It is not only difficult to become a professor, but also costly. Teachers can still borrow substantial student loans, even with grants and scholarships. The U.S. Department of Education offers different professors student loan forgiveness options, thanks to Congress.
Here’s information you should know about the student loans forgiveness programs, and student loan repayment options.
Professors can get student loan forgiveness
Professors as well adjunct faculty have three options for student loan forgiveness.
- The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
- Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness
- Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP).
Borrowers with federal student loan debt are eligible for the PSLF or IDR forgiveness. Private student loan borrowers who are employed at a school for health professions can receive up to $40,000.
Also Checkout: How parents can get student loan forgiveness?
1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which is one of the most powerful loan forgiveness programs available to professors, is undoubtedly the best. The U.S. Department of Education offers all levels of education professionals and faculty the opportunity to forgive their federal student loans.
It is a government agency. All schools are eligible, including public schools, state schools, community colleges, and tribal institutions.
It is a 501(c),(3) non-profit. Many private colleges and universities are 501(c),(3). For confirmation of the school’s non-profit status, check with your school’s HR Department.
Follow these steps to apply for PSLF:
- Confirm that you have Direct Loans. You can find out which federal student loans you have at Studentaid.gov. Only Federal Direct Loans are eligible for the PSLF Program. Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Family Education Loans ( FFELP), and Federal Perkins Loans are not eligible for this program. There is no retroactive credit available for these loans. Consolidating the loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan is the only way to get PSLF forgiveness for FFEL or Perkins Loans.
- You must be enrolled in an IDR plan. All income-driven repayment plans like IBR, REPAYE, and PAYE are qualifying repayment plans. You may be eligible to receive credit for monthly payments made under a different plan (e.g. Standard Repayment Plan) if you have applied under the Temporary Extended Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
- Full-time work: You must work at least 30 hours per week. If you are employed at two schools that are eligible for PSLF, part-time work may be possible.
- Register for PSLF Program: Although not required, it is a good practice to submit a PSLF employment certification form each year with your annual recertification to help you create an income-driven repayment plan for your student loan servicer.
- You must make 120 qualifying payments before you can be eligible for forgiveness. If your payment is received within 15 days of its due date, it will be eligible for forgiveness. This rule makes it impossible to meet the forgiveness criteria quicker.
What are the hours required for student loan forgiveness for adjunct professors? As long as adjunct faculty work at least 30 hours per week, they are eligible for the PSLF Program. To satisfy the 30-hour requirement, you can combine hours from more than one college.
PSLF Limited Waiver Opportunity
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Department of Education to announce a change in the PSLF program rules from October 6th, 2021 to October 31st, 2022.
You can now get credit towards PSLF or TEPSLF for payments you have made on loans, even if they are not eligible for PSLF.
You can now use past payments as qualifying payments. PSLF does not require any restrictions regarding loan type, repayment plan, on-time payments, or full payments. Qualifying for employment is all you need now.
2. Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness
Professors may also be eligible for IDR loan forgiveness if they are pursuing PSLF. This is possible after 20/25 years. After making 240 or 300 monthly payments, each income-driven repayment plan will forgive the remaining balance of your loan.
Eligible Repayment Plans:
- Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE).
- Pay as You Earn (PAYE).
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR).
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)
Doctoral and graduate students may be eligible to earn credit towards the forgiveness program if their student loans are paid instead of being deferred or forborne.
Also Checkout: Arizona Student Loan Forgiveness and Financial Aid Programs
3. Faculty Loan Repayment Programs
Borrowers who are employed at an accredited school of medicine or health professions may be eligible for some federal or private student loan forgiveness through the Faculty Loan Remedies Program (FLRP).
This program is offered by the Health Resources & Service Administration to doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who are willing to teach at qualified schools.
FLRP Program provides loan repayment assistance up to $40,000 The FLRP Program also helps to offset tax burdens that are often triggered by the forgiveness of student loans.
- Demonstrate that you are from a poor background.
- Hold a qualifying health professions degree.
You agree to serve as a faculty member in an FLRP-approved institution of health professions for at least two consecutive years.
Alternative to Professors Student Loan Cancellation
Not everyone can wait to get loan forgiveness. It can be scary to see the interest rate on your loans rise while you wait between 10 and 25 years for forgiveness. There are many stories about Americans who have had their forgiveness requests denied. If you prefer to explore other options for dealing with your debt, it’s understandable.
You can also file for student loans bankruptcy. Another option is to refinance with private lenders. However, in return for the lower interest rate, you will lose access to federal programs I mentioned previously: PSLF and IDR, forbearance, etc.
Need help selecting a forgiveness option for your child? Let’s make a plan.
Make sure that you are able to afford the monthly payments and have job security before refinancing federal student loans.
Your pay as a professor at public universities or private schools is not always high. These programs offer professors student loan forgiveness.
To help you determine the best way to pay off student loan debt, set up a no-obligation phone call. We’ll discuss the best options with you during that call.