Student Loan Forgiveness Program


You may be eligible for partial or full loan forgiveness through student loan forgiveness programs. Each of these programs has its own prerequisites and acceptance criteria, and some of them are exclusively open to members of certain professions (such as teachers and the military, for example). Student loan forgiveness may be a major relief for students who are prepared to work in particular occupations or satisfy other conditions for a number of years and result in savings of tens of thousands of dollars.


Student Loan forgiveness program

Student Loan forgiveness program

Understanding how your program functions and strictly adhering to the instructions are essential for getting the most student loan forgiveness. The best forgiveness initiatives and how they operate are listed below. Most borrowers may locate a program to assist them get at least some of their student loan debt forgiven, even if not all forgiveness programs will be successful for all borrowers.

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs often require employment in a certain industry, such as a position in the charity sector or a suitable public service post. The following programs need some time commitment before your debt is erased, however after five to 25 years, you could have your debt canceled.

Types Of Student Loan Programs

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program

Graduates who are prepared to work for 10 years in a suitable public service job are targeted by the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The program requires full-time employment with a non-profit organization or a U.S. federal, state, municipal, or tribal government. It’s not necessary to work for the same employer during this period.

In order to be eligible for an income-driven repayment plan, you must complete 120 on-time payments, and in most cases, your monthly payments must be made on either a Direct Loan or a Direct Consolidation Loan. The PSLF program, however, has recently undergone revisions that would allow borrowers who made payments using an FFEL or Perkins Loan to have those payments count toward PSLF as long as they combine the loans and apply for PSLF by October 31, 2022.

After making 120 eligible payments, your remaining loan debt may be forgiven if you can satisfy all of the program’s conditions.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Teachers who have “been employed as a full-time, highly qualified teacher for five complete and consecutive academic years” at a low-income school or educational assistance agency are eligible for Teacher Loan Forgiveness. Loans must have been taken out before the conclusion of the five years you spent doing teaching service that qualifies, and at least one of those years must have passed since the 1997–98 school year.

Depending on the topics you teach and if you are eligible for this relief, you may be able to get up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness. Mathematics, science, and special education teachers in secondary schools are all eligible for the full $17,500 in loan forgiveness. Other subject teachers are eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $5,000. 

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program may be available to licensed registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and nursing faculty members who have qualifying nursing debt. Additional qualifications include holding a degree from an approved institution and working full-time in a high-need nursing region that qualifies.

If you meet the requirements for this program, after two years of service, 60 percent of your debts may be erased. You can apply for a third year of service and get an additional 25% forgiveness once the first two years of the program are finished.

Income-driven repayment plans

Your remaining student loan amount may be erased after several years of reduced payments under income-driven repayment arrangements (IDR). Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), and Income-Based Repayment (IBR) are the four most popular repayment options.

For 20 to 25 years, you must make payments from your discretionary income under each plan’s terms before the remaining sum of your debt is forgiven. You must have qualified federal student loans and recertify your income annually in order to be eligible for income-driven repayment options.

Student Loan Forgiveness For Military Members

There are several methods to ask the government to pay back some of your federal student loans if you are a current or former member of the armed forces.

The National Defense Student Loan Discharge benefit is one choice; if a service member is eligible for hostile-fire or imminent-danger pay, it can assist them get part or all of their Perkins Loans discharged. If the borrower served in the military before August 14, 2008, they could be eligible for up to 50% forgiveness; if they enlisted on or after that day, they might be eligible for up to 100% forgiveness.

The Student Loans Repayment Program, which provides up to $50,000 in student debt forgiveness after finishing an appropriate service contract, may also be available to National Guard troops.

Forgiveness Programs For Doctors

If you meet the requirements for a debt forgiveness program, you might be able to get some student loan relief if you’re a doctor. While the debt forgiveness amounts you can qualify for are often significant, the majority of loan forgiveness programs for medical professionals require you to work in a high-need location for a number of years.

For instance, the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program provides up to $50,000 in loan forgiveness in exchange for two years of full-time employment and up to $25,000 in exchange for one year of half-time employment in a approved post.

The Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration Primary Care Loans program are two more physician loan forgiveness programs.

For health professionals who serve in the military, a number of military branches, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force, have debt forgiveness programs. If they work for a business that qualifies, doctors may also qualify for PSLF.

Loan Forgiveness Programs For Lawyers

There are several loan forgiveness programs specifically for attorneys with student loan debt, albeit some of them are only available to students of those law schools. Check to see whether any of the several state-based debt repayment aid programs are available to you.

Nationally, students might think about the Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program, which could forgive up to $6,000 in total and $6,000 in annual student loan debt.

Loan Forgiveness Programs For AmeriCorps

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is available to borrowers who are AmeriCorps members who are serving full-time. Additionally, those who fulfill and complete the specified terms of national service in the AmeriCorps program are eligible to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. Any eligible postsecondary educational institution or GI Bill-approved program may accept this award as payment for your educational expenses.

You may also pay back eligible student loans with money from the prize. The sum is equal to the maximum Pell Grant award for the award year 2023–24, which is $7,395. This sum is subject to vary every year.

The Office of the National Service Trust (commonly known as the Trust) may be able to reimburse individuals who have finished their service in an authorized AmeriCorps program for up to 100% of interest payments that they have accrued. Only individuals who have finished their term of service and received the Segal AmeriCorps Education award are eligible for this.

