An inspired route to loan forgiveness
Many of our students find meaning in being of service to others, and if your career path keeps you on that track, there is good news. Providing service-based work can also help you qualify for loan forgiveness. Public Service Loan Forgiveness is available if you are in the Income-Based Repayment Plan.
To have your loans forgiven, you must work for 10 years in a qualified organization while making payments under the Income-Based Repayment plan. If you have a remaining loan balance after the 10 years of qualified service, the balance that remains will be forgiven if your primary full-time position is:
- at a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501©(3) organization
- with federal, state, local or government employment (including military and public schools/colleges)
- a full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps position
If you are not working in public service, you can still qualify for loan forgiveness from the Income-Based Repayment plan, but you will have to make 25 years of payments.
You may still qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness if you don't meet the above criteria. Check ibrinfo.org/what.vp.html#pslf for more information about what it takes to qualify.
Student Loan Hero has compiled a list of all available loan forgiveness programs here.
Here are a few other avenues for loan forgiveness:
Programs such as AmeriCorps and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) provide volunteers who complete a specific time of service with $4,725 to be used toward loan repayments. Service in the Peace Corps allows for loan deferment as well as partial cancellation of Perkins loans.
Stafford Loan Forgiveness of $5,000 is available for teachers who work for five consecutive years as a full-time elementary or secondary school that is designated low-income. If someone works as a math or science teacher at a secondary level or a special education teacher, they may be eligible for up to $17,500 in forgiveness.
Perkins Loan Forgiveness is available to teachers who work at low-income schools in the fields of math, science, foreign language or bilingual education.
- 15% of loans for years 1 and 2
- 20% of loans for years 3 and 4
- 30% of loans for years 5+
Full-time special education teachers can receive 15% forgiveness for each year of work. Check with the American Federation of Teachers for more information.
Students in the Army National Guard my have access to their loan repayment program, which pays up to $10,000.
Other service members may be able to use pieces of the GI Bill®.