If you are like endless numbers of other graduates, you may have found yourself in shock when your first student loan bill arrived after graduation. Getting a student loan to complete your degree may have seemed like a smart idea at the time, but right now you could be having some regrets when you see the size of your monthly payments.
Thankfully, there are some careers that offer student loan forgiveness. Look into this if you want to say goodbye to your student debt.
It is difficult to feel like a flourishing doctor when most of your paycheck goes to your student loan repayment. The majority of loan forgiveness programs for doctors require you to be employed in a Health Profession Shortage Areas or a Medically Underserved Area.
NIH (National Institutes of Health) offers a maximum of $35,000 per year in loan repayment for those that are highly qualified health professionals going into biobehavioral or biomedical research careers.
You can also head overseas if you want to qualify for loan forgiveness through the military service. The Navy Financial Assistance Program offers you tuition coverage if you are a current medical student, along with student loan forgiveness or grants for those that have their medical degree.
#2 Public service
The loan forgiveness here isn’t based on what kind of work you do, but rather who you work for. Employees that qualify include:
- Full-time positions at AmeriCorps and Peace Corps.
- Any level of government organizations (federal, state, local, or tribal).
- Non-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3).
Teaching is a calling, and many feel that call to instruct the upcoming generations. So it makes sense that the government helps to lighten the debt load of those who devote their lives to teaching.
Teachers can qualify for the Federal Teacher Cancellation for Perkins Loans where 15% of your loan can be canceled if you have already been teaching for one year at least in what is considered a low-income area. If you teach for 5 years, your whole loan is forgiven.
Check with your state to see what special teacher loan repayment programs are available.
As a dentist, you can also qualify for loan forgiveness on the national level.
National programs include military service. The Army offers the ADHPLRP (Active Duty Health Profession Loan Repayment Program) and HPLR (Healthcare Professionals Loan Repayment Program). The Airforce offers ADHPLRP (Air Force Active Duty Health Professions Repayment Program). All of these programs provide up to $50,000 in debt repayment annually.
Many possible lawyers usually take on huge amounts of debt to turn their career dream into a reality. Thankfully, there are some student loan forgiveness programs available only to lawyers.
For lawyers that work in the public sector, the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program offers $10,000 – $60,000 in loan forgiveness.
In order to retain lawyers, current employees can apply for the assistance program. Only certain loans are applicable, and to qualify, current employees need to have a minimum of $10,000 in federal loan debt.
Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program also awards 70 attorneys a maximum of $5,600 in award money every year for their student loan debt. However, it comes with some strings attached. Eligible candidates need to be employed by one of the program grantees and have a minimum of $75,000 in outstanding loan debt.
Qualifying for student loan forgiveness
It’s key to recognize that many of these careers won’t grant student loan forgiveness if your loan doesn’t qualify. If your loan is in a grace period or in default, or you are still going to school, companies may be unable to make qualified loan payments. The majority of student loan forgiveness programs are only applicable to federal loans. Private student loans will not be forgiven. Lastly, for more available loan forgiveness programs, inquire with your college/university’s financial aid department.