By | November 18, 2022
Best Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs (The Complete List)

Student loans can be a great investment in your future or a huge burden if not properly thought out or misused. If you currently have student loans or are thinking about getting a student loan, you need to know if you qualify for student loan forgiveness.

Best Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Best Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

We estimate that at least 50% of student loan borrowers can have their student loan forgiveness canceled or qualify for all of their loans. To qualify, you must do volunteer work, serve in the military, practice medicine in special communities, or meet other criteria.

There are so many different student loan forgiveness programs available that it can be difficult to know where to start. And for many people, it really depends on your situation and what your financial (and career) goals are.


The goal of this guide is to combine the many different ways to find student loan forgiveness (and repayment assistance) into one place to make it easier for you to get help with your student loan debt.

Student loan forgiveness based on repayment plan

These student loan forgiveness plans are tied to your student loan repayment plan. If you are on one of these qualified repayment plans, you will be eligible for student loan forgiveness at the end of your repayment term.

Most borrowers qualify for student loan forgiveness through one of these “secret” ways. The secret is simple: sign up for a qualified student loan repayment plan and any balance on your loan will be forgiven at the end of the plan.

It is important to note that these income-driven repayment plan options have certain criteria that must be met to be eligible. If you don’t have a balance due at the end of the loan term, you don’t get student loan forgiveness.

It’s also important to note that student loan forgiveness on these plans is generally considered taxable income. However, President Biden has made all federal loan forgiveness and discharges tax-free until December 31, 2025. Learn more about tax and student loan forgiveness here.

Income Contingency Payment (ICR)

An Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR) is slightly different from IBR or PAYE. There are no initial income requirements for ICR, and any eligible buyer can make payments under the scheme. Under this plan, your payment will be the lesser of the following:

20% of your discretionary income

What you’ll pay on a repayment plan with fixed payments over a 12-year period, adjusted according to your income
With an ICR plan, your loan will be waived off at the end of 25 years.

It is important to note that with this plan, your payments may be higher than a standard 10-year repayment plan. Since you have to submit your income every year, if your income increases sufficiently, your payment will be adjusted accordingly.

Career-Based Student Loan Forgiveness Options

Depending on the type of career path you choose, you may qualify for different student loan forgiveness options.

Based Student Loan

Based Student Loan

The most popular option is Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The reason is that this plan offers the largest amount of remission in the shortest period – tax free. It is also open to many different jobs under the umbrella of “public service”.

However, it is not the only career-oriented option.

Federal Employee Student Loan Repayment Program

The Federal Student Loan Repayment Program allows agencies to repay federally insured student loans as a recruitment or retention incentive for candidates or current agency employees.

The plan allows federal agencies to pay a loan holder up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee in a calendar year and a total of more than $60,000 for any one employee.

It is important to note that the employee availing this benefit must sign a service contract to remain in the service of the paying agency for a minimum period of 3 years.

An employee must reimburse the paying agency for all benefits received if he or she is voluntarily separated for misconduct, unacceptable performance, or a negative merit determination under 5 CFR part 731. Additionally, the employee must maintain an acceptable level of performance. . To continue receiving payment benefits.

Additionally, you must sign up for this Loan Forgiveness programs when you are hired. You cannot go back to your HR department after you are already employed and ask for it.

Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Programme

Student Loan Forgiveness Program: Indian Health Service Corps
The Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program awards up to $20,000 per year toward your qualifying student loan repayments in exchange for an initial two-year service commitment to practice full-time at an Indian Health Program site.

John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

John R. The Justice Student Loan Repayment Program (JRJ) provides loan repayment assistance for state public defenders and state prosecutors who agree to remain employed as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years.

The program provides reimbursement benefits of up to $10,000 in any calendar year or a total of $60,000 per lawyer.

National Health Service Corps

Student loan forgiveness programs: National Health Service Corps

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) offers tax-free loan repayment assistance to support qualified health care providers who choose to take their skills where they’re most needed.

Licensed health care providers may earn up to $50,000 toward student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment at an NHSC-approved site through the NHSC Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP).

Accepted participants may serve as primary care medical, dental, or mental/behavioral health clinicians and can choose to serve longer for additional loan repayment support.

