Each year, the number of students that are going into debt is increasing. Many of them acquire a loan for the purpose of paying for their education so that they can advance in their careers. Sadly, this is far from the truth as the price of quality education is rather exponential. The federal government has realized this growing hazard and has implemented countermeasures in the form of student loan forgiveness programs.
There are many types of student loan forgiveness programs that have been initiated, each of them specifically cater to a certain type of student. A few of these loan forgiveness programs are listed below.
What are the Most Sought After Student Loan Forgiveness Programs?
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Borrower Defense to Repayment Loan Forgiveness Program
If you have availed a direct loan, you can apply for the borrower defense to repayment program. In case you have acquired a Perkins loan or one through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, you can still apply but first you will need to consolidate these loan types into a direct loan.
However, you will have to provide additional proof in the event that the student loan which was availed to fund your education expenses was misused by the educational institution or was procured under misguided information from the loan provider.
Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge Program
The Perkins loan forgiveness program can only be applied by individuals who have availed Federal Perkins loan. After which you will be eligible to reduce the remaining loan amount due or in certain cases (based on), completely forgiven.
You must currently hold employment in one of the following categories to get approved for the Perkins loan forgiveness program. These are firefighters, military service staff members, medical technicians, law enforcement, Child care program or family services, early childhood education (day care, kindergarten), full time teachers and public defenders.
Total and Permanent Disability Forgiveness Program
The Permanent Disability Forgiveness program is for those individuals who have availed a Perkins loan, student loan under the FFEL program or direct loans. In the event of an unforeseen circumstance where the borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled, their federal loan will be discharged completely.
Loan Forgiveness Program for Deceased
This loan forgiveness program can be availed in the event of the death of the borrower, the loan will be forgiven. However, the loan which was acquired must have been so under the FFEL program, Perkins loan or a direct loan. If the borrower had availed a Parent PLUS loan, the guardian or parent will still be eligible to get the loan forgiven.
Loan Forgiveness In the Event of Bankruptcy
In the event where the borrower is deep into debt and proceeds to file for bankruptcy, their student loan will be automatically cancelled. This is only applicable if the student loan was availed as a direct loan, FFEL loan or a Perkins loan.
This is only to be done as a last resort as filing for bankruptcy can play a severely negative impact on how you will be perceived by loan providers in the future. Recovering from bankruptcy can take years, the borrowers credit rating and credit score will also take a significant hit.
What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) was specifically designed for the individuals who work in the public sector and are unable to pay their student loans. Due to their public sector jobs, they may not be able to make monthly payments towards their existing loan amount.
If you are employed in public sectors such as teaching, nursing, medical technician, armed forces, police, government administration and agencies as well as NGO organizations, you can apply for the public service loan forgiveness program.
First, the borrower is required to have made 120 loan payments towards their student loan or for over a period of 10 years. These 120 student loan repayments must be made after the borrower has secured employment in a public sector job or NGO.
The borrower’ application form must show that they have met the following conditions, as failure to do so would result in their application being rejected from the PSLF program.
- The borrower should ensure that 120 loan repayments have been made and is required to show proof by sending a copy of the loan payments, loan amount obtained and their loan provider.
- The borrower is required to hold full time employment in a public sector job (working 30 hours a week). Part time employment will not be considered.
- The borrower should have also considered the option of switching to an income driven repayment plan where the monthly loan repayment amount is based on how much the borrower earns in a month and not the amount set by the loan provider.
If you are an individual who has met these conditions, there is still no sure-fire guarantee that you will be approved for the PSLF program but your chances will be much higher. If you fail to qualify, you can always try the other student loan programs such as the Income Based Repayment (IBR) program, the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) program, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) program or Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE) program.
You may not be able to get your loan amount completely forgiven but you may be able to get your monthly loan repayments revised according to your current financial situation.
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