Private and federal student loan debt currently stands at $1.6 trillion. Many borrowers struggle to make payments, and some studies suggest the default rate on federal loans could hit 40 percent by 2023. However, there are many payment options that can help federal student loan borrowers avoid default. There are also programs in place that can help federal borrowers receive loan forgiveness for working in certain types of jobs.
Below, we have included more information about the types of jobs that qualify for forgiveness under certain programs.
Federal, State and Local Jobs
If you work for a federal, state or local entity, then you may qualify for the Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Examples of qualifying jobs could include working for the FBI, CIA, state legislature or as a police officer for a municipality.
However, there are additional requirements that are notorious for creating confusion. For instance, you must have Direct Loans in good standing and must make 10 years of qualifying payments. There are additional nuances to the program that previous blog posts discuss.
The last thing you want to do is spend several years making payments, only to discover you did not meet one of these requirements. You would have to start the process over.
Certain nonprofits also qualify for PSLF. However, your nonprofit employer must meet certain specifications. It must either be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization or must assist with qualifying public services. Labor unions and partisan political organizations do not qualify.
Certain Healthcare Jobs
There are student loan forgiveness options for nurses and other health professionals. However, your access to these programs depends on where you live and work. Your employer and job duties also factor into your eligibility. In Missouri, you may be able to take advantage of the Health Professional State Loan Repayment Program if you work in an area with a shortage of health professionals.
Public School Teachers
It is widely known that public school teachers struggle financially in many states. However, there are programs these teachers can use to receive student loan forgiveness. The federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program can help teachers with Direct Loans who work for a certain period of time at low-income schools or qualifying educational service agencies. The many requirements for this program are listed on the Department of Education’s website.
Common Student Loan Forgiveness Problems
Some borrowers were unable to receive loan forgiveness through PSLF even after making many years, in some cases 10 years, of timely payments. Many of these borrowers did not have Direct Loans and were not informed of this requirement by their loan servicers.
You should be sure to keep any paperwork from the Department of Education or your loan servicer. Make digital backup copies of these documents. Also be sure to take notes when on the phone with workers from the Department of Education or your loan servicer. Make note of who you spoke to, the date and time, and what was discussed.
The Department of Education has additional requirements for its PSLF program. You must abide by the requirements throughout your repayment period if you intend to receive loan forgiveness.
About Our Kansas City Student Loan Attorneys
The Sader Law Firm has extensive experience helping borrowers with student loan issues. In 2016, the firm’s founder, Neil Sader, made the front page of Reddit after hosting an IAmA on student loans.
Our Kansas City student loan attorneys can discuss repayment problems or whether you are eligible to discharge your higher education debt through bankruptcy. Call us at (816) 561 1818 or use the contact form on our site to schedule a consultation.