Are you a teacher trying to pay back a student loan? Paying back a student loan — or any loan, for that matter — can be a drain on your finances. Add your student loan payments to the other expenses like your monthly bills and a mortgage, and the costs will pile up quickly.
It would seem as though you are destined for dire financial straits. Luckily, there are options for teachers who are paying back student loan payments. The answer is simple — you may not have to. You may not have to if you qualify for student loan forgiveness.
Read on to learn more about how to apply for student loan forgiveness for teachers.
Do Teachers Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness?
For meeting certain conditions and qualifications, teachers can qualify for student loan forgiveness. Under the federal government’s loan forgiveness programs, there are two from which teachers can choose.
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF)
Depending on what your experience in the field is and how much you have already paid, you may qualify for one of these programs.
Let’s get into how to qualify for either one of the above-mentioned loan forgiveness programs for teachers.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
You can apply for teacher loan forgiveness if you meet the following criteria:
- You have worked in a low-income school for at least five consecutive years before the time of the application.
- The school in which you taught is a school that caters to low-income students.
- You have not defaulted on either your Stafford Loan or your federal direct student loan.
- You have a bachelor’s degree and state certifications.
- None of your certifications or licenses have been revoked or waived.
- You teach science or math.
If you qualify, you can have up to $17,500 of your remaining student loans forgiven. It is possible to qualify under the teacher loan forgiveness program even if you do not meet all of the criteria mentioned earlier. However, the deducted or forgiven amount will not be more than $5,000.
The application is online. You need to complete the teacher loan forgiveness application form before sending it to your loan server.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The PSLF program is for teachers who have served in publicly-funded schools. Whatever the remaining balance is on your student loan, qualifying for the PSLF will forgive the total remaining amount. To qualify, here are the criteria:
- 120 payments made towards your student loans
- Full-time employment at a government institution or school at the time of application
- Ongoing loan payments through an income-driven repayment plan
The application is online. You can find the application form and PSLF self-help tool on the Federal Student Aid site.
Get Your Loans Forgiven and Be Free of Financial Burden
Paying student loans can be draining — both financially and emotionally. Luckily, the federal government has been quick to recognize the contributions of teachers, especially those serving in its institutions and low-income areas.
By meeting the criteria mentioned in this article, you can qualify for student loan forgiveness. Once you do, you will be able to kiss student loan payments goodbye.