Priority consideration is given to eligible applicants whose NHSC-approved site has a HPSA score of 26 to 14, in descending order. Eligible applicants may receive up to $50,000 in loan repayment for an initial service commitment until funding is exhausted.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Forgiveness

Student Loan Forgiveness Program: National Institute of Health Loan Forgiveness

The five NIH extramural Loan Forgiveness Programs (LRPs) include the Clinical Research LRP, Pediatric Research LRP, Contraception & Infertility Research LRP, Health Disparities Research LRP, and Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

In return for loan repayments, LRP awardees are legally bound to a service obligation to conduct qualifying research supported by a domestic nonprofit or U.S. government (Federal, state, or local) entity for 50 percent of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40-hour week) for two years. NIH makes quarterly loan repayments concurrent with the awardees’ satisfaction of their service obligation.

Payment projections are based on eligible educational debt at the start date of the LRP contract. The NIH will repay 25 percent of the eligible education debt, up to a maximum of $35,000 per year.

NURSE Corps Loan Program

Student Loan Forgiveness Program: HRSA Nurse Corps Loan Program

Corps Loan Program

Corps Loan Program

The Nurse Corps Repayment Program supports registered nurses (RNs), advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), and nurse faculty by paying up to 85% of their unpaid nursing education debt.

You must work at an eligible Critical Shortage Facility in a high need area (for RNs, APNs), and have attended an accredited school of nursing (for nurse faculty). You must also fulfill two years of work in this area.

SEMA Loan Forgiveness Program

This is a scholarship and loan forgiveness program that awards individuals starting a career in the automotive industry. You must work for an employer that is part of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).

Note: This program is law, but Congress has failed to appropriate money for the Loan Forgiveness programs.

Check out some other options for student loan forgiveness for engineering majors.

This program will pay $2,000 for outstanding student loans, which will be mailed directly to your lender.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, if you teach full-time at a low-income school or educational service agency for five full and consecutive academic years and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500.

There are many nuances and options to this Loan Forgiveness programs, and we break down all the details here: Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers.

It’s also important to note how PSLF and teacher loan forgiveness play together and why PSLF is probably the better choice for most people.

USDA Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program

Student Loan Forgiveness Program: USDA Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program

This is a program for those who practice veterinary medicine. The program will pay up to $25,000 per year in qualified educational loans to qualified veterinarians who agree to serve in a NIFA-designated veterinarian shortage situation for a period of three years.

You can find times and learn more about this Loan Forgiveness programs here.

The US Military Student Loan Forgiveness Options

Serving our country can be a great career. And there are good incentives to sign up and serve. Student loan forgiveness is one of these Loan Forgiveness programs.

If you’re considering a career in the military, find out if they’ll help pay off or eliminate your student loan debt. You can also see our complete guide to military and veteran education benefits.

Air Force College Loan Repayment Program

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: Air Force College Loan Program

Loan Repayment Program

Loan Repayment Program

The main Air Force College Loan Repayment Program has been (sadly) paused in 2018. This Loan Forgiveness programs allows you to get up to $10,000 in student loan debt paid off in 3 years.

However, the Air Force JAG student loan repayment program is still active. You can get up to $65,000 in student loan forgiveness if you go into the Air Force as a JAG.

Army College Loan Repayment Program

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: Army College Loan Repayment Program
The Army College Loan Repayment Program is one of the most generous of all branches, but there are some big “catches” you need to be aware of.

First, the Loan Forgiveness programs will forgive up to $65,000 of your student loan debt for highly qualified individuals who enlist in the Army’s critical military occupational specialties (MOS).

However, to qualify, you must have this written into your enrollment agreement, and you must give up your post-9/11 GI Bill. So, if you’re thinking of going back to college, this might not be a good deal.

National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: National Guard Student Loan Repayment
The National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program offers up to $50,000 in loan forgiveness for qualifying federal loans for Guardsmen who have enlisted for at least 6 years.

There are other terms and conditions for this Loan Forgiveness programs that must be followed.

Read also: How Can I Best Refinance My Student Loans? 2022

Navy Student Loan Repayment Program

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: US Navy Student Loan Repayment Program

The Navy Student Loan Repayment Program is one of the Navy’s enlistment education incentive Loan Forgiveness programs designed to repay federally guaranteed student loans (up to $65,000) in three annual payments during a Sailor’s first three years of service.

You must sign up for this Loan Forgiveness programs when you recruit, and your recruiter must include this Loan Forgiveness programs in your recruitment paperwork.

Army Active Duty Health Professions Student Loan Repayment Program

The Army maintains student loan forgiveness programs for individuals who study medicine or dentistry while in the service.

