NHSC Loan Repayment Program

The NHSC program for loan repayment forgives up to 50,000 USD of student loans of healthcare employees. In order to achieve this, people should be eager to operate at a place approved by NHSC. Frankly speaking, I believe the NHSC loan repayment program is one of the best forgiveness programs available in the US. Open to any type of healthcare employee, the program provides advantages that are incomparable to ordinary Nursing Forgiveness Programs.  

My favorite aspect of this loan repayment program is the workers who consent to work in the offered places, are released after just two years. For comparison, bear in mind that this number will barely be less than ten years in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. 

If you thought that was it, wait for the next bomb; the forgiven amount on your loan through the NHSC program is not taxable. It means, unlike PSLF and other forgiveness programs, you will not have to pay 25-30% of the forgiven amount to the Internal Revenue Service.

In this article, we are going to discuss every brass tack of the NHSC program, such as application criteria, qualification requirements, and more.

What Are The Requirements for NHSC Loan Repayment Program?

Surely, just like any other loan forgiveness program, the NHSC loan repayment program has some must-have requirements from its applicants. And not meeting these criteria will prevent you from qualifying for the NHSC loan repayment program. 

  • You have to be a US national or a US citizen
  • You have to be a qualified provider in Medicaid, Medicare, and the Health Insurance Program of State Children
  • You have to have adequate license and training to work at an NHSC qualified mental or dental/behavioral health field and primary medical care.
  • You have to have student loans that are unpaid. Note that these loans should have been taken before the date you apply for NHSC. Also, you have to use those loans to pay for the educational program relevant to the primary care field you are planning to work on
  • You have to be operating at or have gotten a job offer to begin employment at a service place approved by NHSC

On top of the requirements presented above, ensure that you are working in a discipline that is eligible for NHSC for the NHSC LRP program

What Are Qualified Primary Care Disciplines and Specialties?

In order to be eligible for the NHSC program, you must be trained and licensed in one of the disciplines or specialties below.

  • Dental Primary Care
  • Doctors of Dental Surgery
  • Medical Primary Care
  • Nurse Practitioners, Osteopathic and Allopathic Physicians, Certified Nurse-Midwives, Physician Assistants.
  • Behavioral and Mental Healthcare
  • Licensed Osteopathic and Allopathic Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Health Service Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Psychiatric Nurse Specialists, Physician Assistants, Licensed Counselors, and Therapists. 

Once you make sure that licensing and training requirements, as well as, general qualification requirements are in place for your case, you should then ensure your loans also qualify for this program.

What Are Qualified Primary Care Disciplines and Specialties?

In order to be eligible for the NHSC program, you must be trained and licensed in one of the disciplines or specialties below.

  • Dental Primary Care
  • Doctors of Dental Surgery
  • Medical Primary Care
  • Nurse Practitioners, Osteopathic and Allopathic Physicians, Certified Nurse-Midwives, Physician Assistants.
  • Behavioral and Mental Healthcare
  • Licensed Osteopathic and Allopathic Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Health Service Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Psychiatric Nurse Specialists, Physician Assistants, Licensed Counselors, and Therapists. 

Once you make sure that licensing and training requirements, as well as, general qualification requirements are in place for your case, you should then ensure your loans also qualify for this program.

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What Loans Qualify For the NHSC Loan Repayment Program?

One of the best aspects of the NHSC loan repayment disbursement is almost any loan qualified for it. In other words, irrespective of your Federal or Private loan, you can be eligible to participate in this program. The reason why I emphasize this nuance is most repayment programs provide only assistance for Federal loans. 

Also, to make sure that your loan is eligible for the NHSC program, you should take it to cover your costs related to your studies. For instance, these expenses can be tuition fees, charges of books, etc. You can even refer your living expenses to the eligible costs when studying for this very degree. 

There is a requirement regarding the source of the loans that are eligible for the NHSC loan repayment program, too. To be precise, your loan provider can be the Federal Government, a commercial organization, and more. But you cannot claim the forgiveness of your loan that has been taken from your parent, or any other acquaintance.

On top of that, your loan does not have to be in default status. Neither should it be completely paid. Also, it should be taken by you only. Loans, such as Parent Plus, will not qualify for it as it is taken by your parents. Lastly, qualifying loans cannot be personal debt. So, a debt of credit card or a debt relevant to residency programs are ineligible. 

