Historic Milestones

The Complete Guide & Timeline of Student Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation and Discharge Programs

1993
1998
2007
2009
2012
2015
2016
2007

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

In 2007, former President George W. Bush signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA). This act established the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which launched two years later under President Obama.

PSLF helps people who work in qualifying public service jobs earn complete loan forgiveness after meeting a few requirements. This includes many nurses, teachers, first responders, doctors and physicians, as well as U.S. military personnel, along with several other fields.

Who Qualifies for PSLF?

Full-time employees who work at federal, state or local government agencies are usually eligible. Full-time employees at 501(c)(3) organizations also typically qualify.

Which Loans Qualify for PSLF?

Loans that qualify for the PSLF program include:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

If you have Federal Perkins Loans and/or Family Education Loans (FFEL), you can make them eligible for the PSLF program through consolidation.

How Do I Qualify for PSLF?

To qualify for PSLF, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Work at a qualifying public agency or organization full-time
  • Make 120 on-time payments on your loans under a qualifying plan
    • These plans include Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) and Standard Repayment

Find out if you qualify for PSLF by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

2012

Pay As You Earn

Compared to most U.S. Presidents, President Obama made huge strides on behalf of student loan borrowers, leading many to refer to his work as “Obama Student Loan Forgiveness”. As one of his first legislative acts, President Obama enacted the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) plan on December 21, 2012.

By unveiling the PAYE Plan, President Obama helped expand the number of student loan repayment options available in support of current and former college students. Plus, it opened new opportunities for more reforms down the road.

What is the PAYE Plan?

The PAYE plan is a repayment program that can help you reduce your monthly payments on loans originating on or after October 1, 2007. It does this by basing your student loan payments on 10 percent of your discretionary income.

If you’re approved for the PAYE plan, you can earn student loan forgiveness after 20 years of qualifying, on-time payments.

Which Loans Qualify for PAYE?

Loans that qualify for the Pay As You Earn plan include:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans made to students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans made to parents
    • Does not include Direct PLUS Loans or FFEL PLUS Loans

How Do I Qualify for PAYE?

To qualify for PAYE, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Your monthly PAYE payments must be less than your payments made under the Standard Repayment Plan
  • Your qualifying loans must be taken out on or after October 1, 2007
  • You can’t have any Direct Loan balances prior to October 1, 2007
  • You received a Direct Loan disbursement on or after October 1, 2011
  • You will need to recertify for PAYE annually to stay on the plan

Find out if you qualify for PAYE by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

2012

Revised Pay As You Earn

After successfully launching the PAYE plan in 2012, President Obama expanded it in 2015 to include borrowers whose loans originated before the October 1, 2007 deadline. Known as the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Plan, it offered similar benefits to the PAYE Plan, including lower monthly payments.

With the addition of the REPAYE Plan, the “Obama Student Loan Forgiveness” legacy continued.

What is the REPAYE Plan?

The REPAYE plan is a student loan repayment option designed for borrowers with stretched or lower incomes. Just like the PAYE plan, REPAYE bases your monthly payments on 10 percent of your discretionary income.

The REPAYE plan also offers student loan forgiveness on qualifying loans after a certain number of on-time payments. For undergraduates, loan forgiveness can be earned after making payments for 20 years. Graduates, on the other hand, can earn forgiveness after repaying loans for 25 years.

Which Loans Qualify for REPAYE?

Loans that qualify for the Revised Pay As You Earn plan include:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans made to students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans made to parents
    • Does not include Direct PLUS Loans or FFEL PLUS Loans

How Do I Qualify for REPAYE?

To qualify for PAYE, you must be a Direct Loan borrower with eligible loans. You will also need to recertify every year to stay on the repayment plan. There are currently no income requirements necessary for approval.

Find out if you qualify for REPAYE by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

2007

Income-Based Repayment

When President Bush signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) in 2007, he enacted two major student debt relief programs. These programs include the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan and the PSLF program.

