Loan repayment assistance programs (or LRAPs) exist in several states to help you pay off student loans. You have a far better chance of qualifying for an LRAP if you work in a specific industry, particularly the health care and education sector.
Some companies even offer student loan repayment assistance services as employee benefits. You can speak with your human resources department to see if you have these options. Or, you can apply for another LRAP outside of your company. Here are the legal ways to eliminate student loans.
Join the Peace Corps
If you want to get rid of a Federal Perkins Loan, you could work for the Peace Corps and become eligible for canceling part of your loan. After four years of service, you can cancel up to 70% of your Perkins Loans. The minimum amount you can cancel is 15% of your loan. It all depends on the terms of your service for the Peace Corps.
With Peace Corps service under your belt, you could consolidate your access to the Perkins Loan Cancellation by applying for the PSLF program. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program cancels the rest of your student loans in exchange for your Peace Corps service. But, you would give up your chance to get rid of your student loans through the Perkins Loan directly.
Volunteer for AmeriCorps
Places with AmeriCorps opportunities can help you shed up to $5,815 from your student loans for a minimum of 1,700 hours of work. AmeriCorps volunteer work would involve community service for local nonprofits or public agencies. This also includes participating in community projects for lower-income Americans.
When working for AmeriCorps, you can ask about income-driven repayment, which should adjust your loan payments to accommodate your income. AmeriCorps volunteers also become eligible for the PSLF program. So, you can apply for loan forgiveness after less than three months of volunteer work.
Get Into Teach For America
Teach For America teachers qualify for the PSLF program and have access to income-driven repayment as well. If you work for this non-profit organization, you may even become eligible for an AmeriCorps education award. This award can repay up to $6,195 in student loans.
Through the Perkins Loan Cancellation program, you may even receive between 15% to 100% of loan forgiveness as a Teach For America teacher. This can take five years of service in underserved areas as a teacher. The US Department of Education has a directory of low-income institutions where your service would qualify for loan forgiveness.
Enroll in the National Health Service Corps
You can get rid of up to $50,000 in federal student loans if you work as a health care provider for at least two years in a Health Professional Shortage Area. An HPSA is an underserved area where medical, dental, and mental health services are wanted. Your salary in these areas will surely be far from what you can make in private institutions, but the loan forgiveness through the National Health Service Corps is tax-free.
You can get rid of your student loans when you practice your field of study in the most underserved areas. If you’re a health care practitioner, educator, or public service employee fresh out of graduation yet buried in student loans, then loan repayment assistance programs from organizations like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach For America, and the National Health Service Corps can help you with loan forgiveness. In order to make sure you can qualify for a forgiveness program and are taking the right steps, get started with Chipper today.