Federal Family Education Loan Program
The federal government no longer makes loans under the FFEL program. However, if you have outstanding FFEL loans, they remain in repayment. It is important that you know the many repayment plan options that are available to you and what to do if you are having trouble making your scheduled payments.
You Previously Tried To Certify Employment For Pslf But Were Denied
If the Department previously said your employer was not eligible for PSLF then you need to submit a new form through the PSLF Help Tool to see if you can receive credit toward forgiveness. You can also see which employers the Department has already deemed eligible through the PSLF Help Tool. Please note that this waiver does not affect qualifying employer rules. Your employer still needs to be a governmental organization, a 501 organization, or a not-for-profit organization that provides a designated public service to get PSLF under normal rules and the Limited PSLF Waiver.
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Student Loan Repayment Options For Lawyers
Going to professional school isnt cheap but there are many loan repayment programs available for lawyers. You may be able to find a local or state assistance program. And some law schools will even help their alumni repay their student loans.
The Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program is a good option for lawyers who want to work at the Department of Justice. If you work there for at least three years, youll receive up to $60,000 in loan forgiveness. You must have at least $10,000 in federal loans to qualify, though thats a pretty low bar for most lawyers to meet.
The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program was designed for lawyers who work in the public sector. For instance, public defenders could earn $10,000 in loan forgiveness a year for a maximum of six years.
Old Statutory Language Concerning Student Loan Discharge
The statutory language for a TPD discharge at 20 USC 1087 specifies the circumstances in which the Secretary of Education shall discharge a borrowers student loans. The use of the word shall, as opposed to the word may, means that the U.S. Department of Education doesnt have any discretion in deciding whether to discharge the debt of an eligible borrower.
In other cases, the statutory language is a little ambiguous. For example, the statutory language at 20 USC 1087 provides for the discharge of federal student loans for a disabled servicemember who providesdocumentation of such determination to the Secretary of Education.
The U.S. Department of Education initially interpreted who provides documentation as requiring disabled veterans to apply for a disability discharge of their student loans. After the U.S. Department of Education began implementing a data match with the U.S. Department of Defense , a bizarre bureaucratic process ensued:
You Have At Least One Federal Student Loan That Is Not A Direct Loan Such As A Ffel Loan
You will need to submit a consolidation application and a PSLF form by October 31, 2022 to ensure that payments made on loans that are not Direct Loans can be counted toward PSLF. Right now, we encourage you to consolidate before using the PSLF Help Tool to certify employment. If you want to check your employers eligibility for PSLF before you consolidate, you can do so by logging into the PSLF Help Tool, which is available at StudentAid.gov/PSLF. If you have a mix of FFEL and Direct Loans, please refer to the sections above to understand how your Direct Loans will be affected.
We are working to update the PSLF Help Tool, but it will not be configured for borrowers with non-Direct Loans to submit a PSLF form until later this year. We will provide more information when this update is done.
To find out more about loan consolidation visit StudentAid.gov/Manage-Loans/Consolidation.
Government Employee Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Anyone who works for the Government is eligible for Federal student loan forgiveness benefits via the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which is literally the best, biggest, and fastest loan forgiveness program around.
That means that whether youre a local City Assemblyman, a Police Officer, a Firefighter, a Park Ranger, or a DMV Employee, youve got an avenue to having your entire student loan debt forgiven after making just 10 years of payments, and payments set based on your monthly income.
For most Government employees, the income-based part is a huge plus, because typically Government jobs pay lower salaries, and you could even end up getting an assigned monthly payment of $0 if your income is low enough to qualify for that.
In fact, its actually possible to qualify for a $0 monthly payment, make that $0 monthly payment for a period of 10 years, and have the entire balance of your student loan forgiven, WITHOUT having to pay taxes on the amount thats discharged!
For details on this program, please visit my page on the Government Employee Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
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Student Loan Discharge For Total And Permanent Disability
If you are facing a total or permanent disability that makes you unable to work and support yourself and your dependents, you might be eligible for the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge .
This is a type of student loan and service obligation forgiveness offered by the U.S. federal government. And it is only suitable for federal student loans and TEACH Grant service obligations.
