Find Out How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness

How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness
How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness

Find Out How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness: How do you get student loan forgiveness? That’s one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from students who are drowning in debt and looking for relief. Fortunately, there are several solutions out there that can get you on the path to alleviating some of that burden, including options under the new Cares Act and Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. In order to qualify, though, you’ll need to make sure you meet all the requirements, so read on to learn more!

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How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness

Is it Possible?

Yes. Whether it’s through a specific program or by working with your employer, there are several ways you can have your student loans forgiven. However, only certain types of debt are eligible for forgiveness and the process can be confusing if you don’t know where to start.

Many people aren’t aware of their options for student loan forgiveness—or that forgiveness is even an option. To help, we put together a list of different options below along with what you need to do in order to qualify


Income-Based Repayment: To qualify for income-based repayment, your loan servicer must be approved by the US Department of Education. Your monthly payment will vary based on your income and family size.

If you make every single payment on time for 20 or 25 years, depending on which repayment plan you choose, any remaining debt will be forgiven. This is a great option if you have a lot of debt or can’t afford standard payments but are willing to commit yourself to working in public service for several decades in order to have your loans forgiven.

Income-Contingent Repayment: This option is similar to income-based repayment in that it’s only available for borrowers with federal loans. However, you don’t have to have a federal student loan servicer in order to qualify for income-contingent repayment.

Just make sure your payments are low enough—either 10% of your discretionary income or what you would pay on a 12-year fixed plan (whichever is lower), and they will be adjusted as needed each year based on your updated financial situation. Any remaining debt will be forgiven after 25 years, though you’ll need pay taxes on it if your loans were taken out before July 1, 2014.

How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness

What Qualifies as Public Service?

Qualifying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) might seem simple at first—if you work in public service, your loan is forgiven. But what qualifies as public service and who qualifies for forgiveness? PSLF requires five years of full-time employment in a public service job at a government organization or nonprofit (there are also some part-time and temporary qualifications). In addition, it’s necessary to make 120 qualifying monthly payments on an eligible repayment plan, not just during your five-year public service employment window. It’s also crucial that you don’t have any qualifying delinquencies on your student loans while you’re working toward forgiveness.

The first part is easy—you need a full-time job working for a government organization or nonprofit. That said, your employment should be directly related to that organization’s mission. If you work in public service but not directly on behalf of your employer, you won’t qualify for PSLF forgiveness.

Additionally, you can only qualify for PSLF if you receive compensation through your employer as opposed to as a volunteer. Your work also needs to meet at least one of several other qualification criteria

On top of working for a qualifying employer, you need to have a certain number of qualifying payments on an eligible repayment plan. The requirements vary based on which type of student loan you have—Direct Loans or Federal Family Education loans (FFEL). In either case, you’ll need to make 120 monthly payments while employed full-time by a public service organization. These 120 monthly payments can be made while working part-time as well, but you’ll need at least 20 hours per week in your position. You also can’t have any late or missing payments before applying for forgiveness.

You also need to show that you were on an eligible repayment plan for each of those qualifying payments. When you apply for PSLF, your loan servicer will check your eligibility based on whether or not you’ve made 120 qualifying payments in order and if they qualify as public service repayment plan payments.

The only exception is that if you’re a Direct Loan borrower and switch between certain direct loan repayment plans, such as income-driven repayment plans, you may be able to make some excess payments that count toward forgiveness under different plans. As long as these payments still meet all other criteria, though, they won’t reduce your 120 required monthly qualifying payments.

How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness

When Will I be Eligible?

One of the most important things to understand when it comes to student loan forgiveness is that not all education-related debt is eligible for forgiveness. This may sound confusing, but there are a few ways you can receive assistance if you’re a struggling student.

The first type of forgiveness is based on your income level. If you make under a certain amount each year, then your loans will be forgiven after 10 years of making payments. A more likely option for students who are trying to pay off their loans faster is income-based repayment (IBR). This plan caps your monthly payment at 15% of your discretionary income and forgives any remaining balance after 20 years of payments.

If your loans are not eligible for forgiveness based on income, then you may be able to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). This forgiveness plan does not forgive your debt, but allows it to be canceled if you work in public service for 10 years. There are many requirements that must be met before you can even qualify for PSLF.

You must also make 120 on-time payments after October 1, 2007 in order to qualify. When applying, request Form 1042-S from each of your student loan servicers and fill out a complete application with every relevant piece of documentation that proves you’re meeting all eligibility requirements.

When it comes down to it, you have plenty of options available if you’re struggling with student loans. It’s important that you take a proactive approach and find a plan that makes sense for your financial situation.

Not only will getting help pay off your debt faster, but it can also free up your cash flow for other living expenses and give you a better quality of life overall. If you need more information or have specific questions about student loan forgiveness, be sure to talk with a qualified professional in order to get personalized guidance based on your unique needs.

Keep in mind that forgiveness is just one option available to struggling students. If you can’t pay off your loans as quickly as possible, then an income-driven repayment plan might be a better option for you. Depending on your current financial situation, there are plenty of resources out there to help with any and all student loan debt.

It’s important that you know your options and choose wisely so you can start focusing on moving forward rather than struggling to keep up with loans each month. Consider speaking with a professional like The Sader Group today if you have questions about choosing between different student loan forgiveness plans or need more information about how different repayment plans will affect your overall student loan balance over time.

How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness

When Will My Payments Stop?

