Student Loan Forgiveness for Non-Profits
If you work at a non-profit organization (NPO) with 501(c)(3) status, you also qualify for the PSLF program. This, fortunately, includes a broad range of organizations, and it is a good way to reduce your overall payments for federal student loans.
Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers
For teachers who work in the public school system, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program can remove a significant portion of your outstanding debt.
To qualify, you’ll need to have a full-time teaching position for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or an educational service agency. Fortunately, this program can forgive up to $17,500 of your outstanding loan.
To learn more about applying for student loan forgiveness for teachers, visit this site.
Student Loan Forgiveness for Lawyers
There are multiple available forgiveness programs for lawyers. For those employed by the Department of Justice, its Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP) offers $6,000 in loan assistance for each year you work at the DoJ, with a lifetime maximum of $60,000.
Public defenders can apply for the John R. Justice (JRJ) student loan repayment program, which gives you up to $10,000 in assistance for a maximum of $60,000. This does require a three-year commitment to work as a public defender. You can also apply for a PSLF program if you work in a relevant field.
Military Student Loan Forgiveness and Loan Assistance Programs
If you’ve served in the military, you still qualify for the Forever GI Bill and can get up to $65,000 in forgiveness through the Military College Repayment Program (CLRP) if you join the military or renew your existing service contract. You also qualify for PSLF programs.
Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses
Student loan forgiveness for nurses includes the PSLF, which nurses usually qualify for due to the nature of their work.
Additionally, you can apply for the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP), which is available for those who work in critical shortage facilities in high-need areas or at an accredited nursing school for two full years.
In exchange, NURSE Corps will cover 60% of your unpaid loans over the same period.
You can also apply for Perkins Loans cancellations, which remove up to 30% of your total loan after 5 years of service.
Student Loan Bankruptcy
Although the process requires a few extra steps, you can have your student loans forgiven in your bankruptcy if you can prove it would cause you undue hardship to continue paying them. To do so, you’ll have to file an extra lawsuit and answer additional questions about how payments would affect you. It’s still recommended to avoid this unless you’ve exhausted all other options.
Borrower Defense Against Repayment
In cases where you’ve been misled by your university, or it has engaged in misconduct or violation of certain laws, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness. This process, known as Borrower defense against repayment, is available for federally backed student loans, and you can apply for it even if your school hasn’t closed.
Student Loan Forgiveness for Doctors
Student loan forgiveness programs for doctors include the National Health Service Corps program, which gives you up to $50,000 for a two-year commitment to the organization, and the PSLF program. Additionally, service in the military gives you several options based on your branch, as does working for the National Institutes of Health.
Obama Student Loan Forgiveness
The Obama Student Loan Forgiveness program’s concept is simple – keep student loan repayments affordable and write off the remaining balance when certain requirements are met. This is a great student debt relief program that says your student loan payments shouldn’t be more than 10% of your discretionary income. Additionally, any remaining balance of your loan will be waived off after 20 years of payment under the Obama PAYE program, but you will have to pay income tax on the amount waived.
Trump Student Loan Forgiveness
This program is an upgrade of Obama’s student loan forgiveness program. The Trump Administration introduced some new laws and some proposals, and one such law is the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Per the program, student loan discharges by total and permanent disability (TPD) won’t be added to your gross income and are no longer taxable. With this new change interested borrowers can access debt relief, allowing them to apply for a discharge and not stick to income-driven repayment plans.
When Forgiveness Options Fail
Even when you fully intend to meet your forgiveness program’s requirements, you may trip up. Many programs have stringent conditions and lapsing on even one can result in having to pay your full loan.
Moreover, applying for the wrong program can complicate the process even further. In these cases, you may be left with fewer options than before, but you can still work with lenders to find a repayment plan that helps you at least manage the financial costs.
In the worst of cases, you can apply for bankruptcy to forgive your existing debt, but you should always avoid this option until the very end.
On the other hand, you can attempt to apply for a consolidation loan to help stabilize your payments or opt for an income-driven option that doesn’t forgive your payment but might make it more manageable.
>> More info on alternatives to student loan forgiveness
What I Think about Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Student loans are no longer an option for many aspiring college students, and we must find ways to responsibly pay for our accrued debts. Even so, you should always take advantage of every option possible to manage your student loans as well as you can.
This includes taking care from the very start, either by starting your payments early or signing up for a plan that gives you some time to find your footing before having to pay.
If your loan payments become too much to handle, it’s important to find ways to make them more manageable. Consolidation loans may help in reducing both your payments and your overall interest rates, and income-driven repayment can also help you find a way out of your debt hole responsibly. In the worst of cases, you shouldn’t look at forgiveness as a bad thing.
Sometimes your inability to pay stems from unpredictable life events outside your control and not your irresponsibility. Forgiveness is a way to get the help you need without having to sacrifice your financial future with a nuclear option like bankruptcy.