Loan Forgiveness Social Workers

If you are planning to take up a career in social services then you can use these programs to get your loans forgiven. Learn more about national level and state level forgiveness programs. Explore alternative repayment options as well.

Updated by Kirtika Acharya on 21st December 2019

For social workers, there are plenty of student loan forgiveness programs available. In order to get your loans forgiven, you will have to choose a repayment plan where the repayments made will be towards the forgiveness of the remaining balance. There are different repayment forgiveness programs for federal and private student loans. 

Also, for social workers, there are different state wise repayment forgiveness programs. There are agreements for them to work in order to get forgiveness in student loans of social workers.

Here is an in-depth study of all the available programs used to help in the forgiveness of loans for social workers.

Table of contents

National Level student loan forgiveness programs for Social workers

Here is a list of national-level forgiveness programs a social worker can use to get their loans forgiven - 

Public service loan forgiveness  

PSLF student loan forgiveness program is offered to the social workers like teachers, health service professionals, and other social workers. In the PSLF program, when a social worker completes its 120 monthly payments on time. You even need to work for 1 year in public services for eligibility. Then only you can submit the application and the government can forgive the left out amount. But the chances of this getting this PSLF is very less.

Indian Health Service (IHS) loan repayment program

Indian Health Service (IHS) loan repayment program is designed to bring health service professionals to serve in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, IHS provides funds to pay off student loan debt for licensed social workers.

IHS program offers social workers up to  $40000 for two initial years and still if by the end of the year your commitment is not ended then you can extend the commitment and receive one year of loan repayment for each extra year until your loans are finished.

This program can also be addressed as a federal loan repayment program. This program is designed to bring the health service professionals and serve in America, India, and Alaska Native communities

Perkin loan cancellation and discharge

The perkin loan program has already ended in September 2017. But if you have applied in the past for the perkin loans then may you are still eligible for perkin loan and discharge. If you qualify for perkin loans then you may get 50-100 percent of your perkin loan canceled. To check whether if you qualify perkin loans, contact the school you are graduated and speak with the financial aid office.

To find out if you qualify, contact the school you graduated from and speak with the financial aid office. 
Let’s see, What is the difference between loan forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge? All the three ends with the same result that no longer you need to pay the part of your student loan debt.

 However, the circumstance of both is used very differently:

  • Loan forgiveness and cancellation work specifically with your loan debt being cleared due to your career choice-social worker.

  • Loan discharge is a student loan that is fully forgiven because of circumstances like certain health issues, disability or due to the event of a school closing

In the end, the result is similar but the circumstances vary.


State-specific student loan programs

Eligibility for loan forgiveness and stipend to pay your loan depends upon the state where you live and work.

New York loan forgiveness program

The NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness (LSWLF) Program is offered to increase the number of licensed social workers working in critical human service areas.

If you are a resident of New York state you could get up to $26,000 of your student loans -- up to $6500 per year you complete qualified service. 

To become eligible for the New York loan forgiveness program you need to be a resident of the New York state for at least 1 year. You should own the one year license of the social workers in critical human service areas, such as mental health or home care. The New York loan forgiveness program can be qualified by both federal and private loans. 

North Carolina loan Repayment program

If you are a licensed clinical worker and willing to serve the ill mental health people and in an underserved area. This state North Carolina offers incentives as repayments.

In this repayment program, the candidate is eligible for a $50,000 loan forgiven if and only if he signs the agreement of working for 2 years in the community health center, rural health center or in-country health department. Rewards are also given to the candidate who works for an additional year.

Michigan state loan repayment program

Michigan state loan repayment program is offered to the social worker who has done a master’s in social work and agrees to work for two consecutive years at an eligible non-profit practice site. And then the one who agrees to the terms and conditions of this program is offered $200,000 tax-free funds to repay the student loan.

Licensed mental health service provider education program

California social workers may be able to receive up to $15000 after working for up to 2 years in eligibility criteria. In this public-funded or public mental health facilities or areas with shortages of mental health professionals. You can receive this award up to three times.

To qualify, you must work in certain roles, including associate clinical social worker or registered or licensed social worker.


Alternative repayment plans

 If you don’t qualify for forgiveness programs or repayment assistance go for the below methods for social workers.

Income-driven repayment programs

This is also a loan forgiveness program. There are four income-driven repayment methods. If you are eligible for any of the below mentioned 

Income-driven repayment program and you paid for 20-25 years than any remaining student loan debt is forgiven.

The four income-driven repayment programs are:

  • Pay as you earn

  • Revised pay as you earn

  • Income-based repayment

  • Income-contingent repayment 


Taxable amounts

Some loan forgiveness programs are taxable and some are not. Nowadays, The amount is forgiven generally entitled taxable income for income tax motives in the year it is written off. There are a few exceptions. Generally, student loan forgiveness is excluded from income if the forgiveness is accidental upon the student working for a specific number of years in certain professions.

Public service loan forgiveness, teacher loan forgiveness, law school loan repayment assistance programs and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program are not taxable. Loan discharges for closed schools, false certification, unpaid refunds, and death and disability are considered taxable income. The forgiveness of the remaining balance under income-contingent repayment and income-based repayment after 25 years in repayment is considered taxable income.