Guide to Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Teacher-student loan forgiveness programs are designed to help teachers repay education debt easier. Several exclusive programs target teacher loan forgiveness. Educators can take advantage of these programs and shape a better future for themselves. The founder of the College Investor- Robert Farrington, opines, “teachers have higher chances of getting a great student loan forgiveness opportunity rather than other occupations.” He goes on to add that, “Teacher loan forgiveness programs are easy to enroll in and can help teachers save hundreds of dollars.” It would seem like ignoring this advice is essentially passing over free cash for teachers. Qualifying for teacher-student loan forgiveness programs is not an easy task. If you are a teacher, you will find what you need to know about the loan forgiveness process.

Critical Aspects of Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Currently, you can find a number of loan forgiveness programs designed especially for teachers. Just like in any other loan forgiveness program, teacher loan forgiveness has some specific sides and requirements which you need to know before applying. So, it is crucial to look at them one by one and carefully analyze those aspects before you apply. Take into consideration aspects such as:

  • Your workplace
  • Repayment plan
  • Experience
  • Your loan

These are the sides of the teacher loan forgiveness program that can disqualify you. So, make sure to check the list and then apply to those programs.

For example, the TEACH grant is a loan forgiveness program that grants teachers $4000. It is an excellent way for a young teacher who loves their job. The requirements of this program will be evaluated later though it is better to note that the TEACH grant does not ask teachers for repayment if they meet the requirements after graduation. So, there are several programs like this one that you can utilize and make the most of.

First Option for teachers: Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a reputable program designed to help students who will later become public service workers on graduating. The program has been actively helping those students for over a decade. The list includes teachers as well. There are qualification requirements that you need to meet to be eligible for getting Public Service Loan Forgiveness. What are those requirements?

  • Students need to make at least 120 qualifying payments
  • Students need to work for nonprofit organizations or in a government agency as a full-time
  • Students need to owe direct loans
  • Students need to be enrolled in one of the income-driven repayment plans for these loans

The qualifications seem easy though there are some aspects that you should know before applying for the PSLF program. Teachers who work in private schools or organizations cannot use PSLF. Besides, it is tough to get enrollment in this program even though you may be eligible. The government tried to solve these issues back in 2018 when they passed a law regarding the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (TEPSLF). This program aimed to help teachers who were rejected during the process. Congress tried to get as many applicants to enroll in this program. Though it was hard to get PSLF, it is important to note that several students got the chance and got rid of all their student loan debt through this program.

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Why did so many students get rejected?

The Government Accountability Office of the United States reported that every registered student from May of 2018 to May of 2019 was rejected from the PSLF program. What were the reasons? The reasons were obviously about missing requirement standards. For example, some students were not enrolled in the right repayment plan, or some of them were owing to the loans to the institution that PSLF does not support. What happened next? After all those rejections, the American Federation of Teachers decided to file a lawsuit against the Education Department. On behalf of all the rejected students, the Teachers Federation asked PSLF to fix the issue and come up with a better solution for both parties. Besides that, a teacher who is concerned about the fairness of this process also raised their voice and wanted to get better and fair treatment from PSLF.

If you are students who will join the teaching workforce after graduation, it is better to get information from the Department of Education’s help tool regarding Public Service Loan Forgiveness. You can see if you are eligible or can qualify for any type of teacher loan forgiveness program through that. This tool is great because it can help you by asking about your employment status and owed loans. With that information, it determines whether or not you will get a teacher loan forgiveness from the PSLF program and inform you about your chances of getting it.

Second Option for Teachers: Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Teacher Loan Forgiveness is another program that is available for all the students who want to become full-time public sector educators after their graduation. This program explicitly takes federal loans and has some requirements for those teacher candidates.

Teachers should be working for over five consecutive years in low-income schools. They should complete academic years in those schools to be eligible for this Option.

Teachers should owe subsidized or unsubsidized student loans or Stafford loans (subsidized or unsubsidized) to apply for the teacher loan forgiveness program.

Teachers should have a full state certification regarding their profession and hold a bachelor’s degree in the same field.

Why Teacher Loan Forgiveness?

This program offers a relatively higher forgiveness amount than PSLF. It is stated that by getting teacher loan forgiveness, students can compensate for around $17,000. There are some aspects, such as :

  • Where do you work?
  • Which subjects do you teach?

These determine the forgiven amount on student loans. For instance, if you are a secondary science or math teacher, you can get teacher loan forgiveness and receive around $17,500.

In that regard, it is very different from Public Service Loan Forgiveness. In PSLF, it is hard to get a teacher loan forgiveness. Though, there is no cap for the debt amount. Technically, students can apply for both of these programs and get accepted. Though, they cannot obtain forgiveness from both of these programs in the same period of teaching. To get them both, you need to get teacher loan forgiveness; then, you need to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Though, there are some drawbacks to this issue as well. If you decide to get both loan forgiveness programs, it will take around 15 years for your debt amount to be forgiven fully. Though, by taking only one, you can shorten the period. For those students who are unsure about their decision to become full-time teachers in suburban schools, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program can use an exception to help them get loan forgiveness sooner and in a shorter period than others.

If you are interested in the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, we recommend you to use the Education Department’s Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory and find out whether or not your school is on the list.

Third Option for Teachers: Teach Grants

Teach Grant is not exactly a student loan forgiveness program. Though, students and teacher candidates can use this option as well. Students who are still studying (graduate or undergraduate) to get a teachers’ degree can use this option. Teach Grant offers $4,000 every year. The requirement to be eligible for this program is that teachers should work at least four consecutive years in higher need schools that serve low-income students. Besides their study years, those students should work an additional four years after graduation in those schools to keep their Teach Grants. If you fail to meet these requirements, the Teach Grant loan becomes just like a conventional loan that you should pay for. It is essential to consider that before applying for this program.

Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness Help

If you struggle with university student loan forgiveness, then you should get help with that. Because the employees in these agencies are dealing with the student loans every day and they have enough experience for solving different kinds of student loan problems.

The Iowa Teachers’ Shortage Loan Forgiveness

The Iowa Teachers’ loan forgiveness is a specific program that applies only to teachers willing to go to Iowa to teach. The difference between this program and the others is that the requirements are not harsh.  It is easy to get an acceptance for Iowa teacher loan forgiveness. Teachers cannot apply for this program before their graduation. You can benefit from this loan, only if you have a legitimate teaching certificate and decide to teach at Iowa. The Education Department of Iowa holds all the operations. The program offers around $7.5k for Federal Stafford Loans that teachers owe. The essential advantage is that teachers can get this loan forgiveness benefit without completing a predetermined time frame in their full-time jobs. Only one year of experience is enough for you to apply and get a student loan from Iowa.

Bottom Line

Teachers can enroll in various student loan programs, both private and public. You need to consider these options and determine your future goals before taking any severe action. Keep in mind that while making decisions about these programs, the longevity of your teaching career is vital. If you want to teach in suburban areas for 4-5 years and then switch to other places or areas of interest, the chances of you getting teacher loan forgiveness is low. To sum up, if you decide that you want to work in those areas and build your careers in teaching, hurry up, and get your applications ready for respective teacher loan forgiveness programs.