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FAQ: Student Loan Forgiveness

Student Financial Services

Where can I find information on Federal Loan Forgiveness programs?

To be eligible to participate in federal loan forgiveness programs, you must meet certain criteria, which may include:

  • perform public service
  • perform volunteer work
  • perform military service
  • teach or practice medicine in certain types of communities
  • meet other criteria specified by the forgiveness program

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

In 2007, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs.  Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible federal student loans after they have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full-time by certain public service employers.

Volunteer Work

AmeriCorps: Serve for 12 months and receive up to $7400 in stipends plus $5550 to be used towards your loan. Call 1-800-942-2677.

Peace Corps: Volunteers may apply for deferment of Stafford, Perkins and Consolidation loans and partial cancellation of Perkins Loans (15% for each year of service, up to 70% in total). Volunteers make a real difference in the lives of real people with two years of service in more than 70 developing countries. Contact the Peace Corps at 1111 20th St., NW, Washington, DC 20526 or call 1-800-424-8580 or 1-202-692-1845.

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA): Volunteer with private, non-profit groups that help eradicate hunger, homelessness, poverty and illiteracy. Provide 1700 hours of service and receive $4725. Call 1-800-942-2677 or 1-202-606-5000.

Military Service

Students who are in the  Army National Guard may be eligible for their Student Loan Repayment Program, which offers up to $10,000. Military and veterans' associations provide many scholarships and tuition assistance programs. Contact your veterans’ representative or recruiter for more information.

Teachers

Students who become full-time teachers and meet specific criteria may qualify for cancellation of a Federal Perkins Loan. For more information about this program, click here.

For more information about the Federal Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers, click here.

To find out more information about the eligibility requirements for teacher loan forgiveness, and about deferment provisions for teaching for the Stafford Loan program, as well as the Perkins Loan program, you can visit the Federal Cancellation/Deferment Option for Teachers web page.

The American Federation of Teachers maintains a list of other loan forgiveness programs for teachers.

Child Care Providers

Students who provide child care in low-income communities and meet other specific requirements may qualify to have a portion of their undergraduate Stafford Loans forgiven. For more information, click here.

Medical Care Providers

The US Department of Health and Human Services offers loan forgiveness programs through the National Health Service Corps and the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. Specific requirements must be met.

The US National Institutes of Health’s NIH Loan Repayment Program repays up to $35,000/year of student loan debt for US Citizens who are conducting clinical medical research.