Did you know that you can have your student loan payments suspended if you enroll in any of a number of different income-driven repayment plans? These are both federal and private options that allow borrowers who aren’t able to make their monthly payment based on their current income and family size to qualify for a reduced amount. Depending on which plan you sign up for, your monthly payments may be as low as $0 per month.

Be sure to check out Income-Driven Repayment Options if you think your monthly payment is more than you can afford. When Are Payments Serviced?: Federal Direct loans are funded by the government, but most loans issued by private lenders (like banks) are serviced by third-party companies like Navient, Nelnet or Great Lakes.

When Are Payments Serviced? – Second Paragraph: Your student loan servicers are responsible for getting your monthly payment out on time, handling billing statements and answering questions you have about your loans. They also make it easy for you to request deferment or forbearance in case of financial hardship.

This is all handled through a federal portal called NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System), which all servicers use as a database. You can view information about your account using NSLDS if you need to track your payments, find details on federal loans or submit an application for some type of forgiveness program.

When Are Payments Serviced? – Second Paragraph: To help keep track of all your payments, you should have a copy of each billing statement in your possession. If you’re having trouble managing or accessing these statements, make sure to reach out to your servicer for help.

It’s important that you know when and how much your payments are due so that you can stay on top of any changes that might be made by your servicer. Make sure you understand all fees associated with enrollment, too. Check out common questions about student loans for more details.

When Are Payments Serviced? – Second Paragraph: You can sign up for forbearance if you’re temporarily unable to make your student loan payments. This feature is a bit different depending on which type of loan you have, but it gives you time off from making payments without accruing interest or adding to your principal balance.

Use forbearance if you need time to get back on your feet or are waiting for a government benefit (like unemployment) that will allow you to make payments again. When Can I Enroll in IBR?: You can sign up for an income-driven repayment plan once your direct federal loan has been in repayment for at least one month, and as soon as six months after entering deferment or forbearance.

Am I Eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?
While Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a great program, it can be hard to tell whether or not you’re actually eligible for it. You may have to jump through a few hoops and provide documentation proving your employment status and qualifications, but it’s worth it if you find yourself with massive debt due to student loans.

If you want to see if you qualify for forgiveness under PSLF or another program, read on. We’ll go over who qualifies for PSLF and what requirements there are for applying. By the end of our post, you should know whether or not you qualify, how long your forgiveness could take and what documents you need in order to apply.

How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness

What Loans Qualify for PSLF?:

Is There a Time Limit on Public Service Loan Forgiveness?:
What Other Forms Must I Submit to Apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?: If you’re applying for forgiveness under PSLF, you’ll need to provide several documents and forms. You’ll need a completed employment certification form, which asks about your employer and whether or not they qualify as public service.

Other than a completed employment certification form, you’ll also need to submit several documents. You’ll need your employer’s tax-exempt identification number or EIN (this can be found on your W-2). If you don’t have a W-2, you can use your social security number and an independent contractor letter instead. You may also need any paperwork related to student loans (such as consolidated loan statements or promissory notes) as well as proof of payments made towards those loans.

After you submit your paperwork, it’s a waiting game. This may seem like a long time, but keep in mind that several factors go into processing your application, including how many people have applied and whether or not there are other factors which can affect your approval.

If you have any questions about applying for forgiveness through PSLF or would like help applying, contact us at 1-800-531-7120 or send us an email. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about student loan forgiveness and make sure you get approved for forgiveness under PSLF.

How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness

Who Can Apply for Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Under the Cares Act?

The first step in obtaining student loan forgiveness under Cares is knowing if you qualify. The US Department of Education outlines which public service jobs are eligible for forgiveness under Cares: all 501(c)(3) organizations, including hospitals, public and private universities, non-profit organizations, law enforcement and any other job with a qualifying 501(c)(3) designation.

If you don’t work at one of these organizations full-time or can’t get your employer to designate you as working for a 501(c)(3), then contact your local government representative about applying for federal student loan forgiveness.

The next step is knowing how much you’ll get and how you can apply for federal student loan forgiveness under Cares. The maximum amount of student loan forgiveness available under Cares is $60,000. However, Cares requires a 10-year service period with a public service organization, which means you’ll have to be employed in full-time public service employment before applying for federal student loan forgiveness under Cares. At that point, depending on your income level, your eligible loans will get paid off in monthly payments over 120 months.

The last step is applying for federal student loan forgiveness under Cares. You can apply online using a special Department of Education form. You’ll need specific information about your loans, including your complete loan account balance and a breakdown of each type of loan (for example, Direct Subsidized or Perkins Loans).

The application process can take several months. Once you get approved for federal student loan forgiveness under Cares, you’ll have 10 years to start paying off your remaining balance—if you haven’t paid it off before then. If you don’t qualify or can’t afford to make payments on your remaining student loans after 10 years, they may be discharged if not paid off by then.

The federal student loan forgiveness under Cares program also has several downsides. Your eligible loans must be with your original lender and not an organization you’ve consolidated them with. If you consolidate student loans, it may affect eligibility for federal student loan forgiveness under Cares.

Also, while a public service organization is eligible for forgiveness after 10 years of employment, if you ever leave that job or stop working at that nonprofit, your eligibility will end and any previously forgiven loans will need to be paid back in full within 10 years—regardless of whether you work in public service again later on. Federal student loan forgiveness under Cares might sound like a great deal, but it’s best to weigh all of your options first before deciding if it’s right for you.

How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness


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