What Are The Options for Partial and Full Funding?

The funding structure of the NHSC program is quite sophisticated. Different from your usual Federal loan forgiveness programs, you can get full or partial financing here. The decisive factor here will be the type of work you are involved in; full-time or part-time.

Moreover, the place where you work will affect this factor, too. Keep in mind that your HPSA (Health Professional Shortage Areas) score is taken into account by the NHSC to determine your funding amount. 

Lastly, once you finish the two-year work, you will have the opportunity to extend your contract. In this case, you may even get the benefit of increasing the NHSC loan repayment amount. And that, in turn, can result in the ending of your full loan amount. 

Below you will get familiar with how the financing process is determined for part-time and full-time participants.

How Do Full-time Participants Benefit from The NHSC Funding?

To be eligible for the maximum NHSC loan repayment disbursement, you have to operate as a full-time worker in an entity approved by the NHSC. Also, the HPSA score of this entity has to be a minimum of 14. 

To be eligible for the NHSC loan repayment amount of up to $30,000, you still have to operate full-time. Nevertheless, in this case, any NHSC-approved entity will be okay to work at. More precisely, any HPSA score equalling 13 and below will do it. And that means you can get any score to be eligible for an amount of up to $30,000.

Yet, there is another nuance that I need to bring to your notice. Since the funding by the NHSC is limited for every year, a priority arises to distribute it fairly. And the organization gives priority to high-need entities. Speaking more accurately, you can get the benefits if you are in an entity where the HPSA score ranges from 14-26. 

What Does “Full-time” Service Mean?

The notion of full-time work in the case of the NHSC loan repayment program is different, too. There are indeed very particular criteria which you have to meet in order to be considered a full-time worker. Note that you will be unable to fulfill these requirements by working 40 hours a week.

Instead of the typical full-time requirements mentioned above, your full-time work will be defined by the field you work in and your job title. It is worth mentioning that these requirements differ for individuals providing teaching and direct patient care. That is why you will have to explore the nuts and bolts of your work. By this, you will be able to ensure if your work is eligible for funding.

You may find the official NHSC page useful to find more detailed information.

How Do Part-time Participants Benefit from the NHSC Funding?

To be eligible for the NHSC loan repayment amount of up to $25,000, you have to operate as a part-time worker in an entity approved by the NHSC. That said, the HPSA score of the entity you work at has to be a minimum of 14. 

To get the NHSC loan repayment disbursement of up to $15,000, you still have to operate as a part-time worker. But here it does not matter which organization you work at. The HPSA score of the organization you serve can be 13 and below, too.

Just like the requirements for full-time workers, there are some criteria for part-time workers, as well. For instance, the NHSC defines part-time as 20-39 hours of work per week. And you have to work for hours within this range for at least 45 weeks a year to qualify for the funding. To be aware of all the details, you can check out the relevant NHSC page.

How Should You Apply for the NHSC Loan Repayment Program?

My biggest advice to you regarding the application of the NHSC program would be applying as early as possible. Bear in mind that the application process is a little complicated. So, if you miss even just one thing from the application, it means your chances to benefit from funding is dead. 

And for you, the best way to apply would be through reviewing the official application checklist on the website of the NHSC. I will go through all those steps involved in the application below. But before that, you need to ensure that you have everything in place regarding the NHSC application. For example, you would want to define the qualifying entity you will be going to work at before starting the application.

How Should You Apply for the NHSC Loan Repayment Program?

My biggest advice to you regarding the application of the NHSC program would be applying as early as possible. Bear in mind that the application process is a little complicated. So, if you miss even just one thing from the application, it means your chances to benefit from funding is dead. 

And for you, the best way to apply would be through reviewing the official application checklist on the website of the NHSC. I will go through all those steps involved in the application below. But before that, you need to ensure that you have everything in place regarding the NHSC application. For example, you would want to define the qualifying entity you will be going to work at before starting the application.

