Can't decide which student loan forgiveness program to apply for? You are not alone. Many college graduates today are looking to refinance or even consolidate their student loans to lower their interest rates. One of the options they have is to apply for a federal student loan forgiveness program. This program, signed in 2010 by the Obama administration, allows borrowers to save money by adjusting the terms on their current student loans. Instead of having to pay multiple lenders, you are able to negotiate a single monthly payment that could be as low as $0/mo.
The other option students can use to seek debt relief, is to apply for a public service loan forgiveness program. These loans are targetted towards students working in the public service sector and comes with many restrictions. Continue reading to learn more about each programs' benefits and criteria for applying.
Federal Student Loan Forgiveness
The Student Loan Forgiveness Program is a federal program that assists those working in public service jobs, such as nonprofits, manage their debt loan through forgiveness after 120 payments (ten years).This program, signed in 2010 by the Obama administration, gives borrowers (as well as lenders) options to help student consolidate and refinance their student loans. This is a great alternative to the standard 20-25 year forgiveness plans that come with standard federal loan repayments.
Do I Qualify For Federal Student Loan Forgiveness?
If you have taken out any of the following federal student loans you may qualify for the forgiveness program.
- Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford/Direct Loans
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Direct Loans
- Federal Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Direct Consolidations Loans
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is a loan targeted at students who pursue public service careers and who have high debt but not high income. Generally, this program is available to anyone who works in a non-profit organization. Debt forgiveness is available for Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Plus Loans and Grad Plus Loans.
This program discharges any remaining debt after 10 years of full-time employment in public service. The borrower must have made 120 payments as part of the Direct Loan program in order to obtain this benefit.
Do I Qualify For Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
The public service loan forgiveness program has the following restrictions:
- Term: The forgiveness occurs after 120 monthly payments have been made on an eligible Federal Direct Loan. Periods of deferment and forbearance are not counted toward the 120 payments. Payments made before October 1, 2007 do not count. Likewise, only payments on a Federal Direct Loan are counted.
- What is Forgiven? The remaining interest and principal are forgiven.
- Employment: The borrower must be employed full-time in a public service job for each of the 120 monthly payments. Find out if your job qualifies here.
- Eligible Loans: Eligible loans include Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Federal Direct PLUS Loans, and Federal Direct Consolidation Loans. Borrowers in the Direct Loan program do not need to consolidate in order to qualify for loan forgiveness. Borrowers in the FFEL program will need to consolidate into Direct Loans. Although Perkins Loans are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness, if they are included in a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan the entire consolidation loan, including the Perkins Loans, is eligible for public service loan forgiveness.
- Eligible Repayment Plans: Borrowers may use income-based repayment, income contingent repayment, standard repayment or a combination of these repayment plans. To maximize the amount of forgiveness, borrowers should use income-based repayment.
- Taxability: Public service loan forgiveness is not taxable under section 108(f) of the Internal Revenue Code.
You can learn more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program at studentaid.ed.gov
Do I Need Federal or Public Loan Forgiveness?
Determining what kind of loan forgiveness you need can be daunting. You must carefully read through each programs' eligibility criteria and fill out the right application to be considered for loan forgiveness. If you want to find out if you qualify for these federal student loan forgiveness programs, contact us and one of our representatives will follow up with you in 24 hours.
They are here to answer all your questions regarding your student loans and even help you complete your applications.