Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to below as “credible,” is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. While we promote products from our partner lenders that compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.
If you work in the public sector, your federal student loan balance may be cleared after you pay 120 eligible student loans under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. To qualify, you must make payments while working full-time for the government or a nonprofit.
In addition to PSLF, other programs exist to help professionals in certain fields get rid of student debt. Read on for four careers that qualify for federal student loan forgiveness.
Student loan refinancing is also an option if you are not eligible for student loan waiver. By visiting Credible, you can: learn more about student loan refinancing and compare rates from multiple private student loan lenders.
Forgiveness of Student Loans for Teachers
Teaching full-time at a not-for-profit school can qualify teachers for the PSLF program. In addition to PSLF, here are two other forgiveness and cancellation options for teachers:
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program — With this program, up to $17,500 of your direct loans or FFEL loans can be waived after you attend a qualifying low-income school for five consecutive years.
- Perkins Loans Teacher Cancellation — You may be eligible to have up to 100% of your Perkins loans canceled if you are a special education teacher, a teacher who specializes in a subject that is understaffed, or if you work in a low-income school . You can search in the StudentAid.gov Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory for low-income schools that qualify.
Note that Perkins Loans are no longer issued since the program ended in September 2017. But if you have unpaid Perkins Loans, joining the teaching profession can help you qualify for loan waivers on the balance.
Student loan forgiveness for nurses
Nurses working in the public sector may also be eligible for PSLF, although other reimbursement options may help nurses get out of debt faster. Here are other student loan cancellation and repayment plans to consider:
- Nurses Corps Loan Repayment Program — This program repays up to 85% of nursing school debt for nursing faculty members and nurses. You must work for two years in a nursing school or institution in an area with a shortage of medical professionals.
- National Health Service Corp (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program — This program pays back loans for licensed clinicians, including nurse practitioners and nurse midwives. You must work in an NHSC-approved facility for a minimum of two years. If you work full-time for two years, you may qualify for up to $50,000 in loan waivers, and if you work part-time, you may be eligible for up to $25,000.
- Canceling Perkins Loans — If you work full-time in nursing for five years, you may be able to get up to 100% of your Perkins loans canceled.
Student loan forgiveness for lawyers
If you have an interest in law, you can study law and work for a non-profit or government agency to qualify for PSLF. But that’s just one of many options.
- Lawyer Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP) — Attorneys who work for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) may also be eligible for this program. The DOJ will match your federal student loans up to $6,000. To qualify, you must have at least $10,000 in federal loans and commit to three years of service with the organization. Each year, attorneys are selected to receive the benefit.
Aside from federal programs, individual states can provide loan repayment assistance to help debt-serving attorneys. For example, the DC Bar Foundation has a loan payment assistance program where attorneys can get up to $12,000 to make loans if they work at a nonprofit that supports low-income families in Washington, DC.
Refinancing your student loans may be an option if you don’t qualify for student loan waivers. You can easily compare prequalified rates from multiple lenders using Credible.
Student loan forgiveness for doctors
Making the decision to pursue a medical degree is a big commitment. It can take years of study and over $100,000 in medical school bills before you can put “MD” at the end of your name. But if medicine is your calling, practicing at a nonprofit or government agency could qualify you for PSLF. Here are a few other loan forgiveness programs that doctors can consider:
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program — This program offers clinicians up to $50,000 for two years of full-time employment at an NHSC-approved location. If you work part-time, you can get up to $25,000.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program Students — Medical students in their senior year of medical school may also qualify for this program, which provides up to $120,000 in student loan repayment assistance. To qualify, you must commit to work at an NHSC-approved site where there is a shortage of healthcare professionals.
Finally, if you are interested in joining the military, affiliates may have their own loan repayment programs that help pay off medical debts for active duty members who are health professionals.
If you seek forgiveness, make sure you understand the terms
Pursuing a career path that offers student loan forgiveness or payment assistance is a strategy that can help you get rid of debt. But it is important to understand the loan requirements and check if your workplace qualifies, especially for PSLF.
Please note that private student loans are not eligible for forgiveness under federal government programs. And if you don’t work with the right employer or don’t have the right type of federal loans, your PSLF request to be denied. If you have any questions, please contact your lender.
If you decide to refinance, visit Credible and compare prequalified rates from multiple lenders.