List of Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

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List Of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

student loan forgiveness
“Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Arrive”

Have you ever wished your student loans would just go away? While there’s no way to snap your fingers and have your student loan debt magically disappear, there are ways to get it forgiven.

There are various student loan forgiveness programs out there for people who work in public service, education, and other areas. Some states are even helping debt-saddled graduates pay off their loans.

Whether you’re struggling with six-figure debt or looking for “free money” to pay off your student debt, student loan forgiveness programs could save the day.

 

 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program or P.S.L.F.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program helps people working in public service jobs. Professionals across a variety of fields can qualify for PSLF. For this program, it doesn’t matter what your job is as much as where you work.

After 120 payments, you could qualify for 100% loan forgiveness of your student loans.

 

Are you eligible?

To be eligible, you must be a full-time employee (30+ Hours) at a federal, state, or local government agency, Non-profit Organization or Religious-based nonprofits.

Do your loans qualify?

Here are the loans that qualify for PSLF:

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

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Federal Perkins Loans and Family Education Loans (FFEL) are only eligible for PSLF if you consolidate them first via a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Are there requirements?

  • Make 120 on-time payments towards the loans.
  • Payments must be under a qualifying plan. Qualifying plans are any income driven program. Some examples are as follows;
    • Income-Based Repayment (IBR),
    • Pay As You Earn Repayment (PAYE),
    • Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE),
    • Income-Contingent (ICR) and Standard Repayment.

*For most borrowers, it makes sense to get on an income-driven plan to maximize the amount you will have forgiven and lower your monthly payments.

  • Work full-time at a qualifying organization.

Want to determine your eligibility?

To make sure you’re eligible for PSLF, Contact a Guidance Counselor for a free assessment. The program requires recertification every year so having someone to guide you can be very beneficial.

Another important step is switching to an income-driven repayment plan. You’ll lower your monthly payments while extending your term to 20 or 25 years. If you stay on the standard plan, you won’t have any balance left to forgive after 10 years of payments.

Finally, you may wish to consolidate your student loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. This step is helpful if you have Perkins or FFEL Loans. Plus, it simplifies your monthly payments, so you’ll only have one loan to pay each month.

Want to determine your eligibility?

  1. Fill out and submit the Contact Me Form

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The complete amount of your federal student loans is eligible for forgiveness.

Forgiveness with Income-Based Repayment or I.B.R.

While this isn’t a forgiveness program in the typical sense, you can get your loans forgiven through the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program.

Through IBR, your student loan payments are capped at 10 to 15 percent of your discretionary income. After making consistent payments under IBR for 20 or 25 years (terms depend on when you borrowed), any remaining loan balance will be forgiven.

Under current tax law, loans that are forgiven under this program can be taxed as income. Keep this in mind when pursuing this program, so you are not surprised by a potentially large tax bill.

Are you eligible?

In the Income-Based Repayment plan, your payments on IBR must be less than what your payment would be under the Standard Repayment Plan. This is an easy requirement to meet if you have a large debt load compared to your income.

You can use the Repayment Estimator tool to help you calculate your payments and see if you qualify.

Do your loans qualify?

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct Grad PLUS loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized FFEL Stafford Loans
  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to grad students
  • Federal Perkins Loans, if consolidated
  • Direct Consolidation Loans, unless they repaid Parent PLUS Loans or FFEL Loans made to parents

Are there requirements?

Borrowers must make consistent payments for 20 or 25 years and update their loan servicers when their income changes. IBR is best for borrowers who expect to stay in low-paying fields but have high-figure debt loads.

Want to determine your eligibility?

To apply for Income-Based Repayment, Fill out and submit a Contact Me Form so a Guidance Counselor can contact you with more information.

Forgiveness with Pay As You Earn or P.A.Y.E.

Pay As You Earn is similar to Income-Based Repayment in that it isn’t a typical forgiveness plan, but you are eligible for forgiveness after a certain period of time.

The Pay As You Earn program caps your monthly payment at 10 percent of your discretionary income. Under the Pay As You Earn program, borrowers make payments for 20 years. Any remaining balance is then eligible for forgiveness.

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As with IBR, your forgiven balance may be treated as taxable income.

Are you eligible?

Your PAYE payments must be less than what they would be under the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan.

Do your loans qualify?

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct Grad PLUS loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized FFEL Stafford Loans, if consolidated
  • FFEL Loans made to grad students, if consolidated
  • Federal Perkins Loans, if consolidated
  • Direct Consolidation Loans, unless they repaid Parent PLUS Loans or FFEL Loans made to parents

Are there requirements?

