If you are
struggling to pay off student debt, you’ve likely asked yourself whether or not you qualify for student
loan forgiveness. There are various programs, most of which are federally
funded, that are designed to help qualifying students. Depending on how
much you owe, what degree you obtained, and what line of work you currently
practice, you may succeed in having your student debt forgiven.
Failure to make payments on any debt on time, including student loans,
can have severe legal consequences. This is why it is so important to
be aware of what types of forgiveness options are available.
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You may qualify for student loan forgiveness depending on the following factors:
There are numerous programs in place to help people with low-incomes seek
partial or full forgiveness of their student loan debt. The Income-Based
Repayment plan, offered by the Department of Education, permits individuals
to pay off their student debt in proportion to their income. Individuals
may pay up to 10-15 percent of their discretionary income for a set term
of 20 or 25 years. After this period, the remaining loan balance will
Like the Income-Based Repayment plan, Pay As You Earn, Revised Pay As You
Earn, Income-Contingent Repayment, are other repayment plans that may
result in lower monthly payments and partial loan forgiveness.
Public Service Employees
If you work full-time for either the federal, state, or local government,
you may be eligible for student loan forgiveness. Only certain loans,
including Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Direct Plus Loans,
and Direct Consolidation Loans qualify. A minimum of 120 payments must
be made towards the qualifying loans, but the result could be up to 100%
student loan forgiveness.
Teachers and Other Education Employees
Those employed in certain education fields, like teachers, may seek partial
or full student loan forgiveness because they considered assets to their
communities. Teachers may qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness
program, as well as the Federal Perkins cancellation. Also, teachers employed
at certain low-income schools for 5 or more years, or those teaching specific
subjects may qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, if their school falls
Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory. Qualifying schools are determined by the Federal Student Aid Office of
the U.S. Department of Education.
There are also numerous repayment plans and financial assistance programs
in place to help teachers repay student debt.
Health Care Professionals
There are both federal and state forgiveness programs in place for nurses,
including the NURSE Corps Repayment Program. There are also numerous state-funded
assistance programs to help nurses repay student debt. Doctors or pharmacists
may also receive assistance with their student loans. The NHSC program,
for example, will award a doctor a sum of money to go towards their student
loans if he or she commits to practicing a certain branch of medicine
in that state for a set number of years. Practicing medicine in areas
of need, such as Alaskan Native communities or American Indian communities
can also result in up to $40,000 of loan forgiveness under the IHS Loan
The military thanks its service members by offering
student loan forgiveness to Army and Navy doctors, as well as other active members and veterans.
Other branches, including the Air Force and National Guard, may also utilize
repayment assistance programs. The army also has a College Loan Repayment
Program, which pays one-third of a person’s student loans every
year for up to 3 years.
Other Factors /
Discharge Due To Disability
Under certain circumstances,
it is possible to have student loans discharged. This is not the same as forgiveness, though it can still help those under
extreme financial strain. Some special circumstances include the closing
of the school, false certification of an unauthorized payment, the discharge
of an unpaid refund, or borrower defense. Additionally, if someone with
student debt suffers
Total and Permanent Disability or files bankruptcy, he or she may have all student loans discharged.
The number of forgiveness programs for public service members, military
members, and those in financial need are numerous, but the process can
sometimes be overwhelming. If you need help determining how you may seek
student loan forgiveness, our firm can help. We will sit down with you
and investigate the circumstances of your loans, repayments, and current
financial situation to figure out the best plan of action. Also, if you
do not qualify for loan forgiveness, our
student loan lawyers at Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC can still help you handle your
student debt, either through consolidation or some other means.
Contact us at 877-717-0098 to request a free initial evaluation.