Loan Cancellation

Total or Partial Repayment of Your Debt

Every student with debt fantasizes about having it just go away, but for graduates going into certain fields, this daydream could become reality.

The most popular and common loan forgiveness programs are aimed at teachers, medical professionals, and law students that choose to work in high need areas, such as a low income school, a medically underserved healthcare facility, or as a public interest attorney working with disadvantaged individuals. Loan forgiveness programs for teachers, primary care providers and lawyers usually offer full or partial forgiveness of federal student loans in exchange for a certain number of years service in a facility or professional capacity designated high need, such as those mentioned above.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Our country has a critical shortage of teachers in certain school districts and in certain fields of specialty. It is not surprising that the widespread loan forgiveness programs are those aimed at teachers. Student teachers can get a huge jump on their financial futures if they are willing to work in one of these circumstances:

 

  • Low income public school.
  • ·Critical need study area, such as math or science.
  • ·In early childhood programs.
  • ·With disabled children.

A wide range of sources administer loan forgiveness programs or loan repayment programs for teachers. Here are a couple of examples:

  • ·The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/cancelstaff.jsp) is a federally sponsored program  to reward experienced teachers working in a K-12 school.
  • ·State are fighting to retain talented teachers. State-based loan forgiveness programs seek to keep good teachers within the state and in many cases reward those able to teach a critical need subject like math or science. For more information, contact your local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (www.aft.org) or your state higher education authority (see the list at http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/Programs/EROD/org_list.cfm?category_ID=SHE).

 

Medical Professionals Loan Forgiveness

The national shortage of nurses and primary care health providers fuels the drive to attract young people to the field. The federal government, as well as some state governments, has developed appealing medical loan forgiveness and repayment programs for doctors, nurses and veterinarians.

  •  Nursing students should look at the Nursing Education Loan (www.nslfp.com). Nurses who work in a high need healthcare facility and have outstanding federal student loans are eligible for very significant loan forgiveness.
  • ·Your state board of nursing will have full details of state loan forgiveness programs available to you.
  • ·The National Health Service Corps offers loan repayment and scholarships to primary care providers and students for serving at NHSC sites in communities with critical needs. Information can be found at www.nhsc.hrsa.gov.
  • ·The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers loan forgiveness through its Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment program to vets who commit to work in veterinary shortage areas. The website is www.nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp.

 

Law School Loan Repayment Programs

Public interest law is critical for the fair functioning of our legal system. Public interest lawyers ensure that the disadvantaged receive fair and equal treatment and that interests that are in the common good are represented. Unfortunately this work is not very well compensated, and many young lawyers do not feel they can afford to enter this area because of their student loan debt.

To address this problem, many law schools and state now sponsor loan forgiveness programs. Equal Justice Works (www.equaljusticeworks.org/resources) maintains a list of law school-sponsored loan forgiveness programs. You can find a list of state sponsored loan repayment assistance programs on the American Bar Association site at www.americanbar.org