On July 1, 2009, President Obama put the IBR plan into motion. As a result, this expanded the number of student loan repayment plans available to borrowers and offered another path to student loan forgiveness.

What is the IBR Plan?

The IBR plan is a federal student loan repayment plan that generally caps student loan payments at 15 percent of discretionary income. For most borrowers, this means lower monthly payments each month. In some cases, borrowers may have payments as low as $0.

Loan forgiveness can be earned through the IBR plan after you’ve made 25 years of on-time, qualifying payments. However, only Direct Loans originating before July 1, 2014 are eligible for forgiveness under this plan.

Which Loans Qualify for IBR?

Loans that qualify for the Income-Based Repayment plan include:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Student PLUS Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans made to parents
    • Does not include Direct PLUS Loans or FFEL PLUS Loans

How Do I Qualify for IBR?

To qualify for IBR, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Your monthly IBR payments must be less than your payments made under the Standard Repayment plan
  • All loans eligible for IBR must have originated before July 1, 2014

Once approved, you will need to recertify each year to stay eligible for the IBR plan.

Find out if you qualify for IBR by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

2015

IBR for New Borrowers

Due to the IBR plan’s popularity, President Obama expanded the program in 2015, when he signed the IBR for New Borrowers plan into law. IBR for New Borrowers combined many of the benefits of REPAYE and IBR, while setting a new deadline for a borrower’s loan origination date.

What is the IBR for New Borrowers Plan?

The IBR for New Borrowers plan is a federal student loan repayment plan that bases monthly payments on 10 percent of your discretionary income. Only qualifying loans originating on or after July 1, 2014 are eligible for this plan.

As part of the IBR for New Borrowers plan, you can earn student loan forgiveness after you’ve made 20 years of qualifying, on-time payments.

Which Loans Qualify for IBR for New Borrowers?

Loans that qualify for the IBR for New Borrowers plan include:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Student PLUS Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans made to parents
    • Does not include Direct PLUS Loans or FFEL PLUS Loans

How Do I Qualify for IBR for New Borrowers?

To qualify for IBR for New Borrowers, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Your monthly payments must be less than your payments made under the Standard Repayment plan
  • All loans eligible for IBR for New Borrowers must have originated on or after July 1, 2014

Find out if you qualify for IBR for New Borrowers by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

1993

Income-Contingent Repayment

When President Clinton signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act in 1993, he introduced a new student loan repayment plan known as Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR). ICR was the first income-driven repayment plan developed by the U.S. Government and the Department of Education.

What is the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan?

The ICR plan is a student loan repayment plan that offers two monthly payment terms to approved borrowers. These include:

  • A 20 percent cap on your monthly payments based on your discretionary income
  • What you’d pay each month on a 12-year fixed payment plan based on your income

With ICR, your monthly payment will be whichever option is less.

After 25 years of on-time, qualifying payments, borrowers under the ICR plan can earn student loan forgiveness on the remaining balance.

Which Loans Qualify for ICR?

Loans that qualify for the ICR plan include:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Student Direct PLUS Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

How Do I Qualify for ICR?

To qualify for ICR, you need to be a Direct Loan borrower with eligible loans. You will also need to recertify every year to stay on the repayment plan. During this recertification process, your payments will be adjusted using the same formula as your original application.

Find out if you qualify for ICR by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

2009

Income Sensitive Repayment

In 2009, President Obama helped oversee the launch of the Income Sensitive Repayment (ISR) plan. Compared to other student loan repayment plans, ISR is certainly one of the lesser known. For qualified borrowers with low income, however, it may be one of the best repayment plans available. This is because it typically features a lower monthly payment than any other plan.

What is the Income Sensitive Repayment Plan?

The Income Sensitive Repayment plan is a plan that weighs the average of all loan interest rates included in the ISR to come up with your ISR interest rate. Once that rate is determined, your monthly payments are based on your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), which is usually 4-25% of your AGI.

Unlike many other repayment plans, if you are approved for the ISR plan you won’t be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. ISR also doesn’t have any loan forgiveness options built into the plan.

