in addition to being in the approved program and agreeing to participate, and your loans must be in good standing. You can’t match this loan repayment scheme with any other state or federal loan forgiveness program.
For your undergraduate degree, you can apply for a maximum of $20,000; $20,000 for a master degree and up to $56,000 for a doctoral degree. A loan for one academic year is usually forgiven in exchange for a full-time work year. Loans would increase interest at a rate of 8 percent per year from the date of the disbursement of the loan. You will repay the loan in cash if you do not complete the required service after graduation.
4. North Carolina Loan Repayment Program
Another loan forgiveness program, the North Carolina Loan Repayment Program (NC LRP), is provided by the Rural Health Office in North Carolina. This is an incentive for health care providers to apply. You need to be able to provide a qualifying facility with primary care facilities. The facility must be classified as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) to support those with high needs. It must also be accredited or work towards this qualification as a place of theNational Health Service Corps (NHSC) site
At one of these services, you must agree to a four-year service commitment. During this time, you must provide on-site clinical practice for at least 32 hours a week. This is perceived to be the level of full time. If you want to work less, you will receive at least 20 hours per week of prorated compensation for part-time work.
Doctors and dentists are able to receive a loan repayment of up to $100,000. Nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and dental hygienists may seek loan forgiveness of up to $60,000.
5. Loan Repayment Assistance Programs
If you’re a lawyer, you may also want to look into the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) options available. The University of North Carolina offers an LRAP for public service practicing lawyers. Another common program in many states is the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program. You’ll need to investigate which programs are currently open.
To find all the LRAP programs that are open in North Carolina, go to the American Bar Association state LRAP contacts page to connect with your representative.
It’s a good idea to meet your state contact for specific questions with any of the above services. When you consider that you are not eligible for these loan forgiveness services for students in North Carolina, you can look at the federal loan forgiveness.
Federal student loan forgiveness options for North Carolina
Federal student loan forgiveness programs are offered by the U.S. Department of Education. If you have federal student loans, you could be eligible. The federal student loan forgiveness programs include:
- Income-driven repayment plan loan forgiveness
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness
- Perkins Loan cancellation program
There are different eligibility criteria for each of these loan forgiveness programs. These may be some of the best ways to wipe out your student loan debt entirely.
Usually, government loan waiver plans can not be used while you are participating in a federal loan forgiveness program. If you still have student loan debt, you can enroll in and complete a government loan forgiveness program, or participate in a federal loan forgiveness program.
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What if you don’t qualify for these loan forgiveness programs?
Private student loans aren’t eligible for either state or federal loan forgiveness programs. If you have private loans, you have two options:
- Refinance your private student loans at a lower rate: You can refinance your private student loans while pursuing a forgiveness program with your federal student loans, if you have both types. When refinancing your private student loans, shop around and compare both interest rates and loan terms.
- Seek a student loan lawyer: If your private student loans aren’t in good standing, you may be getting calls from debt collectors. The statute of limitations for a lender to sue you for unpaid debt is three years in North Carolina. Ideally, you didn’t miss any payments.
If you’re still a student, academic scholarships and grants should be completed. There are numerous opportunities for North Carolina to help fund your school education. It even gives fellowships to teachers who want to go back to school and work. On the website of the North Carolina State Education Assistance Agency, you can find the full list of current programs.
It is important to come up with a strategy when you weigh your student loan repayment options, because there are plenty of repayment approaches to consider for your own situation.