Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: By States, Types, Eligibility and More

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student loan forgiveness programs

Student loan repayment might take years, if not decades. If a payment is late or not made at all, the loan may be declared overdue, and late fees will be added. Many graduates are forced to postpone major commitments and big expenditures, such as marriage or homeownership until their debt is paid off. Student loan forgiveness programs aren’t quick fixes for financial problems, but they can help you pay off part or all of your debt over time.

Many student debt forgiveness programs are designed for students who work for a set amount of time in public service, education, health care, or other sectors. Some states even assist debt-ridden graduates in repaying their debts.

The forgiveness of student loans is exactly how it sounds. It’s exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a debt forgiveness program that forgives the outstanding sum of a student loan once a certain amount of time has passed. This implies that if you receive debt forgiveness or discharge, you will no longer be accountable for making loan installments. This frequently occurs as a result of a professional service you have provided for a few years. Although the phrases forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge have similar meanings, they are employed in various ways. This is commonly referred to as forgiveness or cancellation when the “forgiveness” is related to your job path. Discharge occurs when your debts are forgiven due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a handicap or the closing of the school where you acquired your loans.

Student Loan Forgiveness vs. Student Loan Discharge: What’s the Difference?

Many individuals mistakenly believe that the terms “student debt forgiveness” and “student loan discharge” are interchangeable. That’s logical since, while they don’t imply the same thing, they both result in the same thing: liberation from student loan debt.

This implies that if your student debt has been completely discharged or forgiven, you are no longer responsible for the outstanding loan sum. But you might be wondering what makes these two types of programs distinct if they both lead to the identical exit path. In a nutshell, student loan forgiveness is the government’s way of saying “thank you” for utilizing your talents to help others. You can apply for SLF if you work in suitable employment and meet the conditions. If your loan repayment plan offers such a program, you may be eligible for student debt forgiveness. Student loan discharge schemes, on the other hand, are for particular catastrophic events such as death, incapacity, fraud, or extreme catastrophes. Some wives of 9/11 victims, for example, were able to get their college loans forgiven.

As a result, you will not desire to acquire a student loan discharge. It’s more about a pressing need to resolve a horrible circumstance.

Forgiveness of Public Service Loans

When it is about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, all states have the same standards.

Employees must work for two years in a geographic location where there is a significant demand for employees in a certain field. Before individuals qualify for these student loan repayment plans, students must make 120 consecutive monthly payments on a direct loan while working for an eligible company. These debt relief initiatives encourage young people to work full-time in sectors of public service that are in desperate need of skilled professionals.

Professionals in health care, education, dentistry, law, and other fields are frequently required.

It’s not about your job title as much as it is about the company you work for in this program. There are several occupations that qualify for PSLF that you may not have considered. You may be eligible for loan forgiveness after making 120 payments. Payments do not have to be made in a certain order, but they must be done on a qualified repayment plan.

Aside from Public Service Loan Forgiveness, states provide a variety of student loan repayment options to assist you in repaying your debt.

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Based on a Career

The most popular option to get federal loans forgiven is to change careers and work for the government. If your professional path has already taken you down the public road, all you have to do now is pick the finest software for your present position.

Forgiveness of Teacher Loans

You may be qualified for this student loan forgiveness program if you have been teaching full-time in a low-income college for the previous five years.

Teachers in elementary schools may be eligible for up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness, while secondary school teachers who teach specific topics may be eligible for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness. This initiative was intended to motivate instructors to teach pupils from underserved communities.

What are the requirements to be considered for this program?

To be eligible for this teacher loan forgiveness program, you must complete the following requirements:

  • You must be a qualified teacher (at least a bachelor’s degree and full state employment certification form);
  • You must have worked full-time for five academic years in a row to be eligible;
  • You must have worked for a low-income school or educational organization;
  • The debt for which you are applying for forgiveness must have been taken out before the completion of your five academic years of teaching certification;
  • Direct loans or Federal Stafford loans must be repaid.

Nurses are eligible for debt forgiveness.

student loan forgiveness programs

Nurses may be eligible for complete or partial loan forgiveness through federal and state programs established expressly for them. They are as follows:

PSLF: Many nurses should be eligible for 100 percent forgiveness of federal loans after completing 120 monthly payments under an income-driven repayment plan as government or nonprofit jobs.

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program: The government Nurse Corps program covers up to 85% of selected registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and nurse faculty members’ unpaid nursing education debt.

Applicants who are accepted into this competitive program commit to working in parts of the country where nurses are in short supply for at least two years.

Loan Repayment Program for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC): In exchange for two years of work at designated locations that provide free or subsidized services to Medicare enrollees and others, you might get up to $50,000 in debt payback.

Nurse Cancellation of Perkins Loans: Nurses performing acceptable service can get up to 100 percent debt forgiveness over a five-year period.

Student loan forgiveness for newly certified nurses is offered by several states in order to recruit and retain new nurses.

Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

In that it isn’t a normal forgiveness program, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) is comparable to Income-Based Repayment. However, after a specific amount of time, you may be eligible for forgiveness. Your monthly contribution under the PAYE scheme is capped at 10% of your discretionary income. Any leftover amount becomes eligible for forgiveness once borrowers have made payments for 20 years. Your forgiven sum, like IBR, may be considered as taxable income.

Who is eligible to participate?

Your PAYE payments must be lower than they would be if you followed the usual 10-year repayment schedule.

Revised Pay As You Earn Forgiveness (REPAYE)

Pay As You Earn Revised is quite similar to Pay As You Earn. Your payments will be restricted to 10% of your discretionary income under this plan. After 20 years, undergraduate loans are canceled, while graduate school loans are repaid after 25 years.