Which Loans Qualify for ISR?

Loans that qualify for the Income Sensitive Repayment include:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • FFEL PLUS Loans
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans

How Do I Qualify for ISR?

To qualify for ISR, you will need to be a low-income borrower with Stafford Loans, FFEL PLUS Loans and FFEL Consolidation Loans.

After being approved for ISR, you will need to recertify every year to stay on the repayment plan. During this recertification process, your payments will be adjusted using the same formula as your original ISR application.

Find out if you qualify for ISR by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

1998

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Teacher loan forgiveness has enjoyed a long history thanks to the Higher Education Act of 1965. However, it wasn’t until 1998 that it really made a difference in how certain loans were handled, especially Perkins Loans.

While Perkins Loans have been around for a while, big changes were made in 1998. These changes included increased loan limits, an incentive repayment program and a new loan rehabilitation program among others. Yet for teachers, the Perkins Loan Cancellation benefits are the most noteworthy.

What is Teacher Loan Forgiveness?

Teachers have a few loan forgiveness options that can help reduce student debt.

Perkins Loan Cancellation is the most popular forgiveness program for many teachers. Here’s why. After working full-time for only one year, teachers can have up to 15 percent of student debt forgiven. This amount increases for every year you teach in a qualified role and school.

After five years of service, 100 percent of your Perkins Loans can be wiped out completely. All you need to do is meet the requirements for the entire five-year period and you’ll be debt-free!

If you don’t have Perkins Loans, you have two more options. For teachers with Direct or Stafford Loans, up to $17,500 can be paid towards your student loans if you work in a certain type of school and teach a specific subject.

Another possibility you have as a teacher is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. This program offers complete loan forgiveness to qualified teachers after 10 years of on-time payments.

Which Loans Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Teachers?

Only Perkins Loans taken out before September 2017 are eligible for a Perkins Loan Cancellation. This is because the Federal Perkins Loan program expired due to funding issues at that time.

But things may be looking up for people who need Perkins Loans. Right now, two senators are working on a new long-term solution that would reinstate the budget and make Perkins Loans available again.

How Do I Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Teachers?

To qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Teachers, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Teach full-time for at least one year
  • Teach at a low-income school
  • Teach mathematics, science, foreign languages or bilingual education
  • Teach in special education
  • Teach in a field with a shortage of qualified teachers in your state

Find out if you qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Teachers or any other program by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

2012

Total & Permanent Disability Discharge

Like other student loan forgiveness programs, the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge has been around for decades. But it wasn’t until 2012 that the TPD Discharge program became available to everyone with a proven disability.

In 2008 and again in 2012, President Obama changed the requirements for the TPD Discharge program. Now, instead of only offering disabled U.S. Military personnel forgiveness through the program, any borrower with a documented long-term disability is eligible.

Recently, the Department of Education began working with the VA to streamline the TPD Discharge for disabled vets.

What is a TPD Discharge?

A TPD Discharge is a federal program that offers complete loan forgiveness to disabled borrowers. If you’re a disabled borrower and think you might qualify for the discharge, it’s important to begin the application process as soon as possible.

Which Loans Qualify for a TPD Discharge?

Loans that qualify for a TPD Discharge include:

  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans (Direct Loans)
  • Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL Loans)
  • Federal Perkins Loans

How Do I Qualify for a TPD Discharge?

To qualify for a TPD Discharge, you need to meet at least one the following requirements:

  • Veterans need to submit VA documentation showing they have determined you unemployable due to a service-connected disability
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients need to submit a Social Security Administration (SSA) notice of award for SSDI/SSI benefits that show a scheduled disability review within five to seven years of your most recent SSA disability determination
  • If you don’t meet either of these qualifications, you can submit a certification from your physician that shows you are totally and permanently disabled. This includes certifying that you’re unable to participate in “any substantial gainful activity” due to a severe physical or mental impairment. In addition, you’ll need to prove your disability:
    • Is expected to result in death
    • Has lasted continuously for more than 60 months (5 years)
    • Is expected to last for more than 60 months (5 years)

In the past, any amount forgiven under the TPD Discharge program was considered taxable. However, as of January 1, 2018, all loans forgiven as part of a TPD Discharge are no longer taxable for new applicants.

