Student Loan Forgiveness for Psychologist - Choose the Right Program for you

Don't let your dreams of becoming a psychologists be hampered because of the cost of education. The rise in cost of education can be combated with the help of national level, state level and available income driven repayment plans

Updated by Priya Shah on 26th August 2020

A psychologist who is working for any school, government, hospital, or doing their private practice has an option for getting his loans forgiven. To avail of this option, they can save a vast amount of money on their experience too. There are various options for the program that offers loan forgiveness, and more to manage student loan debt. And have many options that come in the form of rewards to help you pay back your loans as soon as possible. 

There is a variety of the programs present which offers loan forgiveness for Psychologist. It should be noted that are a number of jobs available to help get your loans forgiven. Having an in-depth understanding of the various student loan forgiveness jobs out there is crucial to see if your job can get your loans forgiven.

Here are some options for Students to student loan forgiveness programs for Psychologists. The options vary from a national level, state level to income-driven repayment plans to help the borrower in their repayment journey.  

Let us have a deeper understanding of these programs.

Table of contents

National Level Student loan forgiveness programs for Psychologists

Here is a list of national-level programs that psychologists can use to get their student loans forgiven.

National Institutes of Health loan Repayment

The National Health Institute Loan Repayment Programs are established by Congress and determined to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. The costs of advanced education and training in medicine and clinical specialties are forcing some scientists to abandon their research careers for higher-paying private industry or private practice careers.

This program is about a psychologist for their degree project. These project minimum consist of two years after if you are eligible NIH may repay you up to $50,000 each year.


  • Must be a citizen of the U.S or U.S National.

  • Pursuing a degree program anyone from M.D, Ph.D., Pharm.D,   or equivalent doctoral degree and commit to at least two years of approved research from a certified institution.

Indian Health Service Loan Program

Indian Health Service Loan Program are basically those loans that help alleviate student loan debt for psychologists by giving them up to $40000, in order to qualify the behavioral health professional. They must be committed to working for at least two years in a health facility that has served American Indian or native Alaskan communities. The contract can be extended on an annual basis until the remaining debts are paid.


  • Must be in a health profession discipline.

  • We should have to join in any American, Indian, Alaska native communities.

  • Minimum 2years of service in a health facility.

  • Taxable loan forgiveness

People who are not coming under PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness)  can opt for another option that is a Taxable loan forgiveness program. It has some process, those are:

Select an income-driven repayment plan which will make your repayment amount quite low, try to lower your AGI by contributing a pre-tax amount.

Student Loan Repayment Assistance for Psychologist by State

The student loan varies from state to state, well  some of the sates with detailed loan repayment plans for student loan forgiveness programs are listed below:


For Alaska, they have a particular program called Alaska Supporting Health Care Access Through Loan Repayment (SHARP) program that offers loan assistance to the psychologists that are qualified employers in Alaska. 

Those who are providing service in the unserved area at Alaska state their loan assistance amount will go to up to $35,000. If he/she joins for a hard-to-fill position, then he/she might have to get a substantial award amount up to $47,000 as relaxation.


They have  Arizona State Loan Repayment Program that is used by behavioral health specialists like health assistance, clinical social workers, professional counselors, psychologists as well as therapists.

In this program, people who are working under behavioral health programs such as a psychologist, mental health counselor, mental health loan forgiveness program, can get $40,000 to $50,000 serving for 2years of full time and get $20,000 to $25,000 for serving 2years of part-time in this state. 

Still, if you choose to stay beyond two years, you may get plus loan repayment assistance every year.


The   California State Loan Repayment Program is basically for those who are working for mentally disturbed peoples in the highly needed area or undeveloped areas. The minimum period of serving there is two years as a full-time or four consecutive half years as well. 

But again, the student loan forgiveness programs for psychologists will depend on their service period and are also awarded. They can be forgiven with varying awards from $5,000 to $50,000.


According to this Colorado loan forgiveness plan, Colorado Health Service Corps the psychologist should be working in a highly needed area or shortage area of colorado state at least for 3 years. It should be full time or half time, both work qualifies.  Then you can get loan forgiveness for an amount up to $25,000 to $50,000 respectively.


The  Delaware State Loan Repayment Program can give loan repayment awards from $30,000 to $100,000. 

But the loan borrower should be working under any underserved to get benefit from the area as a mental health professional in a non-profit organization. He/she has to serve a minimum of 2 years as a full-timer in this Delaware state.


