Student loan forgiveness for teachers is an option if you cannot fulfill the required payments. You can be eligible for around $17,500 on federal loans if you meet the minimum requirements. The option is also available for substitute teachers, but there are more nuances to follow. You’ll have to stay on top of each of them to have a better chance of qualification.
Fulfilling the Minimum Requirements
As a substitute teacher, there are things you’ll have to fulfill to the minimum. According to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you must work an average of 30 hours per week. As a substitute teacher, it may be difficult to fulfill those hours using one school. So for most of them, they have several qualifying schools that they work for.
Working for several schools is fine as long as they are a qualifying employer under PSLF. To avoid any complications, you should have complete documentation of your employment for each. Filing one for each job is better than trying to put them all in one document every year.
Even if you’re only a part-time substitute teacher, you'll qualify as long as you fulfill the hours. A concern that many have is that they aren’t able to teach during summer break – will this affect their PSLF status?
However, that is not a concern as the PSLF only considers around eight months of employment and whether or not you’re working 30 hours a week. So long as your payments meet the other requirements and you’re still working for a qualified employer, you do not need to work during the summer. Your employer will just need to include the dates of their break in the PSLF form. You’ll also need to have certifications and have them handy when you’re applying to your loan servicer.
Public schools are the best option to ensure that you’re eligible for the PSLF program. No matter the level, be it university or elementary. U.S. military schools also count in this regard. It is only not-for-profit organizations that cannot be a part of the program. Other reasons an employer doesn’t qualify can include the following:
- The school is tax-exempt
- It is a part of a partisan political organization
- It is a part of a labor union
The best way to know is to ask the organization if they are not for profit. You can also ask them for their tax status to determine if they’re exempt.
Important forms prove your employment at the educational institution. That means you need to have a Wage and Tax Statement (W-2) which shows that you are a hired employee. If a contractor hired you, you are not considered a school employee. You must be directly working for the eligible institution.
Diligence Goes a Long Way
Substitute teachers have the opportunity to qualify for student loan forgiveness with a little bit more work. It’s always best to check requirements and have documents that prove everything. That way, you won’t have trouble staking your claim when you’re eligible. Always check with the employer, and don’t hesitate to find information within the PSLF.