FTC: This post is not sponsored and I am not a financial advisor. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

millennial in debt

We’re still talking student loans as per usual, but today we’re getting a little more specific. I’ve told you how to go about inquiring about student loan forgiveness, and then we stepped into the deets of the Navient lawsuit. Now let’s steer back and talk about the specific  student loan forgiveness programs you may be eligible to apply for.

Student loan forgiveness program

My brother graduated from college this year (so no… these aren’t stock photos… this is my actual family) and though I am beyond proud and excited for his next steps into adult life, I am terrified of his student loan balance. Though substantially lower than mine was when I graduated from undergrad, he still has grad school on the horizon. So if you see an influx in loan management posts, it’s really because I’m trying to help a brother out… literally.

student loan forgiveness programs


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With most things, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are so many scams out there promising student loan forgiveness or debt cancellation if you pay one fee. That fee is usually not five dollars, and you end up finding out the hard way that the only legit and effective student loan forgiveness programs are the ones offered from the government.

student loan forgiveness programs

With all of that I give you a complete list of student loan forgiveness programs. And while it may not look like a lot, each one has their own stipulations, categories, and regulations for you to look into.

student loan forgiveness programs

A Complete List Of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs:

These student loan forgiveness programs are only for people who have federal student loans (not private).

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): This student loan forgiveness program is for people who work in “public service” as the name suggests. This means having a full time job/career with the government or not for profit. To be eligible you must first make 120 payments on an eligible loan. This is the equivalent of ten years worth of payment. If you are on a standard repayment plan, 10 years worth of payment will cover the entire life of your loan, therefore it only works in your favor if you are on an income driven repayment plan. The PSLF program does not cover Perkins Loans or FFEL loans.

Income Driven Repayment (IDR): Just as with the loan forgiveness program mentioned above, the income driven repayment is exactly what it sounds like. You submit your pay stubs to your loan provider in order for them to adjust your monthly payment based on your income. IDR also doesn’t cover Perkins or FFEL loans. The Income Driven Repayment plan offers forgiveness after 20-25 years depending on the specific program you are enrolled in, and you can be “kicked’ off of income driven repayment plans if your salary crosses a certain threshold.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness: Teacher loan forgiveness is one of the student loan forgiveness programs that does cover FFEL loans as well as direct loans. However, they do not cover PLUS or Perkins loans. I have benefited from the teacher loan forgiveness program back in 2016. You can receive up to 17,500 dollars in loan forgiveness if you teach Math, Science, Special Ed or Bilingual Ed in a Title I school full-time for a consecutive 5 years. You can receive up to 5,000 dollars in loan forgiveness for all other subjects. Since I teach English I received 5,000 dollars towards my federal loans.

Perkins Loan Cancellation: Perkins loans are a thing of the past and stopped being given/disbursed in September 2017. My Perkins loan was the first loan I paid back in full back in 2010 as it was only 2,000 dollars. If you work in a public service field, the Perkins Loan program will analyze your account on a yearly basis and decide what percentage of your loan to cancel. The amount that is cancelled all depends on your job, and when your loan was taken out. Weird… I know.

Loan Discharge: There are certain conditions that can cause your loan to be 100% discharged/cancelled. These conditions include :

  • Bankruptcy (bankruptcy does not get rid of private loans)
  • Death of the primary borrower (this is again for federal loans, not all private loans do the same)
  • School closure
  • Military service-connected disability
  • Total and permanent disability

Loan Discharge Due to Closed School: If your school closes while you are still enrolled or within 120 days from when you withdrew, then you will receive 100% cancellation/ discharge on the amount that you borrowed to attend. I don’t know too many schools that just get up close very often, but in the case that it does happen you will know/ be aware that you won’t responsible for paying back those particular loans.

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs (Profession Based For Federal & Private Loans):

Private loans are a whole different beast when it comes to loan forgiveness programs that are legit. Most private loan lenders do not offer loan forgiveness, but the ones that do are usually profession based. Here’s a list of profession based loan forgiveness programs you can look into whether you have private or federal loans. As always you will still need to check with your specific lender to see if these programs can be used for your specific loan.

  • NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program
  • National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program
  • National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program
  • Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Program
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Programs
  • Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Guard Health Professions Loan Repayment Programs
  • Military student loan forgiveness and assistance
  • John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program
  • Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program
  • Other state and institution-based programs

Stay informed with all your financial decisions so you can alway make the best one. Hopefully this list was helpful for you to take one step closer to financial freedom. Don’t forget to share this post or bookmark for later reference. And follow us on IG to keep up with your crazy millennial antics! millennial in debt