If the loan borrower commits a contract for serving in a shortage or highly needed area at Hawaii state for at least two years of full time else four years of part-time, then he/she can avail loan forgiveness. 

Here again, the loan forgiveness amount from the Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program varies. 


In the state of Kansas State, the Student Loan Forgiveness Program gives loan repayment of $25,000 with an exchange of two years of service in underserved areas under this state. This period can also extend up to three more years, which is offered by the Kansas Rural Opportunities Zone Program. 

This program is beneficial for a mental or behavioral health service provider. If the loan borrower is ready to serve in a rural opportunity zone (any one of 77 cities) can also get more assistance to amount $15,000.


According to the Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program the loan borrower must-have to serve an underserved area of Kentucky state at least for 2 years. The loan amount forgiven is up to $40,000 to licensed mental health professionals and behavioral health practitioners, who work for 2 years and continuing working in rural and underserved areas. 


This Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program is for those who are licensed clinical counselors, or a social worker can only access the above Maryland repayment program, which gives up to $30,000 per year, based on your overall education loan. 

You will qualify if you’re a state resident who earned a degree from a Maryland college and  making less than $60,000 a year (or $130,000 combined household income if married). Giving service as full-time public service in a state or local government or nonprofit agency to low-income or underserved residents will also help in qualifying.


The Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program (MLRP) for Health Professionals offers $50000 as student loan assistance if you are a professional counselor, a psychologist, or mental health or professional counselor. 

If you commit your work for two years with a contract full time in an underserved community, the chances of loan forgiveness increase. 


Like other state programs, Michigan has Michigan State Loan Repayment Program is for psychologists as well as a mental health provider. The loan borrower should eligible for this. He/she should initially sign a contract for serving at least 2 years in an unserved area of Michigan state. The loan assistance provided is up to $20,000. And this amount also extends up to $200,000 with an extension of 8years of the time period.


The  Minnesota Health Care Loan Forgiveness programs include upto$12,000 forgiveness per year for a psychologist or any other clinical worker. They can also have to serve at least 3 years in any underserved area of Minnesota state, or designated rural areas.


This Montana State Loan Repayment Program gives relaxation of up to $15,000 for 2 years of designated rural areas. He/she should have to serve in a highly needed area or rural tribal area.


Under the Nebraska Loan Repayment Program, any psychologist or mental health practitioner can get the benefits up to $30,000. They have to serve as full-timers 2 to 4 years in any highly needed or underserved area. Loan assistance will depend on the time of service and must be full-time work and fund of the state of Nebraska.


The Nevada Nevada Health Service Corps program loan borrower should possess the health behavioral profession and should work initially 2 years in a highly needed area, shortage area or rural area of Nevada state. But here the loan assistance will depend on state funds.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire State Loan Repayment Program plan is similar to the other program loan borrowers should be working as a psychologist or psychiatrist for at least 3 years full-time or 2 years of a part-timer in an underserved area in Nevada state. But full-timers will get more loan assistance of amount $75,000 as compared to a part-timer.

New york

If the loan borrower is a licensed mental health service provider and he/she agrees to serve for 4 years will get $6,500 and it will increase up to $26,000 in a condition of servicing is highly needed or critically needed area. And will qualify for the NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program plan.


Under this Pennsylvania Primary Health Care Loan Repayment Program, the loan borrower can get up to $60,000 exchange of 2 years of full time in an underserved area of Pennsylvania state. But if the loan borrower serves 2years of part-time then he/she will get up to $30,000. The loan borrower must be a psychologist, social worker, counselor or therapist.

Rhode Island

In this state loan forgiveness program, Health Professional Loan Repayment Program the forgiveness amount varies. But loan borrower should be a psychologist, or mental health provider and should have to work for 2-year full time or 4 years part-time in shortage areas.


This Texas state loan forgiveness program loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals is based on a physiatrist, psychologist, counselor, licensed social worker provider, family, and marriage therapist. Loan borrowers should have to serve in a shortage area for at least 5 years of full time.

The forgiveness loan amount for psychiatrists is up to $160,000, $80,000 for psychologist and counselor, family marriage therapist, $40,000 for a licensed social worker, counselors and marriage and family therapists without higher degrees(doctoral). 


This Virginia state loan is for psychologists Virginia State Loan Repayment Program, psychiatrists and counselors. They must have to serve in any highly needed area for a minimum of 2 years. They can also increase their time period for up to 4 years. The loan amount of forgiveness is up to $140,000.