You must make consistent payments under the program for 20 years in order to be considered for loan forgiveness. Your payments will be based on your income and family size. In order to qualify for the program, you need to be a new borrower as of Oct. 1, 2007, with a Direct Loan disbursement after Oct. 1, 2011.

Want to determine your eligibility?

To apply for this program, complete the form below and claim your risk-free assessment. Please be prepared to send in income documentation if requested.

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While pursuing student loan forgiveness programs or cancellation may seem like an easy option, it still takes years of repayment.

Forgiveness with Revised Pay As You Earn R.E.P.A.Y.E.

Revised Pay As You Earn works much the same way as Pay As You Earn. Under this plan, your payments will be capped at 10 percent of your discretionary income. Undergraduate loans are forgiven after 20 years and graduate school loans are forgiven after 25 years.

Unlike IBR and PAYE, however, there’s no income eligibility requirement to get on REPAYE. Anyone with eligible loans can apply.

That being said, you could end up with high monthly payments on REPAYE. If you start making a lot of money, you could end up paying more on REPAYE than you would on the standard 10-year plan.

Are you eligible?

Anyone with qualifying federal student loans is eligible for REPAYE.

Do your loans qualify?

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct Grad PLUS loans
  • FFEL Stafford Loans, if consolidated
  • FFEL PLUS Loans made to grad students if consolidated
  • Federal Perkins Loans, if consolidated
  • Direct Consolidation Loans, unless they repaid Parent PLUS Loans or FFEL Loans made to parents

Are there requirements?

Borrowers with undergraduate loans must make consistent payments for 20 years. Those with loans for graduate school or professional study must make payments for 25 years.

Want to determine your eligibility?

As with other income-driven plans, complete the form below and claim your risk-free assessment. Be prepared to send in income documentation if requested.

Forgiveness with Income-Contingent Repayment or I.C.R.

Income-Contingent Repayment also adjusts your monthly payments according to your income. You’ll either pay 20 percent of your discretionary income or what you’d pay on a fixed 12-year plan, whichever is less.

While ICR may not lower your payments as much as other plans, it does have one advantage. ICR is the only income-driven plan available to borrowers with Parent PLUS loans. If you have Parent PLUS loans, you can apply for ICR as long as you consolidate them first.

After 25 years of on-time payments, you’ll get the rest of your loan balance forgiven.

Are you eligible?

Anyone with eligible federal student loans is eligible for an ICR program.

Do your loans qualify?

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans made to grad students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans
  • FFEL Stafford Loans, if consolidated
  • FFEL Loans made to parents if consolidated
  • Parent PLUS Loans, if consolidated
  • Federal Perkins Loans, if consolidated

Are there requirements?

Anyone with loans listed above can apply for Income-Contingent Repayment.

Want to determine your eligibility?

As with other income-driven plans, complete the form below and claim your risk-free assessment.

 

Student loan forgiveness programs for teachers

Teachers are a key asset to the community and play an indispensable role in the lives of children. But it’s no secret that teachers are underpaid, which can affect how they pay back their student loans.

Fortunately, there are several loan forgiveness and repayment assistance programs for teachers. For instance, teachers can qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness or Federal Perkins cancellation. Below are some additional programs specifically for teachers.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

This national loan forgiveness program helps teachers pay back their student loans. You must work in a qualifying school for at least five consecutive years. Check out the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory to see if your school qualifies.

Loan forgiveness amounts vary depending on what subject you teach. Most elementary school teachers receive up to $5,000. Secondary school teachers who teach math, science, or special education could receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness.

Do your loans qualify?

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

Note that if you only have PLUS Loans, you’re not eligible for this student loan forgiveness programs for teachers.

Are there requirements?

  • You must teach in a qualifying organization. These include elementary and secondary schools, as well education service agencies, that serve low-income people for 5 years or more.
  • You cannot have loans that originated before Oct. 1, 1998.
  • Your loans must not be in default.
  • You have to work full-time as a teacher for five consecutive years.
  • You’re a highly qualified teacher, meaning you have state certification or a teaching license.

Want to determine your eligibility?

Contact a Guidance Counselor to help you make sure your application is completed properly here.

Student loan repayment assistance programs for teachers

The Teacher Forgiveness Program isn’t your only option for student loan help. Many states also offer loan repayment assistance for teachers. Most of these programs require state licensure, as well as a commitment to working for two years in a qualifying area.

The Iowa Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, for example, forgives up to 20 percent of a teacher’s student debt every year. The Teach for Texas Program gives yearly assistance to teachers in designated shortage areas.

 

Student loan forgiveness programs for nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals

Like teachers, nurses also have access to a variety of federal and state programs for loan forgiveness. The program is available to nurses all across the country!

