Among the most common questions asked about student loans is how to get student loan forgiveness.
The immense student loan help it provides makes it very popular among borrowers.
Student loan forgiveness applications vary depending on the type of forgiveness you wish to qualify for.
How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness 101
What to Do Before Applying
Student loan forgiveness is not a magic solution to all your financial needs.
Before you start asking how to get student loan forgiveness, there are a couple of things you need to do.
1. Compute Your Student Loans
First, compute your total student loan debt.
While student loan forgiveness does provide great help, you will still have to pay some amount of money in the process.
Knowing how much you owe will help you plan your finances.
2. Consolidate Your Loans
The next thing you should do is consider consolidating your student loans through a Direct Consolidation Loan.
Remember, only federal loans qualify for student loan forgiveness.
Private loan forgiveness is a completely different story.
With all of your loans under one federal loan, you can start looking for the student loan forgiveness program that is right for you.
3. Choose a Repayment Plan
Most of the student loan forgiveness programs require you be enrolled under a student loan repayment plan.
Usually, these are the Income-Driven Repayment Plans.
Borrowers of federal loans are automatically assigned to the Standard Repayment Plan to repay their loans.
However, you could apply for a different plan that requires a small monthly payment and allows a longer repayment duration.
See our list of all the repayment plans.
Now, your loans are organized. The eligibility and steps to qualify for a specific student loan forgiveness program vary.
If you are unsure of your decision, consider these options:
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
— Antioch U Seattle (@antiochseattle) July 27, 2017
This program has the widest range of careers that could qualify for loan forgiveness.
Jobs in the public service sectors vary.
Be sure to check with your employer before signing your contract.
- Eligibility: You must be working full-time in a qualified organization or a government agency. Moreover, you must make full consecutive payments for 10 years before your loans can be forgiven.
- Documents Needed: You are required to submit the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form for every year of service.
- Where to File: Speak with your loan service provider upon the beginning of your public service career and every year leading up to your 10th for your eligibility to the PSLF.
Military Student Loan Forgiveness
There are many ways to obtain student loan forgiveness for Military personnel.
Any of its branches—Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard—are eligible.
For the many possibilities with this forgiveness program, see our guide to the Military Student Loan Forgiveness.
Different branches of the military require different documents and have different concerned agents.
Student Loan Forgiveness for Veterans
After service in the military comes life as a veteran.
Many still ask how to get student loan forgiveness as a veteran, as they should.
- Eligibility: If you have a permanent disability acquired during years of service, you may qualify for the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge. It can forgive Perkins Loans, FFEL, and Direct Loans.
- Documents Needed: The TPD website has all the necessary documents you need to download and complete to show that your disability is, in fact, permanent and acquired from service.
- Where to File: Speak to your loan servicer once you have obtained all necessary backing to prove your disability
Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers
If you find joy in teaching, then you will find even more happiness in the student loan forgiveness for teachers.
There are specific conditions to qualify for this great program.
- Eligibility: You must be working at a qualifying school with great demand for teachers; these schools are usually for low-income families. Furthermore, you must have good credentials and serve as a teacher in this school for five consecutive years.
- Documents Needed: Complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness application form
- Where to File: Finish the form and submit it to your loan service provider for processing
Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses
The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program or NHSC is by far the most lauded student loan forgiveness for nurses.
As with other forms of loan forgiveness, there are specific conditions for this one:
- Eligibility: You must work as a licensed nurse in a qualifying area. These areas are usually underserved or have a high need for nurses. 60% of your student loan is forgiven after 2 years of service. After a consecutive third year, the Government forgives another 25% of your loan.
- Documents Needed and Where to File: The NHSC accepts applications only once a year. Here is a fully comprehensive guide to the documents you need and where to go for help.
Student loan forgiveness is a great opportunity to start your life anew.
Everyone has dreams, and no one should be encumbered by crippling financial debt.
Knowing what to do and where to go to eliminate your student loans prepares you for a bright future you deserve.
What are your thoughts on student loan forgiveness? Let us know in the comments below
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