Many nurses are burdened by student loans and wondering if there is a way to get them forgiven. The good news is that there are many different paths through which you can get your student loans forgiven, but it’s important to know that forgiveness options for nurses may be limited depending on where you live, what type of nursing degree you have, and the type of debt you’re carrying.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of all the possible ways in which you could get some or all of your student loan balance discharged – including those with private lenders or federal loans.
For the sake of convenience and brevity, we’ll leave out the details of every repayment option here and focus on the very common case where a debt is discharged. In order to be eligible for a discharge, you must meet certain conditions, such as not having more than a 10% balance or having made regular payments for at least 10 years.
Note that some of these options have a different set of rules that require your employer to attest that you meet certain income requirements. Some employers (notably government agencies) are not required to attest. Because of this, some employers may choose not to offer these kinds of forgiveness options. Why Did We Write This?
How to get student loans forgiven
If you have federal student loans, the process for getting your loans discharged will likely be simpler, although it’s not without its caveats. If you’re looking at student loan forgiveness for your student loans and the type of loan you have, you should start by figuring out your Federal Student Aid (FSA) eligibility.
If you have federal loans, your FSA eligibility is based on a few key factors: Your income. If your adjusted gross income for the year is below $65,000, you qualify for FSA loans. You’ll also need your salary that year to be below a certain amount.
If you’re not eligible for FSA loans, you may qualify for Direct loans instead. If you are eligible for Direct loans, there is a “normal income” test to determine if your income is eligible for Direct loans or FSA loans.
How to get student loans forgiven with federal loans
Federal student loans are the most flexible in terms of forgiveness programs. The private lender option is much more limited in terms of eligibility. But there are some options for private loans too.
The following examples are from Fedsource: Tunnel of debt – Your student loan is in deferment for a few years, then forgiven. Waived education costs – A non-repayment loan that is forgiven will still show up on your credit report as a loan.
So, you’ll have to report your credit score every time you apply for a new loan in order to keep your credit score high. The forgiven amount will be a “deduction” on your credit score.
Nurses who have been honourably discharged from the military are in a strong position to get their student loans forgiven. You can apply for discharge from the Department of Defense Education Activity, the VA-Geoffrey Taylor Caregiver loan program, the G.I. Bill and a number of other programs.
Residency for military health workers The VA is currently providing some partial (30% – 50% of total program cost) loan forgiveness for military health workers in the Residency for Military Health Professionals program (RMHP) as well as some in the Navy program.
Off-duty employment Nurses who are employed in an off-duty capacity (paid for by the military, state, or the federal government) are eligible for loan forgiveness through the VA’s Loan Forgiveness for Federal Employees Program.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) is a federal program designed to encourage career or technical education programs in fields such as health sciences, law, public safety, the arts, and government.
However, all candidates must have their loan balances forgiven under this program – which is done through participating federal loan servicers – in order to be eligible for PSLF.
Any student loan borrower who starts work in a PSLF-eligible profession as of June 30, 2007, and files a “certification of employment” form by September 30, 2018, will be eligible for PSLF.
There are two requirements for PSLF eligibility: A total amount of Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) debt incurred at the date the qualifying certification is submitted must be at least $55,000.
Teacher loan forgiveness
While your current income may be lower than a nurse, you may still be eligible for student loan forgiveness. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree, and unless you’re part of a nursing shortage area, your area of study will likely qualify.
How to get student loans forgiven with private loans
Get a Direct Loan You can get a Direct Loan from the federal government through a federal student loan servicer. Note: The federal Direct Loan Program was eliminated in 2010.
If you have student loans under the federal Direct Loan Program you will not be able to get your loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program unless your loans have been consolidated. Direct Loans come with many advantages.
First, you can consolidate your Direct Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to improve the process of getting your loans forgiven. Once the Direct Consolidation Loan is discharged, your Direct Loans and their interest are considered to be paid off.
If you’re a nurse with a high loan balance and you’re thinking about applying for student loan forgiveness, then you have plenty of options.
When it comes to student loan forgiveness options for nurses, you may need to review your loan status and potential income to make the best decision about applying for student loan forgiveness. Best of luck in your endeavours.