Are Private Student Loans Eligible For Forgiveness
Public loans account for the vast amount of student loan debt, with private loans taking up a 100 billion slice of the $1.7 trillion pool. Still, obviously, an enormous amount of debt for people out there struggling to pay for their higher education.
Private lenders dont offer the same avenues for forgiving student loan debt, but there are possibilities for easing difficulties with payments. You can put a loan in deferment or forbearance, which essentially means putting a pause on payments if youre unable to make them at that time. And depending on your situation, you may be able to refinance your loan with your lender to get more favorable terms. In any case, you should always talk to your private lender when you have trouble making the necessary payments.
Student Loan Forgiveness For Public Servants
This month, Biden announced major changes that will change the future of student loan forgiveness. After years of a 98% rejection rate, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness will now start granting more student loan forgiveness than ever before. . With these major changes, student loan borrowers will now be able to count the following toward their required payments to get student loan forgiveness:
- count prior student loan payments made for FFELP Loans and Perkins Loans
- count late payments
- get credit if you used the wrong plan for student loan repayment and
- count student loan payments made before student loan consolidation.
Among other changes, student loan borrowers on active military duty will get credit, even if their federal student loans are in student loan forbearance or student loan deferment. There will also be a new appeals process for student loan borrowers who are rejected for student loan forgiveness so they can correct any errors. You can enroll in public service loan forgiveness through the U.S. Department of Education and complete and Employer Certification Form. .
Air Force College Loan Repayment Program
The main Air Force College Loan Repayment program is paused in 2018 . This program allowed 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 receive up to $65,000 in student loan forgiveness if you go into JAG in the Air Force.
You can learn more about this program here.
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Student Loan Repayment Options For Lawyers
Going to professional school isnt cheap but there are many loan repayment programs available for lawyers. You may be able to find a local or state assistance program. And some law schools will even help their alumni repay their student loans.
The Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program is a good option for lawyers who want to work at the Department of Justice. If you work there for at least three years, youll receive up to $60,000 in loan forgiveness. You must have at least $10,000 in federal loans to qualify, though thats a pretty low bar for most lawyers to meet.
The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program was designed for lawyers who work in the public sector. For instance, public defenders could earn $10,000 in loan forgiveness a year for a maximum of six years.
Student Loan Discharge For Special Circumstances
While student loan discharge isnt the same as forgiveness, it could leave you debt-free. In rare circumstances, borrowers can get their student loans completely canceled.
There are several situations when you could qualify for student loan discharge, including:
- Closed school
If you think you could qualify or want to learn more, speak with your loan servicer.
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Eligibility For An Svog
To be eligible to apply for an SVOG, you must be:
- A live venue operator or promoter
- A theatrical producer
- A business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets eligibility requirements
In addition, you:
- Must have been in operation as of Feb. 29, 2020
- Must not have received a PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020
You Dont Know What Kind Of Federal Loans You Have
Its very common for borrowers to not know what kind of federal loans they have. You can see what loans you have by logging into your account on StudentAid.gov, going to the My Aid page , and scrolling down to the Loan Breakdown section.
There, youll see a list of each loan you have borrowed, even if you have paid the loan off or consolidated it into a new loan. Direct Loans begin with the word Direct. Federal Family Education Loans start with FFEL, and Perkins Loans include the word Perkins in the name.
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Army College Loan Repayment Program
The Army College Loan Repayment program is the most generous of all the branches, but it does have some big “catches” that you need to be aware of.
First, this program will forgive up to $65,000 of your student loan debt for highly qualified individuals who enlist in one of the Armys critical military occupational specialties .
However, to qualify, you must have this written into your enlistment contract, AND you must give up your Post 9/11 GI Bill. So, if you’re thinking about going back to college, this might not be a good deal.
You can learn more about this program here.
What If I Didnt Make Full Payments On Time
Theres a waiver here, too. The department is waiving the requirement that people were supposed to have made payments in full and on time in order to get credit toward that all-important 120-month figure.
This will help not just people who paid late but people who paid too much or too little , which has been a particular scourge of the program.
These waivers are also temporary. Some adjustments may end up being automatic here, too, say for people who have already consolidated loans and certified some of their employment. Other borrowers will need to submit a form by that same October date next year to trigger a review of past payments.
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What Happens If Your Application Is Denied
Many options for both traditional loan forgiveness as well as assistance based on income or occupation or other factors exist. They all come with specific qualifications for applying. If a particular program denies you, its critical to explore all other options both federal and by state that make sense for your circumstances.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
Teachers qualify for both the PSLF Program and the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.
