March 16, 2020

Why Teachers Aren't Qualifying for Forgiveness


Knowing that you’re making a direct impact in the lives of your students is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher. A career in education enables you to shape the next generation of leaders, doctors, engineers, executives, web developers, and so much more. One of your students may even be a future president of the United States!

Unfortunately, teaching is an underpaid profession in the U.S. Most teachers rack up thousands of dollars in student loans to pay for their degree and many struggle to repay.

The ever-growing cost of a college education, demand for more advanced teaching degrees, unlimited loan access, increasing interest rates, and a national average public school teacher starting salary (2016-2017) of $38,617, leave many teachers feeling like they can’t get ahead.

The good news is that public service professionals (that includes teachers) can have their student loans forgiven. Yes—completely paid off, thanks to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Many teachers actually qualify for two forgiveness programs, PSLF and the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program. The TLF program forgives $5,000 to $17,500 for certain teachers!

How can a teacher qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program?

First, you must work as a public service professional. A teacher, professor, an equivalent educator, or principal all qualify. Second, you must work as a qualifying public service professional for at least 10 years, completing 120 total payments toward your student loans. Additionally, you must be on an income driven repayment plan AND you must have federal direct loans.

If you received your student loans before 2010, you might have what are called FFEL Loans that do not qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness; however, you can consolidate your loans into a qualifying direct loan. If you’re not sure if you have FFEL Loans and/or direct loans, you can check using our Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Calculator.

In summary, to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness as a teacher you must:
  1. Be a teacher, professor, an equivalent educator, or a principal
  2. Have made 120 repayments (10 years of at least one monthly repayment)
  3. Have a federal direct loan
  4. Be on an income-driven repayment plan
You will NOT qualify if you have:
  • Defaulted on your loans (unless you have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of the defaulted loans)
  • FFEL Loans or in-direct loans

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program is a program available to full-time teachers who have completed five consecutive academic years at a Title school. Eligible teachers may have $17,500 forgiven off of their student loans if they are a highly-qualified mathematics or science teacher at the secondary level, or a special education teacher at any K-12 level, and $5,000 forgiven for teaching any other subject.

Some teachers should take advantage of this option while others might want to ride out the 10-year repayment plan toward total forgiveness. Read more about the which program is best for you on our PSLF vs. TLFP blog, or take our Teacher Loan Forgiveness or PSLF quiz.

Get Help For FREE with Chipper

Does this all sound confusing? Don’t worry, we are here to help you discover if you qualify for student loan forgiveness. And if you don’t meet all of the requirements to qualify, we can help you figure out which income-driven repayment plan is right for you and/or consolidate your loans!

We will help you…
  • Discover if you qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and/or the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program (and which program is best for you)
  • Find and enroll in the right income-driven repayment plan for you
  • Consolidate your loans into one direct loan (if needed)
  • File your plan and program application (and yearly recertification)

Through Chipper you can also set recurring or one-time payments in addition to your monthly repayment, use automatic Round-Ups to maximize each purchase you make, and get family and friends involved who wish to help you on your path to financial freedom.

Click below to get started. We’re excited to help you on your journey toward living a life that is free of student loan debt. 🦾

Use Chipper for Lower Payments

Chipper can help you find a student loan repayment plan that actually fits into your budget. You simply fill out your information and link your student loan account for us to generate your options in seconds. We help the average student loan borrower save over $300 a month off their student loan monthly payment. Lowering your monthly payment plan can game changing for your personal finance and can be done in minutes! Sign up for Chipper today to get on track with your student loans.

Use Chipper for The Best Path to Forgiveness

Finding your path to student loan forgiveness is easier than ever before. Chipper helps members find better Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans every day. Once enrolled in an eligible repayment plan, we can help you explore your forgiveness options and understand your path towards forgiveness. Sign up with Chipper today and get on track with your student loans.

Use Chipper for Round-Ups

Paying off your student loans doesn’t have to be a long and painful journey. Round-Ups are a way to directly pay off your loans with your everyday spending! By tracking your linked spending account(s), we will calculate the rounded up amount from each transaction in a week (IE spending $4.28 would add $0.72 to the weekly amount). We then initiate a payment towards your student loan for the weekly amount. Get chipping away on your student loans with Chipper today.

Use Chipper for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was created to provide relief to borrowers aiding the public sector. Unfortunately, 30% of applicants are denied due to incorrect paperwork. We can help! Chipper was created to solve this issue by assisting borrowers in understanding their options as well as allowing forgiveness eligible users enroll into the best forgiveness program available. Sign up for Chipper today to see your student loan forgiveness options and get the forgiveness you deserve.

Use Chipper for Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF)

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program was created to enable teachers working in Title 1 schools to receive student loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 (depending on their teaching subject). Chipper has helped teachers from all over the country qualify for TLF program and can help you get the forgiveness you deserve today. Find out if you qualify for forgiveness in minutes with our employer search tool.

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