Numerous student loan forgiveness programs are open to students who work in particular government occupations or meet other conditions. Borrowers should thoroughly examine these programs before applying to verify they qualify and understand the conditions.
What Is the Difference Between Forgiveness, Discharge and Cancellation?
The terms forgiveness, discharge, and cancellation, are essentially synonymous, yet they are used in different contexts. If you are no longer needed to make loan payments because of your work, this is known as forgiveness or cancellation. If you are no longer needed to make loan payments owing to other conditions, such as total and permanent disability or the closing of the school where you obtained your loans, this is known as discharge.
Some of the most common student loan forgiveness schemes are as follows:
Public Service Loan Forgiveness: This program is for borrowers who work in public service jobs, such as government employees or teachers. Participants must make 120 qualifying payments on their student loans, and any remaining debt will be forgiven after ten years of repayment.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program: Teachers may qualify for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if they teach in certain low-income schools for five consecutive years. Other teacher cancellation programs exist for borrowers who work in specific subjects or at particular grade levels.
Perkins Loan Cancellation: Borrowers with Perkins Loans may be eligible for partial loan forgiveness based on the number of years they have worked and their type of employment. For example, teachers may qualify for 100% loan cancellation after five years of teaching, while health professionals can have up to 70% of their loans forgiven.
Military Student Loan Forgiveness: Some military borrowers may be eligible for student loan forgiveness through the Military College Loan Repayment Program, which repays up to $65,000 in student loans for certain qualifying members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, or Marines.
Other Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: There are some other forgiveness programs available to borrowers who work in specific fields, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, and social workers. Borrowers should research these programs carefully to see if they qualify.
The best way to determine if you qualify for student loan forgiveness is to contact your loan servicer and ask about the available programs. You can also visit government websites such as Federal Student Aid and the Department of Education for more information.