Forgiveness Programs

Student loan forgiveness programs can be a lighthouse for students who have been long adrift with their endless student debt. Taking a student loan might have seemed like a good idea at first, and it is for many students who succeed in graduating from their faculty of choice and finding a good income job. But, at times, things always do not work out the way you planned them to. There might be many reasons behind having significant student debt, and not being able to pay them off. You might have been fooled by false promises by your loan giver, the school you were attending might have shut down, and more. The reasons for students having lots of student loan debt can be endless. 

But, you should not fret, because there are tons of student loan forgiveness programs out there. The chances of you finding one that suits your case is high. The goal of this article is to acquaint you with the many types of student loan forgiveness programs on offer, whether they are for federal or private student loans. By the end of this article, you will most likely find the plan that best suits your case, so without further ado, let’s get started!

Federal Student Loan forgiveness programs

You are in luck if you are looking for federal student loan forgiveness programs. The Government is not as harsh as private loan givers in this regard. Since you can work in various fields, and offer your duties in exchange for Federal loans, things are much more comfortable in this regard. You cannot necessarily do the same type of work for private student loan givers. 

The best federal student loans these days come in the form of Public Service Debt Forgiveness programs. This program can offer you complete forgiveness should you decide to work in areas like non-profit employment, and Government services. These opportunities make the program one of the most desirable. 

If the route mentioned above is not the way for you to go, there are undoubtedly many other programs for you to benefit from. Federal student loan forgiveness programs are also available for those who want to be nurses, teachers, and military servicemen. 

Will you be able to qualify?

Almost anyone who has ever been involved in taking out a Federal student loan can qualify for some student loan forgiveness programs through the many relief programs that are on offer. These benefits will heavily depend on your current employment. Some programs will evaluate the level of value your job has to society can often be a defining factor. 

Some of the student loan forgiveness programs mentioned above are a highlight of the most significant and more beneficial forgiveness programs. If you are not employed in the fields mentioned above, you should not give up yet because the list of debt relief programs out there can go on for pages.

You could owe hundreds of thousands of dollars, or a mere thousand. This should not worry you, because you are sure to find a program that can suit your personal needs. All you have to do is keep reading this article, and choose the one that’s best for you. It is also worth mentioning that receiving relief through student loan forgiveness programs may take months, even years. This makes it crucial for you to carry out thorough research before enrolling in any of the programs.

Obama Loan Forgiveness Programs

If you have taken a student loan following the year, October 1st, 2007, then you are in luck. The reason for this is, you might be eligible for the Obama Student Debt forgiveness program. After its announcement in 2007, Ex-President Obama had promised to carry out significant reforms in the area of Federal Student debt relief laws. This meant a significant overhaul regarding the already existing student loan forgiveness programs, and introducing newer more effective Federal student debt relief programs. The most notable addition to the program was an addition called the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) system. 

To get a better understanding of what people mean when they refer to Obama Debt Forgiveness, it is a good idea to look at the suite of reforms that were introduced by Ex-President and his cabinet. These laws and changes that were passed on throughout the years will be listed down below.

Know before you owe initiative

This route was created to make sure that graduates were not loaded with crazy amounts of monthly payments that will leave them struggling to make ends meet. Ex-President Obama and his cabinet offered a reform that allowed graduates to make student debt payments that resulted in 10 percent of their discretionary incomes. This reform alone could help former students relieve thousands of dollars of payments from their shoulders. Through the know, before you owe initiative, you could make your payments, and still go on with your monthly spendings. 

Pay as You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plans

The pay as you earn student debt repayment plan was a breath of fresh air for graduates struggling with their monthly loan payments. The PAYE program is an addition to the already useful know before you owe initiative. You still get to pay your student debts with only 10 percent of your discretionary income and have the option to have your loan forgiven after you have made 20 years of monthly payments. That’s right!, you can have all of your loan debt paid off regardless of the amount, as long as you have a good track record of paying your monthly payments for 20 years. This may seem like much, but considering you only pay with 10 percent of your income, it is worth considering. 

Updates regarding Public Service Loan Debt Relief

There have been some additions and upgrades made to the Public Service Loan Debt Relief programs. Whereas the previous law stated that PSLF debt relief could be reached after making 20 years of monthly payments, Ex-President Obama offered a plan that reduced that time by half. You could have the entirety of your student loans forgiven by just making regular monthly payments for only ten years. 

Things to note

The student loan forgiveness programs mentioned above may sound very pleasing to the ear, but there is a significant point to consider. The pay as you earn program is only available to graduates who have received their student loans on, and after the date of October 1st, 2007. If you have taken a student loan before that date, then you should consider looking at other programs. 

