If you have student loan debt, you may qualify for a student loan forgiveness program that could alleviate some of your financial burden. Whether you’re a healthcare professional, public servant, or a member of the military, let’s review seven student loan forgiveness options that could be potential paths to student loan relief.
1. Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Teacher Loan Forgiveness is a federal program that attempts to alleviate financial strain on educators who work in schools. Under this program, eligible teachers could receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness for federal student loans. To qualify, teachers must work in low-income schools or educational service agencies for five consecutive years.
2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
PSLF is a federal program that offers student loan forgiveness to public sector workers after they make 120 qualifying payments while working for government or qualifying nonprofit organizations. After ten years of qualifying income-driven payments, the remaining loan balance is forgiven tax-free. PSLF is an incentive for individuals in public service careers, allowing them to pursue meaningful work without the long-term burden of student loans. It provides financial relief and recognizes those who serve their communities.
3. Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Forgiveness
This is a federal student loan program that eases the financial strain on borrowers by capping monthly payments at a percentage of their discretionary income (or combined household discretionary income in some situations). Any remaining loan balance is forgiven for borrowers after making payments for 10-25 years, depending on the specific IDR plan. This program can be beneficial for borrowers with high debt. The SAVE program (formerly REPAYE) will offer loan forgiveness after ten years of payments for low-balance borrowers starting in July 2024.
4. Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
This program offers loan repayment assistance to registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse faculty in underserved communities to cover educational loans. In exchange for working in communities with limited access to healthcare, participants can receive up to 60% of their loan balance paid off in two years, with an option to extend for a third year for additional repayment and an additional 25% of the loans covered for a total of up to 85%.
5. National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
This forgiveness program provides loan repayment assistance to healthcare professionals who work in underserved areas. It supports healthcare providers like physicians, dentists, and behavioral health professionals in repaying medical student loans. As an incentive to bring advanced training and skills to areas that lack adequate healthcare access, participants receive financial assistance to reduce their student debt. This program aims to improve healthcare access for vulnerable populations across the United States.
6. Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP)
The VMLRP program offers loan repayment assistance to veterinarians who work in rural or underserved areas with shortages of veterinary professionals. Participants receive loan repayments to help alleviate their educational debt. This program could be a beneficial option for veterinarians committed to addressing the needs of underserved communities.
7. Perkins Loan Cancellation
Perkins Loan Cancellation is a federal program that forgives Perkins Loans for individuals working in specified fields like education, healthcare, or public service. By fulfilling specific service requirements, borrowers could have their Perkins Loan debt completely canceled. The program offers financial relief in exchange for dedicated service.
Explore Your Student Loan Forgiveness Options
These programs offer various opportunities for individuals to reduce or eliminate their student loan debt, particularly if they pursue careers in public service, healthcare, education, or other high-need fields. Be sure to research each program’s specific eligibility criteria and requirements to determine if you qualify.