There are numerous college graduates who enter into public service occupations after school but may also be carrying with them a large amount of student loan debt. Student loans can be difficult to repay, for some, and since there are public service employees with student loan debt who cannot afford the extra financial burden that student loan repayment brings, there are student loan forgiveness options available to cancel student loan debt.
An option for federal student loans is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which was introduced in the hopes that individuals who enter public service jobs will continue to work at these positions in the long term. The qualifications for student loan forgiveness on federal student loan debt states that an individual must make 120 payments, which equates to 10 years’ of repayments, through repayment plans while they are employed in certain public service occupations.
According to studentaid.ed.gov, any loan that is not defaulted and made under the Direct Loan Program may qualify for this type of student loan forgiveness for public service employees. For instance, Direct Stafford loans, Direct Subsidized Stafford loans, federal parent loans, and consolidation loans from the Direct Loan program can qualify for this forgiveness. Also, loans that are made under alternative federal student loan programs may be able to qualify for forgiveness as well if they are consolidated into a Direct Loans consolidation plan.
Student loan forgiveness for public service employees can cover a wide range of occupations as well. Federal, state, and local government agencies, nonprofit businesses, and occupations like law enforcement or public safety officers, public educators and health officials may qualify for these forgiveness options. While there may be individuals who might qualify for a student loan forgiveness plan, but not have a high amount of debt and will have their loan balance paid off before the 10 year period is met, may benefit from payment assistance programs like the income-based repayment plan.
Individuals with student loan debt can contact their lender to see if they personally qualify for one of these student loan forgiveness programs or if a college graduate is having trouble repaying student loans they may be able to find a repayment plan that better fits their personal financial situation.