But, you might still be in luck, because the Ex-President has extended the reachability of Obama Student Debt relief to borrowers from any background. Anyone that has a Federal student loan to pay off can benefit from the REPAYE student debt relief program. This program offers benefits that are very similar to that of pay as you earn, and will be discussed more in-depth down below. 

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Income-Based Repayment Plan

As mentioned above, the pay as you earn (PAYE) program, which was introduced with the Obama student loan forgiveness programs, has been extended to reach more graduates. If you are not eligible for the PAYE program due to reasons like taking out Federal student loans before October 1st, 2007, there is the introduction of REPAYE. The REPAYE program allows anyone with a student loan to work towards receiving their forgiveness benefits, regardless of the circumstances. 

REPAYE offers a simple mechanism that is sure to benefit any postgraduate trying to resolve their student debts. It works by allowing you to make monthly payments based on your annual income. This could mean that the more you earn, the more you pay monthly. After making 240 (20 years) worth of payments on time, you will receive complete forgiveness for any amount that you have left to pay off. If you have a high income, well good for you because you just might be able to pay off all of your debt before the 20 years is up. This program is especially beneficial for graduates who do not make good monthly incomes. 

The catch

The REPAYE plan then is an excellent option for those who have a hard time qualifying for any other student loan forgiveness programs and the only option for those who do not qualify for any other. But, just as with any other good thing in life, this too comes with a catch. You will have to face the IRS at the end of your program when you are finally done with paying off your loans. 

Don’t worry, you won’t be in trouble. It just means that you will have to pay taxes to the IRS in regards to the amount of debt you have been relieved of. 

But don’t let this scare you because imagine having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in comparison with a couple of thousand dollars in taxes. A pro tip would be to consider this tax payment to the IRS and save up some money on the side through the 240 months of payments you make. 

Public Service Debt Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) is one of the best federal student loan forgiveness programs out there. The reason behind its popularity is due to the 100 percent forgiveness you receive at the end of the program. There are also no tax burdens that come with the program. The best part is, it’s available to anyone who is willing to work in the field of public service. The word Public Service can be a loose definition that can be applied to a wide array of positions you might be willing to work in. 

Another factor that makes PSLF very appealing to many postgraduates is the fact that you can complete the program in around 120 (10 years) of monthly payments. This makes it two times faster than the standard REPAYE program offered by the Obama Loan forgiveness route. 

You also get the significant benefit of not having a limit on the amount you could have forgiven. This means that no matter the amount you have paid, or the amount you still owe, once you have paid your monthly loans for 120 months on time and in full, the rest will be wiped off completely. This is the leading beauty of the PSLF program. 

Which jobs can you take?

The Public Service Debt forgiveness will offer benefits to any graduate student who is willing to work in the following positions:

  • State, Local, Federal or any Government Employee 
  • Non-Profit Organization, which includes organizations compliant with 501(c)(3).
  • Teacher at any Public School
  • A Military Personnel including Reservists in any military branch
  • Emergency Management Personnel that work in places like FEMA and more. 
  • Law enforcement and public safety positions like Firefighters, Police Officers, Park Rangers, and more. 
  • Nursing, Doctors, Medical Records staff, and any other Public Health Service worker. 
  • Public service volunteers in areas like AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, etc. 
  • A public service worker that works in Home Health Aids, Nursing Homes for the elderly people.
  • Lawyers, Paralegals, Attorneys, or anyone in Public Interest law services.
  • Daycare and Preschool teachers or anyone working in early childhood education services. 
  • Social Workers, Psychologists, Speech Therapists, Counselors, or anyone looking to work in Public service for people with disabilities. 

If you were not able to choose from one of the professions mentioned above, then may God have mercy. Because there are hundreds of thousands, even millions of people who qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness benefits, and they don’t even know about it. It would be ludicrous to not be able to find a profession that fits your area of studies through the number of jobs listed above. 

The PSLF program is very beneficial for postgraduates that have taken giant student loans to attend schools that were going to make them Lawyers, Dentists, and Doctors but ended up leaving them with a low paying job. These low paying jobs will leave you struggling to pay your student debt payments every month and leave you with the option of working in healthcare sector positions that come with the PSLF program. 

The Downside

The only downside to the PSLF program is the one-way street system in which it works. This means that if you ever decide to abandon the ten-year plan, and fail to make your payments or leave work, you lose your benefits. This makes it essential to make a concrete decision on the position you want to work in. If you ever decide to drop out of work halfway through the program, your years working will all be in vain. 

Nursing Student Debt Forgiveness

Student loan forgiveness for nurses has become a lifesaver for many graduates who have taken massive amounts of student loans to get a medical degree, but could not find the appropriate jobs. You could safely say that Nurses have become lucky when it comes to getting one of the best student loan forgiveness programs benefits. These programs have been in motion for some years, and thousands of graduates have all benefited from them.  