Find out if you qualify for a TPD Discharge by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

2016

School Closure Discharge & Forgiveness

The School Closure Discharge and Forgiveness program launched in 1994. However, it was in September 2016 when some of the most notable changes took place.

That September, the Education Department announced new resources to help student loan borrowers impacted by school closures. These resources included guidance on how students can continue their studies, as well as detailed information on how to obtain a Closed School Discharge.

What is School Closure Discharge & Forgiveness?

The School Closure Discharge and Forgiveness program is designed to help borrowers whose schools have closed unexpectedly. This includes students who were attending while the school closed, along with those who left school within a certain timeframe.

If you qualify for the program, all your eligible student loans will be discharged by the Education Department. This means you won’t have to make any new payments on loans you used to attend the institution.

Which Loans Qualify for a School Closure Discharge & Forgiveness?

Loans that qualify for School Closure Discharge and Forgiveness include:

  • Direct Loans
  • FFEL Program Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans

How Do I Qualify for a School Closure Discharge & Forgiveness?

To qualify for the School Closure Discharge and Forgiveness program, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Your school closed while you were enrolled and you were unable to complete your program. This includes students who were on an approved leave of absence.
  • Your school closed within 120 days after you withdrew.

Find out if you qualify for School Closure Discharge and Forgiveness by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

1998

Federal Perkins Cancellation

Perkins Loans first launched in 1958, when President Eisenhower passed the National Defense Education Act. At the time, Perkins Loans were known as the National Defense Student Loan Program. However, it wasn’t until 1998 when the program earned its new name and big changes to these loans took place.

What is a Perkins Loan Cancellation?

Perkins Loan Cancellation is a popular forgiveness program for borrowers in numerous professions. Depending on your occupation, anywhere from 50 to 100 percent of your student loan debt could be eliminated over a four to five-year period.

Which Loans Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation?

Because the Perkins Loan program expired recently, only Perkins Loans taken out before September 30, 2017 are eligible for a Perkins Loan Cancellation. However, a new long-term solution for reinstating the program is in the works, which should make Perkins Loans available again to borrowers.

How Do I Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation?

Qualifying for a Perkins Loan Cancellation is as simple as working for at least one year in your chosen profession, as long as it’s eligible for cancellation.

Here is a list of eligible professions and the amount of loan forgiveness that may be available through a Perkins Loan Cancellation. This information is taken directly from the Federal Student Aid website:

  • Teachers: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service
  • Full-time nurses & medical technicians: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service
  • Full-time firefighters: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service (only service after August 14, 2008 counts towards cancellation)
  • Full-time qualified professional providers of early intervention services for the disabled: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service
  • Full-time faculty members at a tribal college or university: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service (only service after August 14, 2008 counts towards cancellation)
  • Full-time speech pathologists with a master’s degree working in a Title I-eligible elementary or secondary school: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service (only service after August 14, 2008 counts towards cancellation)
  • Librarians with a master’s degree working in a Title I-eligible elementary or secondary school or in a public library serving Title I-eligible schools cancellation: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service (only service after August 14, 2008 counts towards cancellation)
  • Full-time law enforcement or corrections officers: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service
  • Full-time attorneys employed in a federal public or community defender organization: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service (only service after August 14, 2008 counts towards cancellation)
  • Full-time employees of a public or nonprofit child- or family-services agency providing services to high-risk children and their families from low-income communities: Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service
  • Full-time staff members in the education component of a Head Start program: Up to 100 percent for seven years (at a rate of 15 percent per year for the first six years and 10 percent for the seventh year) of eligible service
  • Full-time staff members in the education component of a prekindergarten or child care program that is licensed or regulated by a state: Up to 100 percent for seven years (at a rate of 15 percent per year for the first six years and 10 percent for the seventh year) of eligible service
  • Military service in the U.S. armed forces in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area: Up to 50 percent for four years (at a rate of 12.5 percent per year) of eligible service for borrowers whose active duty service ended before Aug. 14, 2008. Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible service for borrowers whose active duty service includes or began on or after Aug. 14, 2008.
  • AmeriCorps VISTA or Peace Corps volunteers: Up to 70 percent for four years (at a rate of 15 percent for the first and second years and 20 percent for the third and fourth years) of eligible service

