Sit tight and read along as I bring you all the information you need regarding the Student Loan forgiveness program.
Education they say is the key to success. However, it comes at a cost that many are unable to afford hence has/had to go for a student loan so they can attend college. These loans can either be obtained from the government or private lenders with interest which sets out when you should begin to make payments and how much you’ll be paying in installments.
The best option is to go for a federal student loan because their interest rates are relatively lower than private lenders. However, despite it being a better option, unforeseen circumstances might make it difficult for borrowers to pay back their loans. That is where the Student Loan Forgiveness program comes in.
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What is Student Loan Forgiveness?
Student Loan forgiveness is where a borrower who took out loans for college is no longer mandated to repay all or a portion of his/her loan debt. Only persons who went for a federal student loan qualify for forgiveness and is normally available to persons working in a specific public sector, military personnel etc.
Your federal student loan can also be forgiven due to circumstances beyond your (borrower) control.
Types of Student Loan Forgiveness
There are different types of forgiveness for the various types of federal student loans. They are;
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness
- Closed School Discharge
- Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge
- Discharge Due to Death
- Total and Permanent Disability Discharge
- Discharge in Bankruptcy
- False Certification Discharge
- Borrower Defense to Repayment
- Unpaid Refund Discharge
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
This type of forgiveness is accessible to persons working in a governmental organization or non-profits. It settles the outstanding Direct Loan balance of borrowers after making at least 120 qualifying monthly payments (10 years of monthly payment) under a qualifying repayment plan. What this means is that, you must have paid your minimum amount owed on time whiles employed by government or nonprofits.
Public service workers who qualify include; teachers, social workers, police, nurses, fire departments, etc.
Borrowers can apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) by filling the program PSLF and Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF) Certification & Application (PSLF form) together with their employers. So what you now do is to consolidate your FFEL Program loan and Perkins loans into a Consolidation loan. Once that is done, you then submit contact your loan servicer.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
This type of forgiveness is available to teachers who have taught for five consecutive years in a low-income secondary school, elementary school or educational service agency. But then the borrower’s loan should either be a Direct loan or FFEL Program loans.
Qualified persons can have their loans forgiven up to $17,500 depending on your qualification. Borrowers cannot receive Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness for the same period of service.
Eligibility requirements are;
- Must be a full time teacher who has taught for at least five uninterrupted academic years. NB: at least one of the five years must be after the 1997/98 academic year.
- Must not be in debt of a Direct Loan or a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans as at 1st October 1998.
- If the loan in question was taken during the five complete and consecutive academic years then you may qualify for forgiveness.
- Lastly, applicant must be teaching in a low income elementary school, secondary school or an educational service agency
Closed School Discharge
Your federal student loan can be discharged if your college closes whiles you were in school or not too long after you leave. It is available for Perkins loans, Direct loans and FFEL Program loans.
Discharge Due to Death
In cases where the borrower or the student the loan was taken for passes away, the federal student loan will be discharged.
Discharge in Bankruptcy
Borrowers can also have their federal student loan discharged after they declare that they are bankrupt. However, for your federal student loans to be discharge in bankruptcy, it must be verifiable and it is not automatic for your loan to be discharged simply because you’ve declared bankruptcy.
It is accessible for Direct Loans, FFEL Program Loans and Perkins loans.
Visit https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation to check a few more types of loan forgiveness.
How to Apply for Forgiveness
To apply for forgiveness, you must contact your loan servicer for guidance. Borrowers with Perkins Loan must however contact their college or loan servicer assigned by your college.