The Federal Government is currently offering three primary programs for those who want to pay off their student loans by taking up nursing positions. 

Nurse Corps Debt Repayment Program (NHSC)

You might have heard of this program with its previous name, which was the Nursing education loan return program or the NELRP. The program was designed to help graduate students with tons of debt to work in underserved hospitals and clinics in exchange for a chance to wipe off a big part of their debt. You could have the opportunity to wipe off 60 percent of your student loan debt by working in qualifying service for a minimum of two years. Some graduates even have a chance to even the odds by working an additional year in exchange for 25 percent more debt forgiven. 

You could already be planning on packing your bags and heading to such a clinic or hospital, but you should remember one thing. There is a reason why such underserved hospitals and clinics have a lack of personnel in the first place. Working in such a situation could be a frustrating and stressful experience for anyone. If you believe you are up to the challenge, it sure would be a rewarding, yet stressful job that is sure to bring debt relief to you. 

Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge for Nurses

Student loan forgiveness for nurses just got a whole lot better with the Perkins Loan Discharge and Loan Cancellation program. The Teacher Loan Cancellation Program, which came with Perkins programs, also applies to Nurses. It gives nurses and medical technicians a chance to wipe off all of their Perkins student loans in exchange for working as a full-time nurse for around five years. The only drawback to the program is that it is only available to those with Perkins loans. If you are planning on benefiting from this program, you should plan before taking a student loan from anywhere else. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

This program was written about in-depth previously, but it is also worth noting it again because it offers student loan forgiveness for nurses. Nurses have always had a good reason to benefit from the program. The program was designed with attracting graduates to public service sectors. As you might be able to figure out by now, being a general nurse is one of the best public service positions out there.

 If you plan on becoming a full-time nurse in a qualifying position, you could have 100 percent of your student debt forgiven after you have made 120 months (10 years) worth of monthly payments regarding your loan. After the 120 months is up, the rest of your remaining credit will be forgiven, regardless of the amount you still owe. You could be due 100 thousand or 10 thousand, and all will be forgiven after the time is up. 

More benefits on the way!

If you do plan on becoming a nurse, or are one now, you could be holding the key to some excellent student loan forgiveness programs. Even more so than many others suffering from the same student debt problem. If you have not found a student loan forgiveness for nurses that you like, you should not worry because there are many states out there that provide their State-specific debt forgiveness programs. If you live in states like Florida, California, Texas, or New York, then you are in luck. These states all have their assistance programs made to help nurses and other public service personnel with their debts. You just have to know where to look.

Teacher-student debt forgiveness programs

Student loan forgiveness for teachers also takes its fair share from the Federal Student debt agenda. Teachers are seen as essential members of society that can benefit lots to the common cause. Because of this, the Government is creating many programs that can help graduates who want to become teachers get rid of their student debt. Nowadays, there are three main student loan forgiveness programs that you can benefit from as a teacher.

Stafford Loan Forgiveness

Stafford Loan Forgiveness was created with low-income families in mind. No worries, because it also has you in mind, as long as you want to become a teacher and contribute to societal needs. The program is looking to encourage highly qualified and professional teachers to teach in poor communities with low-income families. By doing so, you will have provided high-quality education to those not fortunate enough to afford one. As you can see, you would be doing an honorable job while getting your loans erased. 

Don’t think for a moment that has to be a hard task with low returns. Stafford Debt forgiveness can help you more than you think. With a commitment to contribute to the cause of providing quality education to poor areas for five consecutive years, you could be relieved of your debts. But remember, the years have to be complete and consecutive. You should be committed to the work, and be willing to serve for those years, but the end reward would be an excellent conscious and thousands of dollars relieved from your shoulders.

One thing to keep in mind is that you will be eligible for the program if you have taken a specific type of loan. These loans are Consolidation Loan, FFEL Stafford Loan, Unsubsidized Loan, or a Direct Subsidized loan. If you have not taken any of the loans mentioned above, you will have to keep looking elsewhere to find student loan forgiveness for teachers. 

Perkins Debt Forgiveness

The Perkins debt forgiveness program does not offer services in return for loan forgiveness. It’s one of those student loan forgiveness programs that provide low-interest loans to help you with your student loans. You could even require financial assistance, whichever the case, you can benefit from the Perkins loan forgiveness program. 

The main aim of the program is to aid financially underprivileged students in their quest to get a postsecondary education. If you do not have the necessary funds to cover these costs, the Perkins loan forgiveness program can help you. It can also surprise you to hear that around 1,700 schools all around the United States are participating in the Perkins loan programs. You should remember that you must file a FAFSA first if you want to apply for the rest of the application process. 

The process will also require you to file a Perkins promissory note if you want to be a loan recipient. After submitting the note, you can receive your loans. The rates for having forgiveness on your loans is 15 percent debt forgiveness for the first and second year of teaching. You will receive 20 percent for the third and fourth years, and 30 percent for the fifth year of full-time service that you provide. 