What are the reasons why a certification would be void?
To qualify for this program, it does not matter if the disability is physical or mental, but there are some specifications that the U.S. Education Department uses to filter who is eligible and who is not. They consider you to have a total or permanent disability if:
What are the steps to receive this loan discharge?
If you fit in any of the descriptions of disability from the U.S. Education Department, there are a few steps you must follow to receive the student loan discharge.
Office Hours: Monday Friday 8:00 AM 8:00 PM
Likely Future Student Loan Forgiveness Developments
The next event will occur when the U.S. Department of Education and Justice Department issue reports concerning the executive branchs legal authority to implement broad loan forgiveness without Congress.
These reports will likely conclude that the President does not have the legal authority to implement broad student loan forgiveness through executive action. This will force Congress to act. Congress might consider legislation to forgive student loans in the fall, as part of a budget reconciliation bill.
The timing of loan forgiveness will also depend on which loans are eligible.
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The National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program
Soldiers and officers that join the Guard with an existing student loan obligation at the time of their enlistment may be eligible for the National Guards Student Loan Repayment Program , which offers up to $50,000 of student loan debt relief for Guard members who take on certain jobs with a six or eight-year enlistment agreement.
Existing Guard members who extend their enlistment contract for at least six years are also eligible for the National Guard SLRP, as long as they meet eligibility requirements, including scoring high enough on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test and being a member of a valid Military Occupational Specialty in their National Guard unit.
Finally, the National Guard student loan repayment program is also available to applicants entering Officer Candidate School who have at least 90 college credit hours and agree to an additional eight-year commitment at the time of enrollment in OCS.
For specific details on this program, please visit my page on the National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program
Are Non Profit Loan Forgiveness Applications Actually Being Approved
As of an April 3rd, 2019, report from the LA Times, the number of approvals for PSLF Applications looks pretty disheartening. This report noted that while tens of thousands of Americans have applied for PSLF, fewer than 300 have had their Applications approved.
I can tell you from my decade of following this space that WAY MORE of those Applications should be making it through the Department of Educations approval process, especially after Temporary Expanded PSLF earmarked $700,000,000 in additional funds.
The good news is that Congress is finally starting to make some noise about this issue, with high-profile members like Senator Time Kaine from Virginia offering all sorts of commentary indicating that the Department of Education needs to get its act together.
I am slightly skeptical, however, that well see much progress on this front until President Trump is defeated and his Education Department Secretary, Betsy DeVos, is removed from her post. She is completely against the spirit of the PSLF Program, doesnt want to offer loan forgiveness to anyone let alone non profit workers and has basically stopped this and other benefits programs dead in their tracks.
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The Borrowers Defense To Repayment Program
If you havent qualified for any of the other Federal student loan forgiveness benefits programs mentioned above, dont despair quite yet, because youve got one final hope: the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program, which lets you challenge the legal validity of your loans.
This program has actually been around for some time, but most people had never heard of it, and it wasnt until the big media coverage for the Corinthian Colleges shut down that it became popular.
Now, however, there are so many Borrowers Defense to Repayment Discharge Applications being submitted on a daily basis, that the Department of Education is literally overwhelmed by them, and Ive received first-hand reports of people waiting OVER A YEAR to find out whether or not their applications were approved!
The way Borrowers Defense works is that it offers a complete Federal student loan discharge to anyone who can prove that their lender, school, or student loan servicing company did something illegal that led to them taking a loan which they wouldnt have gotten had that behavior not occurred.
The easiest way to qualify for the Discharge is to explain that your school performed some sort of false advertising, or made misleading promises about what you would get as a result of completing their degree programs.
Call the Borrowers Defense Hotline at: .
Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation
Federal Perkins Loans have a separate forgiveness program because your school is the lender, not the federal government. To apply, contact the financial aid office at the school that administered your Perkins Loan and request the application forms. You need to be a full-time employee in a qualified career.