On top of the bonus in salary, they repay up to $120,000 in student loans, paid in installments of $40,000 over 3 years.

Navy Health Professions Student Loan Repayment Program

The Navy also offers student loan repayment assistance for individuals practicing medicine while in service.

You can receive up to $40,000 per year in student loan repayment benefits.

State-Based Student Loan Forgiveness Options

Almost every state in the United States offers some type of student loan forgiveness or student loan repayment assistance option for their residents. Some states have a few Loan Forgiveness programs that you can take advantage of.

You can explore the different states on our state-by-state guide to student loan forgiveness, and you can also check out the links to the different states here:

Loan Forgiveness Options

Loan Forgiveness Options

Student Loan Discharge Options

There are also ways to get your student loan discharged under certain circumstances. We treat student loan discharge a little differently than forgiveness because of both the way the loan is eliminated and the potential taxation surrounding it.

There are various discharge options you may be eligible for.

Closed school holiday

This Loan Forgiveness programs is for borrowers who could not complete their Loan Forgiveness programs of study because they were out of school at the time of enrollment or within 120 days of their attendance.

However, to be eligible, it also means that you were not able to transfer your credit to another eligible institution.

If you think this may apply to you, find the appropriate contact here.

False Certificate (Identity Theft) Discharge

If you took out a loan in your name that wasn’t yours – due to identity theft or other false attestation (this means someone forged your signature or information on the student loan), you are eligible to have your student loan discharged.

There are several steps you need to take if your identity has been stolen and a student loan has been taken out. You should also file a police report. Check out our complete guide to identity theft and student loans.

You can find the false certificate discharge application here.

Death Discharge

If you have federal student loans, they are discharged upon the borrower’s death. Even for Parent Plus loans, if the student dies, the loan will still be discharged.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t complications—they can be expensive. Read this guide to what happens to your student loans when you die.

If you have a private student loan, the cosigner is still 100% responsible for the loan balance. That is one of the reasons why we recommend private loan participants to get a life insurance policy on the borrower.

You can learn more about student loan discharge due to death here.

Total and permanent disability discharge

If you become totally and permanently disabled, you may be eligible to have your student loans discharged.

To qualify, a physician must certify that the borrower is unable to engage in substantial gainful activity due to a physical or mental impairment. The impairment must be expected to result in death or have lasted for a continuous period of at least 60 months, or it must have already lasted for a continuous period of at least 60 months.

Any outstanding balance on your federal student loans will be discharged from the date your physician certifies your application.

The Secretary of Veteran Affairs (VA) may certify a borrower as unemployable due to a service-connected disability. If the VA certifies your application, any federal student loan amounts outstanding after the date of service-connected injury will be discharged and any payments you made after your injury will be returned to you.

Borrowers may also be eligible for discharge if they have been certified as disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) where a Notice of Award for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits indicates the borrower’s next scheduled disability. The review will take place in 5 to 7 years.

If you are approved because of an SSA determination, any outstanding balance on your federal student loans will be discharged. This benefit recently became tax-free thanks to Trump’s student loan reform.

Questions about student loan forgiveness

Here are some commonly asked questions about student loan forgiveness:

What qualifies you for student loan forgiveness?

Student loan forgiveness depends on your employment and the type of loan. Your school and your degree doesn’t matter. Certain types of loan forgiveness are entirely dependent on a qualifying repayment plan.

How do I apply for student loan forgiveness?

Each type of student loan forgiveness program varies. For most, you fill out the correct form and submit it to your lender. For loan forgiveness as part of your repayment Loan Forgiveness programs, your loan is automatically forgiven at the end of the term.

Where can I find student loan forgiveness programs?

Most programs are offered by the Department of Education and administered by your loan servicer. However, almost every state has some type of Loan Forgiveness programs, and employers are also starting to offer student loan repayment assistance.

Can you get loan forgiveness for private student loans?

Unfortunately, private student loans do not offer any type of student loan forgiveness.

How long does it take to get your student loan forgiven?

Each Loan Forgiveness programs has a different word. The shortest for teacher loan forgiveness is 5 years, and the longest is 25 years, for income-based repayment.

How do I get rid of student loans legally?

Loan forgiveness is one way to get rid of student loans. You can also pay them back or participate in a repayment assistance Loan Forgiveness programs offered by your employer.



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