Do you have college loans? Are you looking for a list of student loan forgiveness programs? Are you wondering if you can get loan forgiveness?
Student loan forgiveness isn’t available to everyone, but it is a great way to pay off student loans that have already been accrued!
We’ve scoured the loan forgiveness landscape and found 9 different programs that might benefit you.
College Prices Have Skyrocketed:
Over the past 40 years, gas prices have increased by about 300% and Gold has risen more than 1200%. However, the cost of college has outpaced them both, skyrocketing more than 1600% higher than it was in 1975.
The rising cost of a college education has resulted in more than 40 million American’s borrowing tons of money. And the repayment of that student debt is one of the factors that is stalling our economy. But don’t despair, there is hope and there is help for college debt.
9 Career fields that are eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness
There are a number of programs that offer college debt forgiveness. They are for graduates who are willing to take specific types of jobs and specific situations. There are many conditions and lots of red tape surrounding loan forgiveness, but if you learn the rules and persist, the payoff could be huge.
1) Teacher Loan Forgiveness
If you teach in certain low-income elementary or secondary schools for 5 consecutive years you may qualify for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness. We have a friend who participated in this program and paid off her debts!
2) Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness
If you are employed in certain public service jobs and have made payments on your Direct Loans for 10 years, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness.
Types of jobs that qualify:
- A Government job—federal, state, local or tribal.
- A not-for-profit organization (501 (c) (3)
- Other non-profits including, libraries, public health, military service, public interest law, law enforcement, early childhood education and many others.
- Full-time service in AmeriCorps or Peace Corps
Debt Free College: Fantasy or Reality. This is a 60-minute audio presentation recorded at a live event.
We cover dozens of other money-saving college strategies that we used to help our kids and hundreds of others graduate without using student loans.
3) Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation
You may be eligible for 100% loan forgiveness if you are a full-time: firefighter, police officer, nurse or medical technician, an employee of a public or non-profit child or family advocacy agency, or one of many educational jobs. Get Perkins Loans Cancellation info from StudentAid.Ed.gov.
4) Medical Professionals Student Debt Forgiveness & Scholarships
Several organizations offer from $35,000 to $150,000 to physicians who commit to a 5-year term of working in an underserved region.
Here’s an example from the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program that pays between $25,000 and $35,000 per year for people in these professions: Allopathic physician, osteopathic physician, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, allied health care providers, pediatricians, optometrists, and dentists.
We have a young friend who paid off his physical therapy degree by serving at the Phoenix Indian Medical center. And working for the Federal Government. And after his loans were paid, he continued working there. He has been earning a good steady income even with the changes in the healthcare laws.
These scholarships and forgiveness programs are available for many different degree programs including doctors, nurses, medical assistants and more. Carefully check out the details.
Click the links below for a list of loan forgiveness or scholarship organizations for medical and health-related professionals. The types of jobs and award amounts vary.
See the entire list of 76 Loan Repayment/Forgiveness/Scholarship and Other Programs from the Association of American Medical Colleges
Student Loan Hero has also published a list of student loan forgiveness programs.
5) Military Student Debt Forgiveness
The U.S. Armed Forces have a number of programs that will pay off student loan debt that you have accrued. They will also pay for tuition for a degree program you choose to pursue, either while serving or after you are done serving. We have several friends in their 30s who have joined the National Guard for a six-year term. As a result, they have received loan forgiveness in exchange for serving one weekend each month and two weeks each summer.
Read more about Military Student loan forgiveness programs http://www.thesimpledollar.com/student-loan-forgiveness-joining-the-military/
6) Lawyer Student Loan Forgiveness Programs.
Okay, no lawyer jokes here, but the states of Florida and Michigan along with the District of Columbia all have loan repayment programs that range from $5000 to $12000 in yearly awards. Get more information here: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/student_loan_repayment_and_forgiveness.html
Or look into the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program. It provides loan payment help for lawyers who work as public defenders or prosecutors for at least three years.
Learn more at StudentLoanHero.com
7) Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Resources
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP). http://www.nifa.usda.gov/
8) Automotive Aftermarket Industry Student Debt Repayment
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has a Loan Forgiveness Program. http://www.sema.org/loan-forgiveness-program
9) Childcare Provider College Debt Repayment Resources
There is also a Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Demonstration Program, by the US Department of Education. http://www2.ed.gov/
This loan forgiveness program is focused on finding highly-trained people who are interested in early childhood education and helping them reduce what they owe.
If you owed $30,000 and you qualified for this program here’s what it would look like:
– 20 percent after 2 years of service ($6000 forgiven)
– 20 percent forgiven after your 3rd year of service ($6000 forgiven)
– 30 percent after your each of the 4th and 5th years of service ($9000 forgiven each year / $18000 total for years 4 and 5)
Total Loan Forgiveness in 5 years $30,000.
10. Army Health Professions Loan Repayment Program
The Army has a repayment program for student loans for different health professions. Doctors, nurses including veterinarians. Applicants can receive assistance in paying down student loans whether they are active duty or in the reserves.
Active duty applicants can receive up to $120,000 over a three year period. This is through the Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program.
Reservists can receive $50,000 in student loan repayment over a three year period.
If you are in a veterinary specialty recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association you may qualify for between $2000 and $5000 of speciality pay through the Diplomate Board Certified Pay program.
On top of that, you might qualify for specialty pay from the Army, up to $5,000 through the Diplomate Board Certified Pay program.
Is Forgiveness Money Taxable or Not?
Make sure you include asking if the loan-forgiveness awards are taxable. Most programs that give you awards in exchange for years of service are tax-free, but some are not. Do your research and read all of your paperwork. It’s not worth celebrating the elimination of your college debt only to be hit with a hefty and unexpected tax bill.
The student loan crisis is terrible and college debt is skyrocketing. Thankfully there are many options for those who are willing to do the research and fill out the paperwork. Is it worth taking a lower-paying job to have tens of thousands of dollars in debt erased? From the people we’ve talked to, it isn’t without hassles and work. Yet in the end, the sighs of relief at having a burden of debt lifted seem to outweigh the sacrifice.
Have you used a loan forgiveness program and experienced relief from debt? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
Read all of the Debt-Free College Blog Series Here:
- 6 Ways High Schoolers can Crush College Costs
- Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: How to get your loans discharged legally.
- Is There Gold at the End of the Scholarship Rainbow? Hack!
- How to Maximize FAFSA and Pell Grant Money!
- 10 Out of the Box Ideas for Big Time College Savings
- How to Eliminate College Debt
- How one kid got a college degree in 22 months for $3100 (you could too)
In the next article in this series, we’ll share a number of ways that you can help your kids or yourself. You’ll both be able to get through college without needing to borrow money and without needing to ask for student loan forgiveness later.