Application Checklist of the NHSC Program

  • As the first step, you should carefully read the program guidance and entire application
  • Check your qualification in accordance with the nuances I have stated above (e.g., types of loans)
  • Ensure all the requirements related to service commitment is clear to you
  • Check out various NHSC fields to ensure the employment organization you have selected is eligible. Do not forget to check the HPSA score of the place you have chosen. It will make sure you can get the benefit you want
  • As the next step, compile all the necessary documents you will have to submit. It may include work duties, location of employment, etc.
  • Afterward, I highly recommend you to take part in the technical assistance webinars and phone calls. During this step, the NHSC will guide you through the program where your specific questions will be answered
  • You have almost completed it. Now you need to ensure once again that you fulfill all the requirements of the NHSC loan repayment program. At the same time, make sure you will start operating at eligible NHSC-approved entity latest on the deadline day
  • As the last step, just submit your application

I know it seems like a load of work from there. But in fact, it should not ideally take beyond 3 hours of yours. And the likely result of it will gain you a benefit of up to $50,000.

When Is the Application Deadline for 2019?

The application deadline for the 2020 NHSC program is April 23, 7:30 pm ET. 

That said, I want you to keep one nuance in mind. The application deadline for the NHSC program alters every year. For instance, last year it was until February. And it looks like the deadline for the NHSC application keeps going forward by time. The reason behind it is probably the fact that as the years pass, the NHSC needs more time to check the applications and approve. 

Apart from this, what you should always remember is the necessity of applying early for the program. The working principle of the NHSC loan repayment program is simple. The later you apply, the lower the chances you will have to get approved for funding. 

And if you ask me about what I would personally advise? Well, get started to fill out your application right after finishing this article. If you do it before everyone, you will have a much better probability of getting the funding.

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.

When Do You Get Your Funds?

Once your application is approved, first, you will have to sign a contract. And only after 90 days past the beginning date of the contract you will be able to receive your funds. It may seem like a long duration. Yet, in fact, it is quite cool. Most forgiveness programs will provide your funding only after the end date of your contract.

Also, do not forget that nobody will give the NHSC loan repayment amount to you personally. Instead, the NHSC will send the funding to the financial entity you determine in your application. By that, you will make sure that the finance will be leveraged to repay your loans. 

Is Applying Several NHSC Programs Possible at Once?

The answer is, fortunately, a big “Yes” to this question. The only thing you should do is to be compliant with the respective criteria. If that is in place, the NHSC enables you to apply for multiple programs. For instance, you can take part in the Nurse Corps repayment program and the NHSC loan repayment disbursement program simultaneously

Is it Possible to Take Part Again in the NHSC Programs?

Another reason why the NHSC is one of my favorite forgiveness programs is this one. You can participate in numerous NHSC loan programs. As mentioned above, the only requirement is to qualify for the criteria.

So, let’s say you have finished the NHSC Loan repayment program contract. That is totally okay. You can now apply for the students to the service loan program, too.

Where Can You Find Open Opportunities?

It is simple. Go to the official connector website to check out the opportunities that will make you eligible for the NHSC loan repayment program. You should indeed feel lucky to have found this website. A few years back, no site like this was available. It meant people would have to look for opportunities by themselves. And that was indeed a nightmare.

How to Ensure Whether Your Facility is Eligible?

This one is a piece of cake, too. All you have to do is to go to the connector site I provided above. There are various types of sites, reviews of sites, etc. which will give you valuable insights. As I stated previously, the existence of this website is a remarkable gift to you. It eases the process a lot for all those who are eager to take part in the program. 

Are There Any Other Useful Medical-Relevant Programs?

Of course, there are. I have already mentioned it a few times in this article. If you are medical personnel, you are fortunate in terms of forgiveness programs. Because, arguably, the best forgiveness programs have been availed for medical staff. You can get familiar with some of them below.

  • The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment 
  • Non-profit Employee Loan Forgiveness
  • The Public Service Loan Forgiveness
  • The Government Employee Student Loan Forgiveness
  • Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness
  • Perkins Loan Forgiveness for Licensed Medical Technicians and Nurses

I suggest you check out more than one of the programs above. The odds are you can qualify for a few of them at the same time. So why not be better off by thousands of dollars?

Conclusion

It is crystal clear that the NHSC loan repayment program is an ideal forgiveness program for those working in the medical sphere. That said, you must meet all the eligibility requirements which you are already familiar with. Once again, I urge you to apply for it as soon as possible before the deadline, which is in April. The “first-come, first-served” basis gives the early applicants a better chance of benefiting from the funding. Do not forget to check out other articles on our site for more useful information.