It may not seem like much at first, but considering the amount of debt some graduates have after getting their degrees in teaching, it is a great option. You should also consider doing thorough research online before running to apply for the program. 

Federal TEACH Grants

This is one of those odd student loan forgiveness programs. The Federal TEACH Grant is not a debt forgiveness program. It is more of a grant that is applied to relieve loan debt before it becomes accumulated. It could be seen as a substitute for student loan forgiveness for teachers because it is aimed at those who want to teach. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning. 

The TEACH Grant can give you aid up to 4000 dollars a year for your tuition related fees. The only catch is, you have to promise to become a teacher. You can’t just be any teacher; you must be able to provide service in low-income areas that have a high demand for specific subjects. See this as a public service duty that you will be required to carry out. 

How to apply

To apply for the TEACH Grant, you must go through an application process that requires you to sign an agreement. This agreement will ensure that you accept the requirements set by the TEACH Grant obligation department, and are willing to serve after graduation. Your obligations for accepting the deal are not too many. You will just be required to teach low-income school children in areas that cannot afford to have professional teachers. A big part of the obligation is that you will have to serve for at least four years in total. These years must be filed within eight years of you receiving your TEACH Grant. 

The TEACH Grant is somewhat an easy program to apply for. Besides the ease, it can give you a great deal of monetary aid. You could be receiving 4 thousand dollars in support per year. If you consider studying for a minimum of 4 years, that’s 16 thousand dollars in loans provided by the TEACH Grant for your undergraduate education. This makes it very desirable for many pre-graduate students who are looking to ease their educational expenses and teach those in need in the future. So, if you are looking to become a teacher and find student loan forgiveness for teachers, you should do your homework, and do enough research to apply for the Grant. 

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.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD) Program for Veterans

The Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) program is one of the best ways to get student loan forgiveness for veterans. As a previous military veteran, this program will relieve you from having to pay off loans you might have taken from certain organizations. If you have taken a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, or even the TEACH Grant loan obligations mentioned above, you could all be relieved from them through the TPD program.

How to Qualify

If you are a veteran with a disability, then there are a couple of steps you need to complete to qualify for the program. Firstly you need to complete and submit a TPD application for discharge. Alongside the application, you must also have documentation that proves your disabilities to meet the requirements set forth by the US Department of Education. After passing these requirements, you will be considered either permanently or totally disabled. These claims will be passed down to Nelnet, which is the servicer that helps the US Department of Education process the TPD discharge claims that are brought in.  

You will need to show documentation from one of these three main sources if you want to qualify for the TPD program:

  1. Social Security Administration (SSA)
  2. US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  3. Physician

You should also be informed about the specific requirements that come with each supporting document. These requirements will be listed more in-depth down below:

Social Security Administration (SSA) documentations

If you do qualify for Supplemental Security Income and the Social Security Disability Insurance, then you can be entitled to the TPD discharge program. You will need to provide a copy of the Benefits Planning Query or the SSA notice that shows the next schedule for your disability review. This schedule needs to be five to seven years or more from the last SSA disability determination that you have passed through. 

VA Document Requirements

You can benefit from student loan forgiveness for veterans and a TPD discharge by showing documents from the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). These documents will have to show that you have received a disability determined from the VA. You can receive the determination by showing that you have a service-related disability, and it has left you 100 percent disabled. Or you can show them that you are disabled based on the ratings from the individual unemployment figures.

Documentation from a Physician

The last but not least way of qualifying for a TPD discharge is passing through a physician check. The physician must prove that you are unable to participate in any substantial gainful activities because of your mental or physical impairments. These impairments may be checked based on:

  • The chance of death it may bring.
  • Period of continuous-time it has lasted for, which is at least 60 months
  • The time it is expected to last non-stop for at least 60 months. 

The substantial gainful activity that is mentioned above refers to the amount of work you may be able to do to gain a certain amount of money or profit. This work may be mental or physical activities or, in some cases, both that you might be required to endure. 

You cannot just visit any physician to get student loan forgiveness for veterans. The physician must be a doctor of osteopathy or osteopathic medicine or be a doctor of medicine who has a license to work in the United States. If your doctor passes these requirements, he or she can provide you with the documentation you need to get a TPD discharge. 

Rely on Research

Student loan forgiveness programs can help you get back on your feet if you are suffering from high amounts of student debt. You should know that millions of students worldwide and especially in the US, are suffering from the student loan dilemma. Over time, student debt solutions are expected to increase in effectiveness and scale. You can expect to find a student loan solution out of the many programs out there. The only thing you will need to do is complete your homework in doing thorough research regarding the many programs, and find the route that best suits your needs!