Find out if you qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

1998

Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

In 1998, healthcare workers also got a big boost from changes to Perkins Loans. This was in addition to several other student loan forgiveness programs for nurses that had launched in previous years – and paved the way for more forgiveness and repayment options for nurses down the road.

What is Loan Forgiveness for Nurses?

Nurses have access to a wide range of loan forgiveness options that can help reduce or eliminate student debt entirely.

For many nurses, a Perkins Loan Cancellation is one of the best programs for earning loan forgiveness. Through a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses, eligible nurses can have 15 percent of student debt forgiven after working at a qualifying organization for only one year. This amount increases every year for nurses that remain eligible.

After working for five years in a qualified role and organization, nurses who meet the requirements can all their debt forgiven. This explains why a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses is such a popular program.

Other loan forgiveness programs for nurses include:

  • NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program: Nurses working full-time in an eligible Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) for at least two years can have up to 60 percent of nursing student loans paid for. This can also be extended to include an additional 25 percent of loan forgiveness in some cases.
  • NHSC Loan Repayment Program: Qualified nurses can earn up to $50,000 in loan forgiveness after finishing two years of full-time service in a Health Profession Shortage Area (HPSA) at a NHSC-approved site. Part-time nurses in eligible facilities can earn $25,000 towards student debt as well. Like the NURSE Corps program, this program can sometimes be extended for an additional year to continue paying down student debt.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): Nurses who work in the public sector may be eligible for the PSLF program. Through PSLF, qualified nurses can have all student loans forgiven after making 120 on-time payments on eligible loans. And even if you’ve been denied for PSLF before, a new TEPSLF program could help you get approved.

Which Loans Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses?

To take advantage of a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses, you’ll need to have a Perkins Loan taken out before September 2017.

Any Perkins Loans taken out after September 2017 are currently ineligible for the program due to funding issues. However, a new long-term solution is currently being worked on that may change that in the near future.

How Do I Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses?

To qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Registered as a nurse
    • Includes RN, LPN, CNA, MA, ARNP and Licensed Medical Technicians
  • Employed full-time at a qualifying organization

Find out if you qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses or any other program by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

1998

Police Officer & Firefighter Student Loan Forgiveness

If you’re a police officer or firefighter, you’ll be glad to know there are a couple of student loan forgiveness programs for first responders you can take advantage of, if you qualify. This includes the wildly popular Perkins Loan Cancellation for Police and Firefighters, which saw big changes take place in 1998.

Through these programs, police officers and firefighters can have some or all of their student debt forgiven just by simply working in certain roles and organizations.

What is Police Officer & Firefighter Student Loan Forgiveness?

Here are the student loan forgiveness programs for first responders currently available.

If you’re a police officer or a firefighter with a Perkins Loan, you may be eligible for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for First Responders. In this program, you’ll earn a percentage of loan forgiveness for each year you’re employed in a full-time position at a qualifying organization.

After your first year of eligible full-time employment, you can have up to 15 percent of your student debt forgiven as a police officer or firefighter. This increases every year until the fifth year, when you can have 100 percent of your Perkins Loan balances forgiven completely, if you remain eligible during this period.

In addition to a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Police Officers and Firefighters, you might also be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. If you’re part of the public sector and meet other requirements, you could earn forgiveness on several other types of federal student loans after 10 years of repayment. And even if you’ve been denied for PSLF before, the new TEPSLF program could help.