Unlike IBR and PAYE, which require you to have a lower payment than the usual plan, REPAYE has no such restriction; anybody with qualified debts can apply, even if an income-based payment would result in a higher payment. As a result, if you suddenly start generating a lot more money, you may find yourself with significant REPAYE monthly obligations.

Who is eligible to participate?

REPAYE is available to anybody with qualified federal student loans.

Cancellation of Perkins Loans from the Federal Government

If you take a federal Perkins loan to pay for college, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in a number of ways. After every year of service, the Perkins loan cancellation and discharge program normally forgive a set proportion of student loan debt. You may be able to have up to 100% of your Perkins loan forgiven over time.

Who is eligible to participate?

Many persons who work in education may qualify for the Perkins loan cancellation program, which is popular among teachers. You might work as a teacher, librarian, speech-language pathologist, or another form of educator.

Discharge of Student Loans for a Closed School

Colleges and universities don’t close all that frequently, but they do. The Closed School Discharge protects student debtors in this scenario.

This program forgives student loans if a student is unable to complete their degree because their institution or university has closed. This implies that if your school closes, even if you attended for a few years, you will not be accountable for any payments. You’ll also get a refund if you’ve already paid any of your student loan installments.

What are the requirements for this program’s eligibility?

  • You must complete the following requirements in order to have your student debt forgiven:
  • You must be enrolled at the closed physical campus.
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree that isn’t complete.
  • You must have withdrawn at least 120 days before the school closed if you are no longer enrolled.

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs by States

Most college loan forgiveness programs are designed to help borrowers in specific fields in order to attract more students interested in such fields to a particular state. This is also why, in order to attract a diverse range of people to the local economy, a state may provide a variety of projects. Because economic conditions differ by state, there may be disparities across programs relating to the same employment.

Eligibility: To be eligible for a student debt forgiveness program, borrowers must fulfill a set of requirements. Applicants must be citizens of the US or the relevant state, have outstanding student debt, and be presently employed in the qualifying profession, to name a few requirements. It’s feasible that more specific requirements will be necessary for the future.

In contrast to federal loan forgiveness programs, state debt forgiveness programs do not have a uniform application procedure. Not all states, for example, have online application processes available on their websites. Some only want an email from a program participant. Similarly, the data and/or paperwork required to vary. In addition, there is no such thing as a universal application cycle. The Wavemaker Fellowship in Rhode Island is already closed, however, the Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program’s Blue Cycle is still taking applications through December 1.

Student loan forgiveness programs by states are nevertheless worth checking into, whether a borrower is a graduate or a prospective student deciding which school to attend, despite the fact that federal debt forgiveness programs are available to inhabitants of any state in the United States. In reality, a variety of initiatives have been put in place in order to attract more people working in high-demand professions to a state’s borders. In Iowa, for example, the Health Professional Recruitment Program was created to boost the number of doctors, physician assistants, podiatrists, and physical therapists practicing in high-need areas. Although no one should plan their academic path around the potential of requiring debt forgiveness, students pursuing higher education in these in-demand sectors may consider which degrees could serve as a backup if they run into financial difficulties.


student loan forgiveness programs

In return for a service commitment, Alaska’s SHARP program offers a number of loan forgiveness alternatives to healthcare professionals. You must work in a Health Professional Shortage Area to be eligible (HPSA).

Tier 1 personnel, such as dentists and primary care physicians, are eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $35,000 per year. When there is a very difficult post to fill, the price increases to $47,000. Employees in Tier 2 positions, such as nurses and counselors, can earn up to $20,000 per year. Positions that are difficult to fill might pay up to $27,000 per year. You may use the SHARP inquiry form to ask inquiries regarding the program.


Iowa has a few noteworthy, although presumably lesser-known, programs worth investigating.

Teach Iowa Scholars is a program that allows anyone to teach students in Iowa. In return for teaching in an impoverished region, this program pays instructors up to $4,000 per year for up to five years. You must be licensed and have an endorsement for the subject matter you teach. For additional information and to apply, go to the Iowa College Aid website. Loan Repayment Program for Primary Care in Rural Iowa. Doctors in remote regions can get up to $200,000 (paid out over five years at a rate of $40,000) under the scheme.

Applicants must work in a suitable location for five years and attend Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine or the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. To be considered for the program, your college contact must suggest you. Such a substantial sum might assist you in making loan payments and reducing your debt.


Despite the fact that Connecticut has seven student loan forgiveness programs, the state now funds just one of them. Minority students enrolling in Connecticut undergraduate education degree programs can receive up to $5,000 under the Minority Teacher Incentive Program. Participants who become public school teachers are eligible for loan repayment of up to $2,500 each year for up to four years.

Find state assistance for student loan programs by state

Though the federal government’s student debt forgiveness programs are more well-known, you should also check into the numerous state-based student loan forgiveness programs. If your state isn’t included, such as Illinois or New York, look into what programs are available in your area. The possibilities vary by state and are sometimes profession-specific programs, but it’s worth looking into cost-saving state student loans to help to pay off debt quicker.


Imagine yourself as a financially independent individual. Doesn’t it sound fantastic? If you desire peace of mind, you must get rid of your student loan debt. And the sooner you deal with this, the sooner you’ll be on your way to living a debt-free life.

Remember: If your student loan debt is a long and dark tunnel, financial independence is the long-awaited light at the end. The brightest side at the end of the tunnel can be reached sooner than you think if you make the correct decisions and take the best shortcuts through employing the most efficient student loan forgiveness programs. .