Student loans are the focal point of teacher debt. According to the Debt-Free Education survey, 87.5% of teachers have some form of student loan debt. Use the following resources to guide you through the in’s and out’s of student loan forgiveness. The best part is there is no other profession with as many available loan forgiveness programs. Some of the programs can be combined but not used at the same time. For instance, if you use the TLFP after 5 years, you could then apply for PSLF after an additional 10 years. This doesn’t make much sense because PSLF forgives the entire amount after 10 years. So, if you’re considering this option, just go with the PSLF.
If you have decided that you didn’t want to teach any longer, you may choose the TLFP instead because the duration is only 5 years. Another circumstance where it could make sense is if you haven’t consolidated your loans and have FFEL loans. Since FFEL loans don’t qualify for PSLF, you could do Teacher Loan Forgiveness first, then consolidate your loans and go for PSLF.
This is the loan forgiveness program that I used. To qualify you must teach Math, Science, or SPED in a low-income based school (Title I) for 5 consecutive years. The program forgives $5,000-$17,500 depending on the grade level and if you are “highly qualified” or not. Once you have completed 5 years, you can apply for forgiveness.
PSLF is one of the best ways to receive loan forgiveness. Teachers can receive complete Federal student loan forgiveness after 120 qualifying payments (10yrs). This program is awesome because it is applicable for any teacher at any school.
If you have Perkins Loans, you can see your entire loan balance forgiven over 5 years. The great thing about this program is that it gives forgiveness in increments, so even if you don’t make it 5 years, you can at least see some of your loan balance disappear. Private schools can be eligible. You must teach math, science, foreign language, bilingual studies, and any other content area that has been determined to be in shortage in your state.
Complete list of state-based student loan forgiveness programs here: Student Loan Forgiveness Programs By State