Create an appointment now to see what you are entitled to!

Student loan repayment assistance programs for nurses

In addition to national programs, many states offer loan repayment assistance to nurses. The Illinois Nurse Educator Program, for example, awards up to $5,000 per year for four years to qualifying nurses and nurse educators in Illinois. The RISLA Nurse Educators Program offers the same for nurses in Rhode Island.

Loan repayment assistance for doctors and other healthcare professionals

Physicians have a number of options when it comes to student loan forgiveness programs. Most of these programs also award money. Here are some national and state forgiveness programs for doctors and other people in health care.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) loan repayment assistance

The NHSC program awards up to $50,000 to licensed health care providers. You must be a primary care doctor, dentist, or a mental or behavioral clinician. In exchange for this student loan assistance, you must commit to work for two years at an eligible site.

Students to Service Program

If you’re in your last year of medical service, you could qualify for significant loan assistance from the Students to Service Program. This student loan forgiveness programs provides up to $120,000. To qualify, you’ll commit to working as a primary health care provider at an approved site for three years.

Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Program

The IHS Loan Repayment Program encourages doctors to practice in American Indian and Alaskan Native communities. You must commit to two years of service. In exchange, the program will repay up to $40,000 of your student loans.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Programs

The NIH program offers aid to health professionals in research careers. If you commit to two years of research at a qualifying nonprofit, the program will repay up to $35,000 of your student loans.

Loan repayment assistance for lawyers

Law school isn’t cheap, but fortunately, some attorneys may qualify for student loan repayment assistance. Not only do lawyers have national and state programs, but some also get help from their former law schools. If you’re an attorney, make sure to explore all your options for student loan forgiveness.

Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program

Lawyers who work for three years at the Department of Justice could earn up to $60,000 in loan assistance. To qualify, you must have at least $10,000 in federal loans.

John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

The John R. Justice program helps lawyers in the public sector. If you’re a public defender, you could earn up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of $60,000.

Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program

This student loan forgiveness programs repays up to $5,600 in student loans to about 70 attorneys each year. Besides being employed in a qualifying organization, there’s not much you can do to qualify. The program uses a lottery system to pick a few lucky recipients every year.

State and university-sponsored LRAPs

Like teachers and doctors, lawyers may also qualify for state or local repayment assistance programs. The Florida Bar Foundation, for instance, awards up to $5,000 to lawyers in Florida.

Plus, some universities help their alumni pay back their loans. The University of Virginia School of Law, for instance, will cover up to 100 percent of student debt for graduates who make less than $55,000 per year. With this incentive, the law school seeks to encourage its students to work in public service.

Beyond checking your state for LRAPs, find out if your law school helps its graduates pay back their loans.

Student loan repayment assistance programs for other careers

Most state LRAPs award loan assistance to professionals in exchange for two years of service. The most common occupations are doctors, nurses, teachers, and lawyers, but some other career paths qualify, too.

Several LRAPs for doctors, for instance, help out pharmacists and veterinarians. Other programs award people in STEM careers, like the Alfond Leaders Program in Maine.

Even if you’re not a doctor, teacher, or lawyer, check your state’s offerings to find out if it has a loan repayment assistance program for you.

Military student loan forgiveness programs and assistance

Not only does the military offer loan forgiveness for Army and Navy doctors, but it also helps armed forces members and veterans. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Guard all offer loan repayment assistance programs.

The Army’s College Loan Repayment Program, for instance, pays one-third of your loans every year for three years. In total, you could get up to $65,000 in aid. The Navy program also awards up to $65,000, and the National Guard LRAP contributes up to $50,000.

Student loan discharge for special circumstances

While student loan discharge isn’t the same as forgiveness, it could leave you debt-free. In rare circumstances, borrowers can get their student loans canceled outright.

In fact, there are six situations when you could qualify for student loan discharge. These are the options:

  • Closed school discharge
  • Student loan discharge in bankruptcy
  • Loan cancellation for Total and Permanent Disability
  • Discharge for false certification or unauthorized payment
  • Unpaid refund discharge
  • Borrower defense discharge

If you think you could qualify or want to learn more, speak with your loan servicer, contact a Guidance Counselor Now

Other options for managing your student loans

Not everyone qualifies for student loan forgiveness Programs. If you’re ineligible but are struggling to pay your loans, here are a few approaches that could help:

When it comes to student loans, you don’t have to stick with your original repayment plan. You may be able to lower monthly payments on an income-driven plan through student loan refinancing.

The key is to explore all your options to find the best student loan solution for you. For more information, see this article or complete a contact form to speak with someone now regarding your situation.

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