One of the most necessary careers in the United States, teachers have a few options when it comes to repayment of student loan debt. According to NPR, there are some choices available for educators. Educators who work in “low-income school or in state-designated "critical needs" subjects” can qualify for Perkins loans and have that balance forgiven in five years. For mathematics, science, or special education teachers, up to $75,000 in student loans can be forgiven, while teachers of other subjects may have $5,000 in loans forgiven. Finally, teachers can qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness after 10 years of service. Most teachers find this program the best to work with, as it has no specific requirements for the subjects taught. For those who are already teaching, or considering entering the profession, understanding your repayment or loan forgiveness options can be helpful in informing your decisions.
While this is more of an umbrella term, it covers several professions. Included under this category for loan forgiveness are those employed in government services or nonprofit organizations. As noted on Moneycrashers, “A few of the job types that could qualify include public teaching, military service, social work, public safety, law enforcement, public health services, public library services, and public interest law.” In order to take advantage of this program, employees must make 120 payments towards their student loans before they can apply for forgiveness. This equates to about ten years of service, as mentioned above.
Programs to explore
One of the issues students can encounter is the vast amount of repayment plans available. Students can easily become overwhelmed by the many options available to them, and ultimately end up not choosing or applying for a plan. To get you started, here are some programs to explore:
The pros and cons of repayment programs
Like most things, there are both pros and cons of participating in student loan repayment or forgiveness programs. When it comes to pros, careers that offer forgiveness also provide a salary. While you’re working and receiving a paycheck, you’re also working towards student loan freedom. Most of the professions that offer student loan repayment are also those with a strong need, so if you choose one of these fields, you’ll be making a difference in the lives of others.
However, there are some cons to consider as well. In addition to working in a profession that ultimately will lead to qualifying for forgiveness, some employers may offer loan repayment as an incentive. However, there are usually strings attached with this, such as lower salaries, or requirements to work for the organization for a certain amount of time. Therefore, before accepting a position with one of these employers or in the profession, make sure it’s something you want and are prepared for.
Additionally, as reported on The Simple Dollar, the types of jobs that qualify for forgiveness “Often come with rigid guidelines about who qualifies, what type of loans qualify, and how long you have to work there before you receive assistance. Some programs require you to keep making payments. If you break your contract, you may no longer receive any assistance.” Therefore, you’ll need to make sure you’re going to be able to faithfully make payments for several years.
Student loan forgiveness is something that’s been on the minds of not just students, but also the United States government as well. President Biden recently spoke again on his intention to assist with relieving student loan debt, starting by extending the student loan suspension with the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. With Americans owing over a trillion in student loans, it’s no surprise that repayment and forgiveness are things on many people’s minds. While it’s been promised that more help is on the way, in the meantime, considering your options for repayment or forgiveness can help you make plans for a debt-free future.