Teachers have more options for student loan forgiveness than any other career. This is great, but it can also make things confusing. The subject of student loan forgiveness for teachers is complicated because there are so many options and so many requirements.
You have four options for student loan forgiveness if you are a teacher. There is also a secondary route for student loan forgiveness depending on your repayment schedule.
The average teacher earns around $38,727, based on Payscale. Additionally, the average student loan balance is $32,731. Teachers need all the help they can get.
Let’s take a look at four ways you can get student loan forgiveness for teachers. We also discuss other options, as well as how to obtain professional help if necessary.
Option 1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or PSLF, is one of the most popular ways to get student loan forgiveness. This program allows you to obtain complete Federal student loans forgiven after making 120 qualifying payments.
The best thing about this program? It offers many options for teachers. You don’t even have to teach at a Title 1 school. Any teacher can count. Any worker at any school counts (librarians, teacher’s aides, principals, and janitors). ).
PSLF has three main requirements:
- Certificated Employment for 120 Payments – Find the employment certification form.
- Direct loans – Other loan types, such as FFEL, don’t count.
- Qualifying Repayment plan – These are the qualifying repayment plans of PSLF: Standard 10-year plan IBR, PAYE RePAYE and ICR as well as certain payments made under the graduated program.
Option 2. Teacher Loan Forgiveness
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program was created before PSLF. This allowed qualified teachers to have up to $17,500 of their Direct and FFEL loans forgiven after five years.
This program does not forgive a larger amount of debt than PSLF. It also has more restrictions than PSLF. The following are the requirements for teacher loan forgiveness:
- 5 Years Completed & Consecutive At A Qualifying school– The qualified school’s list can be found here. After 1998, the five years must be completed.
- Teachers who have a high level of education can get up to $17,500 and others up to $5,000.
- After your five consecutive years are complete, you can apply to the program for forgiveness.
It might not be a good idea if you don’t intend to work for 10 years. Teacher Loan Forgiveness may be possible if you meet the criteria of 5 years and you don’t intend to teach any further.
If you don’t have FFEL or consolidated loans, this could be an option. FFEL loans do not qualify for PSLF. Instead, you can apply for Teacher Loan Forgiveness and then consolidate your loan debts to get PSLF.
Option 3. Perkins Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Perkins Loans allow you to get forgiveness of up to 100% of your loan amount if you teach full-time in a low-income school, or teach certain subjects.
Perkins Loans allow you to forgive all of your loan balances over five years. You can get some of your loan balance forgiven over 5 years. This is the great thing about Perkins Loans.
Here’s how it works:
- Year 1: 15% Forgiveness
- Year 2: 15% Forgiveness
- Year 3: 20% Forgiveness
- Year 4: 20% Forgiveness
- Year 5: 30% Forgiveness
The program has many requirements. Here are the essential requirements:
- Must Teach In A Low Income School Or Certain Subjects – The list contains a list of eligible schools.
- The Qualifying Subjects are– science, math, and other subjects that have been identified as being in short supply in your state.
- Private Schools – This program is available to eligible schools that are 501(c),(3), or nonprofit.
Perkins loans are administered by the college where you received your loan. This makes them difficult to understand. To request forgiveness, contact your loan servicer at the Perkins Loan Office or financial aid office.
Option 4. State-Based Loan Repayment Assistance Programs
There are 45 states and the District of Columbia that offer state-based student loans repayment assistance programs. These programs can be used to assist states in staffing teachers in areas or programs that are lacking.
While you may be eligible for several programs, it is important to remember that you cannot combine programs. PSLF cannot be applied for simultaneously if you are a participant in a state-based program.
Before signing up for any program, it is important to assess the value of state-based programs and your personal circumstances.
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Secondary Options to Receive Student Loan Forgiveness to Teachers
These are just a few of the “secrets” student loan forgiveness opportunities that most teachers do not know about. These are secondary methods to get loan forgiveness in the event that something does not work out with any of the programs. For example, you may stop teaching or working before you qualify.
This is because all income-based repayment plans (IBR, IBR, RePAYE), all include student loan forgiveness for any remaining balances after repayment periods (typically 20 to 25 years). These programs will automatically be part of your repayment plans. You don’t even have to sign up – other than continuing to be eligible on the repayment plan.
There is hope even if your situation doesn’t allow you to be eligible for the forgiveness programs. While it may take longer to get loan forgiveness, it is possible.
How to Get Professional Help with Student Loans
You don’t have to pay any fees for your student loans. These programs can be applied for online at StudentLoans.gov, which offers many excellent resources and online applications. But, there are some who may want to hire professional help for student loan debt.
You can speak with a CFA to assist you in your student loan repayments. You can reach us immediately.
Teachers are eligible for student loan forgiveness. Teachers have more student loan forgiveness options than any other profession. You should be taking advantage of these programs if you are a teacher to get rid of student loan debt.
By not taking action, you are effectively ignoring this free money. If you need help, reach out! There are many options to help you get the student loans forgiveness you want.