Teachers and instructors play a vital role in shaping the future for the next generation by helping them to learn the needed skills and become smarter. In America, there are thousands of undergraduate students who are trying to become a teacher through taking student loans and racking up thousands of dollars in debt. As a result, they start the job in public schools after graduation and try to pay back the loan debt. It is not the most optimal way to approach the case as teachers would earn considerably more money if they would have worked in the private sector.
The good news is that there are debt relief options for teachers who are struggling to pay back the loan debt. In this article, we will discuss the available Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs in 2021 and evaluate each program separately so that you can understand the terms and pick the one that fits your case the best.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs can be helpful for teachers who are eligible to apply. Through this program, teachers can get forgiveness on the remaining portion of the student loan debt after completing 120 qualifying payments on their overall loan debt. The advantage of choosing PSLF is that the program has the broadest eligibility requirements, unlike other available options for teachers.
While applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, teachers do not have to work for low-income schools to be eligible for loan forgiveness. Whether you are a private or public school teacher, you can meet the requirements with ease. However, there are some key notions that you need to be aware of. First of all, the loan should be the Direct Student Loan.
For those who want to get better results, they need to pick an income-based repayment plan. Another important factor for teachers to consider is the qualified payments which should be made 120 times before applying for PSLF. Keep in mind that the payments which exceed the deadline of the 15 days grace period are not considered qualified.
2 Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Another program that can be beneficial for teachers to wipe out their student loan debt is Teacher Loan Forgiveness. This program can help you eliminate up to 17.500 dollars off your student loan debt after completing five consecutive years of teaching at a low-income public school.
One of those academic years should be after 1998 for you to become eligible for this program. To access the full loan forgiveness from this program, you should be either a mathematics or science teacher.
Subsidized/Unsubsidized FFEL and Direct Loans are eligible for forgiveness through TLF. So, if you have a Perkins or PLUS loan, unfortunately, you cannot use this program. Teachers who have already completed at least five consecutive academic years in their respective schools can apply to this program.
3 Perkins Loan Forgiveness
For those of you who are teaching particular subjects or work full time in low-income schools, this program can be beneficial. Perkins Loan Forgiveness is applicable for those candidates who have Federal Perkins Loans, and through this program, they can get full debt cancellation if they meet the guideline. Through Perkins Loan Cancellation, you will get a chance to cancel
- 15% of overall loan debt after first
- 20% of overall loan debt after second
- and 30% of overall debt after completing the fifth year as a full-time public school teacher
To get the best possible results through this program, you need to make sure that the school that you are teaching is considered a low-income school during the five-year span that you were/are working there. For those of you who are not teaching at low-income schools, there is still a chance to access Perkins Loan Forgiveness in case if you are teaching subjects like
- Foreign language
- Mathematics, etc
To apply for Perkins Loan Cancellation, teachers need to contact the school that offered them Perkins Loan in the first place. The following steps after that can be different depending on the school.
State-Sponsored Programs that are Available for Teachers
For those of you who are teaching certain subjects and especially in the high need/low-income areas, there are several state-sponsored loan forgiveness programs that you can utilize. If you want to learn more about the available local programs that you can use, check out the official database of the American Federation of Teachers. If you are not sure which one of these options suits your case the best and would be beneficial, you can always consult with the federal loan services that offered you the student loan.
Find an Appropriate Closed School Discharge
There are many school loan discharges to take advantage of. Posting all of them here would be a hassle. Here are some that might grab your attention.
- Kaplan University Student Loan Forgiveness
- Great Lakes Student Loan Forgiveness
- Everest College Student Loan Forgiveness
- Navient Student Loan Forgiveness
We get that not everyone is eligible to use the available teacher loan forgiveness programs. Therefore, those people seek some alternatives that can help them out to reduce the loan debt burden. Student loan refinancing and Income-based repayment plans are among preferable alternatives that you can use instead of traditional teacher loan forgiveness programs in 2021.