Student loan forgiveness programs in Maine

Maine is a state in U.S which provides loan forgiveness for the students and workers of the state. Know more about its student loan forgiveness plans such as the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit and many more.

Updated by Alice Jojo on 17th July 2019

Maine is one of the major states from the New England region in the United States. It is the 12th smallest state in terms of area and is amongst the least populated states. Maine provides the students of the state with student debt relief. The debt relief program is for graduate students who live or work in the polity.

Maine also provides tax credits to the student loan borrowers for attracting fresh workers. About $13.1 million was shelled out by the state government as tax credits to 7,290 student loan borrowers in 2016, more than 2014 which was around $6.7 million to 4,666 borrowers.

In this article, we will discuss every detail about several loan forgiveness programs provided by the state government of Maine to its students.


List of contents


Educational Opportunity Tax Credit - Opportunity Maine

Educational Opportunity Tax Credit is also known as Maine’s Forgiveness Program. It has been introduced to aid the loans taken by residents of Maine during their Bachelor or Associates degree. This plan extends to citizens of Maine who earned their degrees from eligible schools in Maine and work in Maine.

The program detail varies based on the year of graduation and the place of residing. Tax credit given through this program will offset any taxes owed to the state, in a refundable or non-refundable fashion.

For example, if one has taken a $2,000 student loan and paid $1,800 of the loans, Maine will just pay $200 of your loan for a non-refundable credit. If the amount owed to the government is less than the tax credit, the remaining amount may be carried forward to be used during the next 10 years.

The terms and conditions are more flexible for people with STEM degrees. Students from science, technology, engineering and mathematics streams can get it inspected from the state. For a better understanding, if a person paid $2,500 in student loans and but the person owe $2,000 in state income taxes, the remaining amount of $500 will be received as a check through the mail.

There are several other student loan forgiveness plans which are provided by Maine to the people working in the state and to the people who completed their education in Maine, which will be discussed below.


Educators for Maine Loan Forgiveness

Educators for Maine (EFM) Loan Forgiveness Program is a loan forgiveness program for teachers who had previously received the EFM Loan which is provided by the state government. The forgiveness is granted on a yearly basis as reductions from the loan amount. Up to two years worth of loan is forgiven for each year for a full-time teacher. The amount to be forgiven is variable.

The amount of loan forgiven is approximately $5,000 to $17,500, depending on the subject taught. You need to be highly qualified in any of the STEM subjects.

If you didn't teach STEM then there is a possibility that you will receive forgiveness up to $5,000. Special consideration is given to teachers who are teaching in underserved academic areas.

Eligibility criteria

  • Certified teachers - by the Maine Department of Education

  • An employee of Maine public school or schools operated by Manie

  • Employed as an elementary or secondary teacher, specialized subject teacher, or vocational or industrial arts teacher

  • Childcare providers with the required qualifications


Maine Health Professions Loan Forgiveness

Maine Health Professions(MHP) Loan Forgiveness is a loan forgiveness program for eligible individuals who have previously received the MHP Loan. In this program, the forgiveness rate depends on the location, and type of practice and/or population served. Only loans made before 1 January 2011 are eligible for this program. The amount to be forgiven is variable. It ranges from 25% to 50% of the original loan amount for each year served.

Eligibility criteria

  • Candidates who have completed the Maine primary healthcare residency

  • Primary healthcare professionals serving in an HPSA(health professional shortage area) or outside HSPA

  • General dentists in an HPSA or outside HSPA

  • Physicians practicing in an underserved locality

  • Physicians serving an underserved specialty

  • Veterinarians serving underserved Maine civilians


Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Plan

Maine Veterinary Medicine(MVM) Loan Forgiveness is a loan forgiveness program for eligible individuals who have previously received the MVM Loan on or after 1 January 2011. The forgiven amount is variable. It may range between 12.%% to 25% of the original loan amount for each year of service.

Eligibility criteria - Full-time Practicing veterinary medicine in areas with insufficient services.

The amount of loan forgiven will also depend on the number of working hours per week. For individuals who have received he MVM Loan and are ineligible may repay the loan with an interest rate of 5% within a 10-year repayment plan.


Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program

Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program is for eligible dentists who are practicing in underserved areas. This program was created to increase access to dental care for underserved populations in Maine. The forgiven amount can be up to $20,000 per year. The amount is offered for two years, which can be renewed for an additional two years. Hence, a total of $80,000 can be given to an eligible individual.

Eligibility criteria

  • Practicing in an underprivileged area including patients who are incapable of paying

  • Having an outstanding amount on qualifying loans

  • Possesses documents proving participation in primary dental care in an underprivileged area

  • Should offer a varying and affordable fee scale for underprivileged

  • The service should be unlimited to patients and should not be based on the source of payment

An interview may be taken to shortlisted candidates.


Maine Justice Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program

This Assistance Program was introduced by the Maine Bar Foundation which has been renamed to the Maine Justice Foundation. It was meant to help Lawyers, who are interested in public service, to pay their law school debts. Attorneys who are interested in this program must contact their respective employers to check if they participate in this program.

Eligibility criteria

  • All Lawyers should be employed in a non-profit organization in the application date in Maine

  • Having the intent to give legal aid to the underprivileged

  • The candidate with law school debt can apply for this forgiveness plan

  • It may provide forgiveness to part-time attorneys based on pro-rates


Conclusion

The State Government of Maine provides multiple financial aids through student loans and included several loan forgiveness programs and repayment assistance. These programs are meant to uplift the public service sectors in Maine, especially in underserved regions and fields. It has helped many students receive aids for the loans that they have borrowed for their education.

The application for these programs can be done by downloading their respective forms from the FAME website. If you are a citizen residing in Maine, who has taken the eligible loans, you should consider these programs and check the FAME website for further details.


FAQ's

  What loan programs are eligible for forgiveness?


There are five loans under the Financial Authority of Maine(FAME) for which forgiveness programs are offered.

  • Educators for Maine

  • Maine Health Professions Loan

  • Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan

  • Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program

  • Maine Justice Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance

It also provides Educational Opportunity Tax Credit also known as Maine forgiveness program.

  Is it important to serve the unprivileged area and people to be eligible for the Maine forgiveness program?


Yes, it is very important for a candidate who wants loan forgiveness to work for unprivileged people and areas.

  From where can I apply for Maine loan forgiveness programs?


You can contact FAME for any loan relate queries or go through the FAME website.

  Is Educational Opportunity Tax Credit available only for Maine state?


Yes, it is for the people who reside in Maine and have completed their education in the state.

  Do the teachers need to be approved for Educators for Maine Loan?


Yes, all the teachers should be approved by the Maine Department of Education or they won't be considered as a teaching faculty.

  Is it compulsory for the borrower to be educated in the state of Maine?


Yes, loan forgiveness programs under FAME are only for the people who reside in Manie and have completed their education in Maine.