The PSLF Program is the better program for most teachers who owe over $50 thousand.
It forgives more of your student loan debt.
The PSLF Program will forgive your remaining balance after 10 years of payments.
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program will forgive up to $17,500.
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You Have Direct Loans And Youve Already Had Some Pslf Employment Certified
If youve already applied for PSLF and had at least some employment certified, the Department will award any additional payments we can without further action from you. If necessary, Federal Student Aid may contact you to ask you to certify additional months of employment. You should look out for an email from Federal Student Aid in the coming weeks to let you know how many additional payments we have preliminarily determined to be qualifying. You dont need to do anything until you receive an updated payment count or other communication from us.
If you know that you have qualifying employment that you have not yet certified with us, we recommend you certify that employment now by using the PSLF Help Tool at www.StudentAid.gov/pslf.
Not Eligible For Total And Permanent Disability
If you believe you qualify for one of the programs other than the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, complete and submit a loan forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge application form.
All forms are in Portable Document Format . In order to view PDF files, you must first download the free Acrobat Reader software. Detailed instructions for downloading and installing the Acrobat Reader are located on the Adobe website.
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Loan Forgiveness For Nurses
Registered nurses, nurse practitioners and members of nursing faculty, who work in high-need population areas or areas where there is a critical shortage could qualify to have up to 85% of their loans forgiven under the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program.
Qualified candidates can have 60% of their student loans forgiven for working two years in an underserved area. Another 25% could be forgiven for working three years.
Some states also offer loan repayment assistance. Go to the Loan Forgiveness for Nurses website to see if yours is one of the 33 states that has one and what the eligibility requirements are.
How To Get Parent Plus Loan Forgiveness
10 Minute Read | September 24, 2021
Feeling stuck in a Parent PLUS Loan? Youre probably looking for the easiest way out of it, including getting the whole debt forgiven. But is Parent PLUS Loan forgiveness real? And what are your options to get rid of this thing for good? Lets find out.
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How To Appeal Your Decision For Student Loan Forgiveness
What do you do if you get rejected for student loan forgiveness? Now, the Education Department will give you a second chance. Included in these major changes to student loan forgiveness is the creation of a formal process for student loan borrowers who are rejected for student loan forgiveness to appeal their decision and correct any errors. This will reduce bureaucratic roadblocks and give more student loan borrowers a shot at student loan cancellation.
Is There Anything Else I Should Do For Now
There are some smart moves you can take in anticipation of student loan forgiveness, experts say.
Millions of people who took out student loans before 2010 under the Federal Family Education Loans program have been excluded from the government’s offer to pause their payments without interest accruing.
There’s now some concern that those with these loans could also be left out of any forgiveness.
As a result, these borrowers might want to consolidate their FFEL loans into the main Direct Loan program, which will qualify for the forgiveness, Kantrowitz said. The main downside of doing so is that your repayment timeline will be reset so, if you’re near the end, it may not make sense.
Until legislation is signed into law, you can’t count on anything.Mark Kantrowitzhigher education expert
Borrowers thinking about refinancing their federal student loans into private loans for a lower interest rate may want to wait, Kantrowitz said. For one, the interest rate on most federal student loans is 0% for another four months.
What’s more, “they will feel foolish if they refinance only to have the federal government announce loan forgiveness,” Kantrowitz said.
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What Is The Paycheck Protection Program
#PaycheckProtection Program borrowers: Did you take out a loan of $150,000 or less? You may be eligible to apply for direct loan forgiveness through SBA’s online portal!
Find out if your lender is participating and apply for forgiveness:
Many businesses have closed due to the coronavirus lockdowns. Still, some of them struggle to keep operating. Providing a consistent payroll is one of the factors.
When a business reopens, it wont make a profit right away. Most of their customers cannot buy more to keep it afloat. Others may not return because they lack money.
This will likely reduce earnings. As a result, it becomes difficult to keep paying employees. This is why the Small Business Administration launched the Paycheck Protection Program.
It provided two rounds of loans for businesses that met SBA standards. We say provided because you cant apply anymore. This program ended on May 31, 2021.
