Student loans have become a significant financial burden on many people. Yes, they can help people finance their education, but they end up with large debt once they start working, and it takes them a lot of time to repay.
One of the biggest reasons for this is that colleges have become extremely expensive. In other words, student loans are growing as well, while there’s no guarantee that new graduates will be able to get great jobs right away.
That’s why people look for different ways to reduce their debt or pay it off.
What is student loan forgiveness?
That refers to the process of students getting parts of their loans forgiven. However, it’s important to understand that student forgiveness doesn’t work with private student loans. Simply put, a certain percent of the loan is forgiven.
Only a small number of people can qualify as there are strict requirements. In most cases, student loan forgiveness is given to people who work in public service. Additionally, people can find repayment plans that can forgive parts of the loan.
Discharging student loans
Discharging student loans isn’t easy. The reasons for discharge are usually the ones students don’t have control of, but even then, the request for discharge is thoroughly evaluated. Here’s when you might get discharged:
- If you’ve been permanently disabled;
- Your school got closed;
- The loan documents were tampered with or falsified by the school;
- In case of identity theft;
- In case you die;
- When the school can’t refund the loan.
How to qualify for student loan forgiveness
The most common ways of qualifying for student loan forgiveness include:
If you’re a law student
Many law schools will discharge the loans of their students if they decide to work for public interest or non-profits after graduating. There are a lot of programs that lower interest, postpone payments, help with repayments, and sometimes even forgive parts of the loan.
All of these programs have income limitations. At the same time, all these programs have different requirements from one college to another.
Volunteering at different organizations can help you get loan forgiveness. Some provide cash that graduates or students can use to make their loan payments. Some offer loan forgiveness, while others offer affordable loans for repayment.
No matter the case, you will have to get enough hours or volunteer a year to become eligible for these packages.
Finding a job as a teacher in low-income communities
Graduates that start teaching in elementary or secondary schools in low-income districts can get portions of their loans removed. These programs can remove 30% of the 5th year loan, 30% of the first 2 years, and 30% of the second 2 years of loans.
Finding a job in public service
People working in the military had access to student loan forgiveness in the past. Today, if you’re working in public service, you can apply and get your loan forgiveness. However, if you’re working in the military, you might get better programs.
Some of these positions include public health, public safety, law enforcement, military, government positions, etc.
By applying for state student loan forgiveness programs
In the US, a total of 46 states offer a variety of loan forgiveness programs. Most of them won’t clear the whole loan amount but help people pay the majority off more easily. To get into the program, applicants first need to be residents of the state they are applying in.
Some loans require people to live in certain areas of the state. On top of that, these state programs also have different job requirements, and it’s essential to check the conditions with local authorities.
Stories about student loan cancelation
During the US 2020 presidential race, student loan forgiveness was a common topic. Donald Trump stated multiple times that he plans on canceling public loan forgiveness as a part of government budget cuts. However, since Joe Biden became president, these stories have gone away.
In fact, Biden’s administration has stated multiple times that they plan on expanding the PSLF program. Over 30,000 people with student debt will get $2 billion of loan forgiveness with the new version of the program.
Student loan forgiveness is here to stay, and people who can look to take advantage of it. As far as its cancellation goes, it won’t happen in the near future, and even if it does, the people who have already enrolled are likely going to be allowed to use it to the end.