Which Loans Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Police Officers & Firefighters?

Perkins Loans taken out before September 2017 are the only federal student loans eligible for cancellation. Any Perkins Loan borrowers who received their loans after September 2017 will have to wait until funding issues are resolved by Congress and the White House to enjoy these benefits.

How Do I Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Police Officers & Firefighters?

You will need to meet the following requirements to qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for First Responders:

  • Work full-time for at least one year in an eligible police or firefighter role
  • Work at a qualifying organization
  • Please note: for firefighters, only service that began on or after August 14, 2008 counts towards a Perkins Loan Cancellation

Find out if you qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Police Officers and Firefighters or any other program by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

1998

Military Student Loan Forgiveness

If you’ve ever served in the U.S. Military, you have a few student loan forgiveness options that can help reduce or eliminate your student debt. In fact, in 1998 one of these popular forgiveness programs got an upgrade, helping thousands of current and former Military personnel get debt-free as a result.

Find out how a Military Perkins Loan Cancellation can help you erase most of your student loan balances if you qualify. Plus, how other military student loan forgiveness programs can help reduce or eliminate your debt entirely.

What is Military Student Loan Forgiveness?

Military student loan forgiveness programs have been around for decades. Here are a few programs currently available that can help you reduce your debt.

If you qualify, a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Military Personnel (both past and present) offers significant forgiveness depending on when you served. As long as you served in the armed forces in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area, you may be eligible to earn the following amount towards your loans:

  • Up to 50 percent (12.5 percent each year up to four years) for eligible, active duty service ending before August 14, 2008
  • Up to 100 percent for five years of eligible, active duty service on or after August 14, 2008

Borrowers with Direct Loans or Perkins Loans may also qualify for the National Defense Student Loan Discharge (NDSLD). This program offers debt relief to borrowers who have served at least one year in a direct fire and/or imminent danger area.

Another program you may be eligible for as a Military veteran is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Through the PSLF program, you can have 100 percent of your qualifying student loan balances erased after making 10 years of on-time payments. And even if you’ve been denied for PSLF before, a new TEPSLF program could help you earn approval if your loans didn’t previously qualify.

If you have a service-connected disability that makes you unemployable, you might be eligible for a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge as well.

Which Loans Qualify for a Military Perkins Loan Cancellation?

A Military Perkins Loan Cancellation can only be obtained on Perkins Loans taken out before September 2017 due to expiration of the Perkins Loan program. However, Congress is currently working on a solution to restart funding to give new Perkins Loan borrowers access to the program.

How Do I Qualify for a Military Perkins Loan Cancellation?

To qualify for a Military Perkins Loan Cancellation, you will need to have served in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area for at least one year to be considered. Other military loan forgiveness programs, such as PSLF for Military servicemembers and the TPD Discharge, have different requirements.

Find out if you qualify for a Military Perkins Loan Cancellation or any other program by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

Doctors & Physicians Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

Doctors and physicians often graduate with a considerable amount of student debt. Fortunately, there are a number of loan forgiveness programs that can help reduce your debt or eliminate it completely once you qualify.

Learn more about loan forgiveness and loan repayment assistance programs for doctors below.

What Student Loan Forgiveness for Doctors Programs are Available?

Doctors and physicians usually qualify for at least one of the following loan forgiveness options below.

For many doctors, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is one of the better options available. After making 120 on-time, qualifying payments towards your eligible loans, you could have the rest of your debt cancelled entirely. If your loans weren’t eligible for PSLF and your application was denied, you might also be qualified for the new TEPSLF program that offers the same benefits of PSLF for borrowers with other types of loans.