If you received PPP loans, you might apply for SBA loan forgiveness. Start by checking the requirements. Each PPP loan has different requirements:
Student Loan Cancellation: Total And Permanent Disability
Biden has cancelled $5.8 billion of student loans for student loan borrowers with a total and permanent disability. Of the $11.5 billions of student loan forgiveness, this represent the largest amount of student loan cancellation. Biden enacted automatic student loan cancellation for 323,000 student loan borrowers who have a total and permanent disability . This is considered an automatic student loan discharge, and it happened automatically through a data match between the U.S. Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Education. To qualify, student loan borrowers who have a total and permanent disability can get their federal student loans cancelled under the Higher Education Act of 1965. Despite this federal law, these student loan borrowers faced several administrative hurdles to get student loan cancellation. Through a change in the rulemaking process which removes the requirement to show proof of income the Education Department will now cancel student loans for disabled student loan borrowers more quickly. To learn more about how you can qualify for student loan cancellation, contact Federal Student Aid.
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Discharge After 20 Or 25 Years In An Income
After 20 or 25 years in an income-driven repayment plan, the remaining debt is forgiven.
- 25 years under Income-Contingent Repayment
- 25 years under Income-Based Repayment
- 20 years under Pay-As-You-Earn Repayment
- 20 years under Revised Pay-As-You-Earn Repayment for borrowers who have only loans for undergraduate school
- 25 years under Revised Pay-As-You-Earn Repayment for borrowers with any federal loans for graduate or professional school
Time spent in an economic hardship deferment counts toward the 20 or 25-year repayment term in an income-driven repayment plan, but not toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, according to the current regulations.
The payment pause and interest waiver counts toward the 20 or 25-year forgiveness.
Time spent in other deferments or forbearances does not count toward the 20 or 25-year forgiveness. Likewise, periods of delinquency and default does not count toward loan forgiveness. Any payments made on a defaulted loan, whether voluntary or involuntary, do not count toward the 20 or 25-year forgiveness period.
The forgiveness will be automatic. Borrowers do not need to apply for the 20 or 25-year forgiveness, but must continue repaying their loans until they are notified that the remaining balance has been forgiven. Any excess payments will be refunded to the borrower.
The New Waivers Could Transform Borrowers’ Financial Futures
These stories of PSLF mistakes are legion and a big reason the Education Department is giving borrowers retroactive waivers from some of the program’s toughest rules.
Borrowers who were disqualified for being in the wrong repayment plan, for example, or for having the wrong kind of loan can now get credit for past payments. In fact, in an email on Friday, the department notified Chamberlin that she should get credit for at least 11 months she spent paying down the wrong kind of loan. According to the details of the overhaul, she should also get credit for the months her payments were paused while she was on active duty.
Chamberlin now works for a private company, but she says she served more than enough time to qualify for forgiveness. “It sounds dramatic, but if my loans can actually get forgiven, then I won’t have to leave the job that I really like.”
Zahra Nealy is nine months from having half her student loan debts erased under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Now, because of changes to the program, she could be completely free of student debt within a year. Roxanne Turpen for NPRhide caption
Zahra Nealy is nine months from having half her student loan debts erased under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Now, because of changes to the program, she could be completely free of student debt within a year.
She says that because of her debts, homeownership has felt unattainable. But soon, maybe not.
Forgiveness With Pay As You Earn
Pay As You Earn is similar to Income-Based Repayment, in that it isnt a typical forgiveness program. However, you could be eligible for forgiveness after a certain period of time.
The PAYE plan caps your monthly payment at 10% of your discretionary income. After borrowers make payments for 20 years, any remaining balance becomes eligible for forgiveness.
As with IBR, your forgiven balance might be treated as taxable income.
How To Get Student Loan Forgiveness
Students who are under the employment of a U.S. federal, state, tribal, or local government agency could be eligible to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Those who are employed by a not-for-profit organization might also be qualified.
This program is designed to forgive the remaining balance of qualified students to help these individuals with their debts. However, they can only apply for the PSLF program after they have made at least 120 qualifying monthly payments under an approved repayment plan. They should also have made these repayments while working as a full-time worker for a qualifying employer.
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Student Loan Forgiveness Vs Student Loan Discharge
Although their end results are similar, student loan forgiveness is not quite the same as student loan discharge, which immediately stops the borrower’s obligation to repay the debt. In some cases, a discharge may also entitle a borrower to receive a refund of payments previously made on a loan.
In general, federal education loans may be eligible for discharge under certain circumstances beyond the borrowers control. Most loans can be discharged in the following situations:
- permanent disability or death of the borrower
- closure of the school during the time of study
- falsification of the loan qualifications by the school
- use of identity theft on someone else’s part to secure the loan
- failure of the school to refund required loans to the lender
“Circumstances beyond the borrower’s control” do not include things like having to drop out of college before graduating or being unable to find a job after graduation.
Such circumstances do include a school engaging in illegal recruiting tactics, such as guaranteeing the student a well-paid job upon graduation, or other sorts of misconduct as grounds for a loan discharge.