This state loan program is for a psychologist Federal-State Loan Repayment Program and the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, psychiatrists as well as a counselor. The loan forgiveness amount is up to $70,000 with an exchange of two to four years of service in an underserved area. This forgiveness is for both federal and state professionals. For the federal program, people will get up to $70,000 and for the state program, people will get up to $75,000 with an exchange of two years of service, as an award. 

Income-driven repayment plans

Income-driven repayment plans are a great option to help a borrower meet monthly payments as the amount to be used to pay is based on the discretionary income of the individual. The option of federal student loan debt as a psychologist can be still possessed that qualifies for student loan repayment assistance. If you want to make the payments for a student loan you could easily get on a federal income-driven repayment plan.  There is four income-driven repayment plan:

Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)

This revised pay as you earn program is formed by the educational department. By this program, the student can avail of some benefits of 10% discretionary income with REPAYE. This loan forgiveness is 20 years for undergraduate and 25 years for graduates. If you are so hurrying to make the monthly payments this plan could definitely help. 

Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

This is a good option for those who are struggling for paying the monthly loan payment. This can reduce there discretionary income of up to 10% to 20%. In this program after giving 20 years of payment,  you can be forgiven the remaining loan amounts.

Income-Based Repayment (IBR)

This program is based on a federal student loan plan. It was started in 2009. By this plan, the loan borrower can make his/her loan forgiven after 25 years of qualifying payment according to his/her income and family size.

Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)

This is the plan which is beneficial for those who are starting their career with low salaries. This plan is based on loan borrower’s loan amount, income, as well as family size. After qualifying for this plan the borrower’s remaining amount will be forgiven.

Refinancing to pay off debt faster

Refinancing your student loans is a great way to manage your debt and go about your repayment journey. It is advised to have an in-depth understanding of how refinancing works so you can take advantage of it.

As income-driven adjusts your federal loan, similarly refinancing of loan lesses the burden of both private and federal loans.  Refinancing loans basically pay off the previous loan and take out a new loan, possibly with a lesser rate of interest than before. If you have good credit and a steady job then you can refinancing your debt faster without paying extra amount. Refinancing loans change the federal loan if you have, that into private loans.

Refinancing of loans helps you choose new repayment terms and conditions(in between 5 to 20 years), simplifies the payment of the student loan process instead of multiple bills and loans. Good credit scores can lead you to a strong candidate for student loan refinancing.  As well as it helps make your student debt more manageable and affordable. 

You can follow the below strategies for refinancing your debt:

  1. Try to pay an extra amount or a huge amount at a time.

  2. If you have good credit or a steady job.

  3. Enroll in autopay.

  4. Pay biweekly payment.

  5. Pay off capitalized interest.

  6. Stick to a standard repayment plan.

  7. Be proactive.

Worried about your college tuition? Learn more about student loans

Other Options to consider for Psychologists to get their student loans forgiven

Now since you have an idea of all the available programs out there, here are some of the options worth considering to help you go about your repayment and get your loans forgiven.

Aggressive repayment in combination with other available loan forgiveness programs

For those psychologists who are not eligible for PSLF and owes 1.5 times of their income in student loans or less are likely to pay off the debt anyhow by overwhelming payment which is so much like throwing everything that includes kitchen sink in order to pay off your debt that is nothing but as aggressive and stupid payment. 

The main thing most people forget is to pay very little interest as possible and reduce the debt within 10 years ( or maybe less than that). This can also be done by consolidating other loan forgiveness programs like the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). that can include refinancing to get a lower interest rate. 

Public service loan forgiveness (PSLF)

Public service loan forgiveness also known as the most important and powerful program out there. Public service loans can be avail by those who have “direct” student loans and are working full time for a non-government organization or non-profitable organization for 10 years or more.

According to data 27% psychologists work for secondary schools, 10% for medicals or hospitals, 7% for government nad half of the psychologists for PSLF. 

Taxable loan forgiveness using an income-driven repayment plan

Those who are not eligible for PSLF still can avail of the option of loan forgiveness of paying back student loans. These are basically for those who owe double their income in student loans selecting the specific of income-driven repayment plans (PAYE or REPAYE) for the specific of 20 - 25 years.

And rest of the balance is forgiven, BUT  the tax will be owned on those forgiven amounts. Basically, the main motto is to keep the student loan as low as possible, “save up for the tax bomb” and work for the determined financial goals.  

There are a number of plans out there to help you or assist you in covering the tuition costs, it is best advised to explore all the plans available out there and pick the one that is best suited for you.