Heading off to college can be a daunting task. After twelve long years slogging through the textbooks and the classes often the last thing any 18-year-old wants to do is sign on for more. Especially since now you have to start paying for the schooling. If the last 12 years were bad at least they were free. Now you’ve got another two or more years ahead of you and they’re going to cost you thousands of dollars. If you’re like most people you probably don’t have all that money saved up and ready to dish out for your classes. That’s where student loans come into play.
If you require student loans here is an easy place to see if you qualify for help.
Student loans can be taken out through your bank or credit union but they’re usually going to be federal simply because these are easier to get, easier to pay back and they’re the ones your school is going to suggest. Depending on your program, your school and your tuition fees the amount you are able to get for student loans will vary from a couple thousands to tens or even hundreds of thousands by the time you’re completely finished with school. This means you will owe that money back to the federal government. Unless you qualify for student loan forgiveness.
Jobs That Provide Loan Forgiveness
- Those individuals who complete college, gain full-time employment in a public service job and make 120 payments during that employment can qualify to have the remaining balance of their student loan completely forgiven. Government organizations, not-for-profit, tax-exempt organizations or private, not-for-profit organizations all qualify as public service jobs which will qualify the individual for this type of loan forgiveness.
- A teacher who gains full-time employment within a low-income elementary or secondary school for a five year period and has made payments during that time the loan may be forgiven. It is required that the school be considered low-income for at least one year of the five year period and that the five years be served consecutively. Also, any school which exists on an Indian reservation under contract with the Bureau of Indian Education qualifies as a low-income school for purposes of this method of loan forgiveness.
- Military service or volunteer work can also wipe out student loan debt. An individual who serves in the military or works for organizations such as ServiCorp can qualify for complete removal of all student loan debt. Some of these programs may not even require payments to be made at all or may require very few payments be made by the individual.
What Forgiveness Is and Isn’t
- If you student loan is forgiven that means you will never have to pay any more on it. For example, if you owe $25,000 and you have paid in only $10,000 but your loan is forgiven you will never owe the remaining $15,000. The federal government has paid off that portion of your loan and you are able to keep that $15,000 for your own use.
- Even if you don’t qualify for complete forgiveness of you loan you may qualify for a partial level of forgiveness. Check with your workplace or with your loan provider to see if your job or your volunteer work can qualify you to eliminate a portion of your student loan debt.
- Declaring bankruptcy will not necessarily wipe out student loan debt. Due to many students racking up large amounts of student loan debt and then declaring bankruptcy for the sole reason of getting rid of it, a bankruptcy claim can wipe out other debt but will only affect student loan debt if you can prove an inability to maintain a minimum standard or living while paying it. If wiping out the rest of your debt makes it possible for you to pay off your student loan debt without undue hardship then you will not receive student loan forgiveness.
- If your school has closed while you were attending and you were unable to complete your degree, if you were unable to complete your degree or obtain a job because of your age, criminal record, mental or physical disability, or if you suffered a total and permanent disability you may be eligible for a discharge of your student loan debt. This is different from loan forgiveness because you are not required to make any payments towards the loan prior to its being negated.
- BONUS: There is a program called Sponsorchange.org which will help you to get rid of your student loan debt by volunteering. Other people donate money to sponsor those who choose to volunteer for specific events. All you have to do is go on the site, sign up and locate volunteer events that have sponsors. Then you participate in the event and earn some money towards wiping out your student debt. You’ll have to do a lot of volunteering in order to get rid of all your debt but this is definitely a way to get started.
Keep in mind that federal loan forgiveness is not the only way to help with your student loan debt. Many individuals who do not have a cause for forgiveness may qualify for deferment or reduced payments based on income. If you are unable to make the payments for your student loans make sure you speak with your student loan service provider to find out what your options are.
It’s important that you find out everything you can about your student loan and what you can/should/need to do in order to pay it off. Whether that means getting it discharged, forgiven or paid off with your own money you want it taken care of as soon as possible. So make sure you talk with your student loan provider and keep track of all information you receive about your loan. And don’t forget to check out some of our other articles about loans, repayment, forgiveness and everything else you need to know about paying for your college education. College is important; don’t let it fall by the wayside simply because you’re worried about student loans.