The most common request to my blog regards student loan forgiveness programs. Given this constant interest, I am updating and summarizing the various loan forbearance programs.
Federal loan forgiveness is available for teachers, volunteers, law enforcement officials, nonprofit employees, and the military.
Teacher’s Student Loan Forgiveness
The Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness Program rewards teachers with a repayment between $5,000 and $17,500. After 5 years of service consecutively, teachers with an outstanding Direct Loan or FFEL balance as of October 1988 qualify for a $5,000 repayment of their student loans.
Teachers who pass on their love of math and science to students in eligible secondary schools with special education needs qualify for the full $17,500 forgiveness. The goal of this large repayment award is to encourage teachers to fill roles that are traditionally short staffed.
Learn more about the Teacher’s Student Loan Forgiveness program: here.
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Charitable Volunteers
When you spread kindness and goodwill, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), the Peace Corps, and Americorps, and return the favor by paying off a percentage of your student loan.
- VISTA rewards its volunteers with $4,725 after completing 1700 hours worth of service. VISTA’s mission is to eliminate hunger, illiteracy, poverty, and homelessness. Learn more by calling 1-800-942-2677.
- The Peace Corps rewards it volunteers in more ways than just good feelings. The Corps will repay 15% of a volunteer’s qualified student loans for each year of service until 70% of the starting balance is repaid. To discuss this opportunity further, contact the Peace Corp at 1-800-424-8580.
- Americorps is the branch of the Peace Corps that operates within the United States. Americorps rewards volunteers with $4,725 after 1 year of volunteer work. You can discuss this student loan forgiveness opportunity with an Americorps representative by calling 1-800-942-2677.
Head Start Staff Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Head Start was designed to help kids from low-income families gain the skills needed to enter kindergarten. Volunteers who help to make this goal a reality are rewarded by a generous student loan forgiveness plan. The state government will repay a borrower’s student loan at a rate of 15% per year until the loan is completely paid in full.
Nurses and Medical Technicians Student Loan Forgiveness Program
There are several student loan forgiveness programs targeted at medical professionals who work in regions or fields that traditionally lack quality medical professionals:
- The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP) will repay as much as 60 percent of the remaining student loan balance. This program is available for professionals who have worked for two years or more in critical shortage facilities. Eligibility details can be found: here.
- The National Health Services Corps awards qualified individuals with up to $35,000 in student loan repayment per year of service. See more details about this program: here.
Law Enforcement Officials Student Loan Forgiveness Program
When you protect and serve your community, the government will do your budget the same favor by paying down your Perkins student loan. Your loan will be cancelled if you serve full time as a qualifying law enforcement or corrections officer. To establish eligibility, the school must determine that your:
- Employing agency is eligible; i.e., a local, state, or federal agency that is publicly funded and its activities pertain to crime prevention, control, or reduction or to the enforcement of the criminal law and
- Position is essential to the agencies primary mission; i.e., you are a sworn officer or person whose principal responsibilities are unique to the criminal justice system.
Contact your school to find out how to confirm your eligibility and apply for this program.
Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Family Services or Non-Profit Child Agency Employees
This student loan forgiveness program will repay up to 100% of a borrower’s outstanding student loan for employees of eligible centers. The goal of this student loan forgiveness program is to attract and retain highly educated early childcare professionals.
In order to qualify, the borrower must have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and work at a qualified facility. Qualified facilities are generally those where at least 70 percent of families that attend are earning less than 85 percent of the median household income.
Learn more about this student loan forgiveness program by calling the Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness program at 1-888-562-7002 or visit: here.
Providers of Intervention Services for the Disabled Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Those who offer full time services to toddlers and infants with physical, emotional, social, adaptive, cognitive, or communicative needs disabilities qualify for a full repayment of their Perkins Loan. Care can be provided either in an in-home setting or at a facility as long as the program meets the guidelines issued by the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Your Perkins loan provider can give you more information about this student loan forgiveness program.
Armed Forces Student Loan Forgiveness Program
The military is known for its wide range of money-saving benefits and student loan forgiveness programs. The Armed Forces student loan forgiveness program will repay as much as $2,500 worth of student loans to borrowers who served between 9/11/01 and 6/30/06.
The National Guard also offers a student loan forgiveness program that will repay as much as $10,000 worth of student loans to each individual that qualifies. More information is available by calling 1-800-GO-GUARD.
How to Find More Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
There are literally hundreds of types of student loan forgiveness programs for various specialties. Start by contacting your company’s HR department and inquiring about little known programs for your industry. Contact local volunteer organizations in your community and ask about student loan forgiveness programs. Bookmark this page of student loan forgiveness references and pass it along to a friend. You could very easily save yourself or a friend a few thousand dollars!
For an excellent summary of federal student loan foregivness programs click here.