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) also offers three loan repayment assistance programs for doctors as well. These include:

  • NHSC Loan Repayment Program: After completing a two-year commitment in primary care medical, dental or mental/behavioral health, you can earn up to $50,000 in repayment assistance towards your student debt.
  • Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP): If you’re a current medical student (MD, DO, DDS or DMD), you might be eligible for $120,000 in repayment assistance after working for three years at an approved NHSC Health Professional Shortage Area site.
  • State Loan Repayment Programs: Many states offer loan repayment assistance for doctors working in Health Professional Shortage Areas. How much loan forgiveness can be obtained, however, depends on the state you live and work in.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program is another option for doctors and physicians. Through this program, qualified professionals can earn up to $40,000 in repayment assistance after completing a two-year commitment at an American Indian or Alaska Native community health facility.

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) offers two repayment assistance options for doctors as well. Each of these programs provide up to $35,000 towards your student loans if you qualify.

If you’re a medical or dental doctor serving in the military, here are a few more programs you may be eligible for:

  • Army Healthcare Professional Benefits: Active military personnel can earn up to $120,000 in repayment assistance over a three-year period. Reserve servicemembers, on the other hand, can earn up to $50,000 in repayment assistance in the same timeframe.
  • Navy Financial Assistance Program (FAP): The U.S. Navy offers both active and reserve doctors and dentists personalized repayment assistance based on individual needs and eligibility.

Which Loans Qualify for Doctors & Physicians Loan Repayment Assistance?

Due to the number of student loan repayment assistance programs for doctors and physicians available, it’s important to speak to a student loan specialist to learn the details about each program.

For the PSLF program, only Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans (for qualified parents) and Direct Consolidation Loans are eligible.

How Do I Qualify for Doctors & Physicians Loan Repayment Assistance?

To see if you qualify for any of these programs, fill out the form on the right to get help from our experts. You can also read more about their requirements by viewing our Doctors and Physicians Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Assistance Programs page.

To qualify for PSLF, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Work at a qualifying public agency or organization full-time
  • Make 120 on-time payments on your loans under a qualifying plan

Find out if you qualify for Doctors & Physicians Loan Repayment Assistance by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

Student Loan Repayment Assistance for Lawyers

Like doctors, lawyers often graduate from college with an enormous amount of student debt. To help bring more people into the field, numerous loan forgiveness and loan repayment assistance programs designed for lawyers have popped up over the years.

Through these programs, qualified attorneys can have a big portion of their debt forgiven – and in some cases, eliminated completely.

What Student Loan Repayment Assistance Programs for Lawyers are Available?

Lawyers have a few loan forgiveness options that can help reduce student debt or eliminate it entirely.

A Perkins Loan Cancellation for Lawyers is one of the most popular programs available for people in the field. If you’re an attorney working full-time in a federal public or community defender organization and you have Perkins Loans, you could have 100 percent of your debt eliminated after five years.

Another option for lawyers is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. As part of PSLF, if you make 120 on-time, qualifying payments towards eligible loans, the rest of your debt could be eliminated entirely. This is true even if your loans weren’t eligible for PSLF and you had a previous PSLF application denied, thanks to the new TEPSLF program that offers the same benefits of PSLF for other types of loans.

Depending on the state you live and work in, there’s also the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program. Through this program, lawyers who work as public defenders can receive up to $10,000 for each year of service up to a maximum of $60,000 in repayment assistance.

Legal aid attorneys, on the other hand, might have access to the Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program. In this program, eligible applicants must work for one of the program’s grantees and have $75,000 or more in student debt. If you’re approved, however, you can earn up to $5,600 every year for up to three years of qualified employment.

The Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP) also offers current employees with more than $10,000 in debt up to $6,000 in assistance per year up to a maximum of $60,000.

Which Loans Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Lawyers?

Only Perkins Loans originating before September 2017 are eligible for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Lawyers. This is due to the Federal Perkins Loan program expiring due to funding issues. Once Congress has renewed funding, Perkins Loans originating after September 2017 should become eligible for cancellation.

How Do I Qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Lawyers?

To qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Lawyers, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Work as a public defender or prosecutor for at least one year
    • Or work as an attorney who represents children for the same period
  • Work at a qualifying organization or agency

Find out if you qualify for a Perkins Loan Cancellation for Lawyers or any other program by filling out our free assessment or calling (800) 771-6358.

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