Qualifying Perkins Loan Forgiveness Jobs:
- Soldier in hostile fire or imminent danger pay areas
- Law enforcement or corrections officer
- Nurse or medical technician
- VISTA or Peace Corps volunteer
- Librarian with a masters degree
- Attorney employed in a federal public or community defender organization
- Employee for public or nonprofit organization that serves high-risk children and their families from low-income communities
- Staff member for educational component of the Head Start program
- Staff member for a state-licensed or regulated pre-kindergarten or child care program
- Professional provider of early intervention services for the disabled
- Speech pathologist with a masters degree
- Special education teacher for children with disabilities in public, other nonprofit schools or educational service agency
- Teacher in a field designated by the state as teacher shortage areas
- Teacher in a designated educational service agency that serves students from low-income families
- Faculty member at a tribal college or university
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Student Borrower Bill Of Rights
Student loan servicers are often the most important points of contact for student loan borrowers. They send your monthly bills and process your loan payments, and they are also supposed to answer your questions and help you figure out the best way to repay your loans. For these reasons, when student loan servicers dont do their jobs well, borrowers suffer. In 2019, New York passed the Student Loan Servicing Act, which gave DFS authority to license and regulate student loan servicers and to ensure that they treat borrowers with the respect and professionalism they deserve.
The law also created new protections for borrowers and their co-signors. These rights are described in the New York Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights as follows:
Every Student Loan Borrower In New York Has The Right To:
If you apply for financial aid to attend schools in New York, schools must send you a uniform financial aid award information sheet so your family and you can easily understand the costs of an education, make informed financial decisions, and compare financial aid offers from different schools. These financial aid award letters must include certain information, such as the total cost of attendance for the upcoming year, estimated cost of attendance for any subsequent years needed to earn a degree, total grant and scholarship awards, expected loan amounts, and the schools graduation rate, loan default rate, and average student debt.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program was created in 1998 to encourage teachers to take jobs at elementary schools, secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families. The U.S. Department of Education publishes the list of low-income elementary schools and secondary schools each year.
You need to teach full-time at a qualifying school for five full and consecutive years. Then you are eligible to have from $5,000 to up to $17,500 in loans forgiven.
Only direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans qualify. PLUS loans do not qualify. There are 13 states that offer some form of loan forgiveness for teachers, with varying requirements.
Apply to the program by completing the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application and submitting it to your loan servicer.
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New York State Get On Your Feet Student Loan Forgiveness Program
The New York State Get on Your Feet Student Loan Forgiveness Program is designed to help recent New York State college graduates focus on establishing their careers and starting life out on a sound financial footing. A graduate will be eligible to receive an award equal to 100 percent of his or her monthly federal income-driven repayment plan payments for 24 months of repayment.
To qualify you must:
- Graduate from a New York high school or receive a New York State high school equivalency diploma
- Graduate from a college or university headquartered in New York on or after the 2014-2015 school year
- Earn less than $50,000 adjusted gross household income
- Enroll in the federal Income Based Repayment plan at 10% of discretionary income, the Pay as You Earn plan, or the Revised Pay as You Earn plan, and current on your repayment obligations
- Continue to live and work in New York
- Apply for the program within 2 years of graduation
The Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program
The Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program was created to encourage highly qualified teachers to teach in impoverished areas, serving low-income families, so those families have access to educational resources which wouldnt otherwise be available.
Stafford Loan Forgiveness benefits are pretty good too, but they do require a pretty substantial commitment, in the form of a five-year service commitment that requires you to teach in one of those low-income areas for five complete and consecutive years.
Eligibility for Stafford forgiveness is also restricted to certain types of loans, so youll only be able to take advantage of this program if you have an FFEL Stafford Loan, a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, or a Consolidation Loan.
For specific details on how the program works, please visit my page on the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program.
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Ial Payments May Now Count Towards Pslf
For a payment to count as a qualifying payment under the original PSLF rules, a payment needed to have been made in full and on time. But that rule will be relaxed under the Limited PSLF Waiver. According to the Department oof Education, Under the new rules, any prior payment made will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of… whether the payment was made in full or on time. All you need is qualifying employment.
The Department has not provided any further details yet. For example, if a monthly payment was $100, would the Department count both a $99 payment, as well as $2 payment? The initial guidance by the Department suggests that the answer is yes, but more information should be released in the coming months.