Student loan discharge programs

When you are released from your obligation to make loan payments because to unforeseeable events like the closing of your school or a total and irreversible disability, this is known as a student loan discharge. Your student loans may be totally canceled in a select circumstances. Here are a few illustrations and some information on discharge programs.

Perkins Loan cancellation

Your Perkins Loan may be discharged in several situations. Here are several circumstances in which you can be eligible for the cancellation of a Perkins Loan:

You teach special education or a subject area where there is a shortage of instructors with the necessary credentials in your state.

You work as a teacher in a school for children from low-income households.

You participate in volunteer work or another Perkins Loan Cancellation Program-eligible Job. These careers include those of firemen, police officers, public defenders, speech therapists, and others.

The Perkins Loan servicer for your institution is where you can submit your cancellation request. You can get help from your school or service provider with the application and with the relevant paperwork. You could be eligible to forgive up to 100% of your Perkins Loan if you meet the requirements.

Closed school discharge

You could be qualified for a full discharge of your federal student loans if you presently hold a Direct Loan, an FFEL Loan, or a Federal Perkins Loan. The following situations allow for complete discharge:

Your school shut down 120 days after you withdrew (if you withdrew before July 1, 2020) or 180 days after you withdrew (if you withdrew on or after July 1, 2020).

While you were enrolled, the school was closed.

When your school closed, you were on a leave of absence that had been authorized.

If you have any of these problems, get in touch with your loan servicer. Your servicer may provide you with information on how to apply for a discharge of your loans as well as what to do if your application is rejected.

Borrower Defense To Repayment

You can be qualified for federal student debt forgiveness if your institution fooled you, behaved improperly, or broke certain state laws. You could get your federal Direct Loans forgiven in whole or in part, or you can get paid back for the money you’ve already put toward your loans, if you’re found to be eligible.

You can submit an online application for borrower defense on the website for Federal Student Aid. Examine the essential papers before applying since you could be asked to provide additional electronic documents throughout the application process.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

Based on your condition, you could be eligible for federal student debt relief if you’re fully and permanently handicapped. Applicants must complete a TPD discharge application and send it to disability discharge servicer Nelnet with the necessary supporting papers. Documentation from a doctor, the Social Security Administration, or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may be required when you apply.

If you satisfy one of the qualifications mentioned above, you may also be exempt from any TEACH grant duties. Visit the TPD information resource site of the Federal Student Aid for further details on how to get in touch with Nelnet and apply for a TPD discharge.

Discharge Due to Death

Once confirmation of death is provided, federal student debts will be entirely forgiven following the borrower’s passing. With the proper paperwork, any PLUS loans that your parents took out on your behalf can also be dismissed.

You will want a death certificate or a certified copy of the certificate if you intend to apply for a student debt discharge due to death. For information on the necessary paperwork and submissions, speak with your loan servicer.

What to do if you don’t qualify for student loan debt forgiveness programs

You’ll need to look into alternative possibilities if you have private student debts or if your employment precludes you from being eligible for a typical loan forgiveness program. To finally pay off your student loans, take into account the following strategies:

Change your repayment strategy: If you need a lower monthly payment but are ineligible for federal debt forgiveness, try changing your repayment strategy. Federal loans provide repayment options that allow you to spread out your payments over a period of up to 30 years, potentially lowering your monthly payment.

Refinance your student loans: If you have strong or exceptional credit or a co-signer, refinancing your private student loans may be a wise decision. Private lenders may provide very cheap interest rates, and you may select a repayment schedule that suits your requirements and financial situation.

Pay more than the minimum: Think about paying more than the minimum each month if you want to pay off your debts as quickly as possible and save interest fees. You must inform your loan servicer that you want your excess payment applied to the principle of your loan balance rather than your subsequent payment.


If you are eligible for student debt discharge or forgiveness, doing your homework and making sure your paperwork is in order will help you achieve the relief you require. If you have any queries about the application procedure, get in touch with your loan servicer.

Refinancing your student loans can save you money by decreasing your interest rate and combining numerous loans into one low monthly payment if you’re still having difficulties making your payments but don’t qualify for a forgiveness program.

Frequently Asked Question

Will President Biden Cancel Student Loans?

There has been a strong emphasis on improving existing programs, such as TPD discharge, borrower defense to repayment, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, by expanding eligibility requirements or automating the forgiveness process. 

Can Private Student Loans Be Forgiven?

There are major distinctions between federal and private student loans. Even if it happens occasionally—as with the Navient settlement in 2022—court decisions seldom have an effect on private student loans. Although mechanisms for government loan cancellation and forgiveness have been developed, private lenders do not often offer the same concessions.

What are Common Student Loan Forgiveness Scams

There are dishonest businesses that promise to assist you in making an application for loan cancellation or forgiveness in exchange for a one-time or continuing charge. If a business contacts you and claims to be able to assist you in applying for loan forgiveness, this is probably a fraud. However, they won’t grant any loan forgiveness in exchange for their fee. Some businesses could even claim that until you employ their services, you can’t get loan forgiveness. This is another untrue statement. Despite the complexity of certain debt forgiveness programs, borrowers are still able to apply for loan forgiveness on their own without the help of a third party. If in doubt, get in touch with your loan servicer to find out which programs you could be qualified for.


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