Student Loan Forgiveness Programs in Ohio

Student borrowers in the State of Ohio have many student loan repayment options that can be availed to eliminate debt and save money on education. The different programs and repayment options are clearly narrated

Updated by Sharan Kumar on 15th November 2019

Good news for natives of the State of Ohio, and migrants who moved there too. There are many programs specifically modeled and designed for residents of Ohio State which aims at helping the student borrowers to pay off their loans through coordinated debt management.

This guide is compiled specifically to expose student loan borrowers from Ohio to different repayment and forgiveness programs with assistance from the Ohio state government.

About 66% of students from the state have an average amount of student loan that amounts to $30,000 

Having a pending loan to be paid off after college is quite a burden, hence, it is quite important to learn about different student loan repayment and forgiveness programs that can be availed in the state of Ohio.

Table of contents

Student loan forgiveness and repayment programs in Ohio

When compared to other states, there isn't much difference in terms of programs that offer loan repayment assistance or loan forgiveness. But some programs do exist that could be of great benefit to students who pursue a career path in law, dentistry or a physician.

These options can be considered for eliminating your Ohio student loans if you're employed in any of these fields.

John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

This program is specifically for lawyers out there. One of the few states offering this repayment program is the state of Ohio. It is available to state and federal public defenders or state prosecutors.

Those who want to use this repayment program must agree to remain in the position in which they currently serve for a minimum period of 3 years and also must avoid default on their federal student loans.

Here are some of the requirements of this program -

  • The attorneys have to be licensed to practice law without any interruption

  • Prosecutors and public defenders are required to work in favor of the state on criminal cases or cases such as those that involve juvenile delinquency

  • Federal defense attorneys are also eligible if they work on the cases that are mentioned above, but federal government prosecutors do not qualify

  • Private practice attorneys are ineligible even if they were contacted by the state

  • Attorneys that are supervising or training other prosecutors or public defenders are eligible

If you are able to receive funds from this program, you may be getting up to $10,000 per year and $60,000 in total. Sadly, if your loans are either Private or Parent PLUS loans, you are ineligible.

Ohio Dentist Loan Repayment Program

For those who are Dentists or a Dental Hygienist working in an underserved area, the Ohio student loan repayment program or the ODLRP should be able to help you pay off your student loans. It is offered by the Ohio State Department of Health.

Rules to be followed 

  • You are required to practice for about 20-40 hrs per week and also provide services at sites that are agreed upon

  • You are required to serve Medicaid eligible patients, regardless of their ability to make payments

  • If it is mentioned in your contract, you can teach on-site for a limited amount of time

In exchange for this, participants of the ODLRP will get help on some or all of the Federal or private student loans that they have taken out for dental school or dental hygiene college.

It is not just limited to tuition, but can also cover other costs, such as room rent and boarding, stationaries like books and also lab expenses. The Director of Ohio Health determines the amount of this award.

Ohio Physician Loan Repayment Program

The Ohio Repayment Assistance isn't limited to eligible Health Practitioners such as Dentists alone. Doctors too are eligible to get similar help through the Ohio Physician Loan Repayment Program.

Similar to that of dentists, this program is directed at helping underserved communities. Any physician who accepts this loan repayment also has an obligation to work for a minimum period of 2 years in that community. The physician is also obligated to tend to the needs and welfare of patients regardless of their ability to pay, and are also obliged to accept Medicare and Medicaid.

Perks of the program

  • For the period of the first two years, you can get up to $25,000 for payment of medical school loans if you work for a minimum of 40 hours per week

  • As long as you continue to work for another year or two, you are eligible to get up to $35,000 to pay for your medical school loans

  • If you plan on working part-time but work for at least a period of 20 hours a week, you are eligible for at least half the amount

  • To become eligible for the same you should offer primary care in family practice, internal medicine, pediatric, adolescent medicine, geriatrics, obstetrics, gynecology or psychology

Loan repayment assistance for students

Most schools have their own loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) for graduates in certain majors. If you are unable to get any of these programs mentioned above, get in touch with your alma mater (your previous school or university) to check if your major is able to make you eligible for an LRAP.

Grants and scholarships for Ohio students

Other than the options mentioned above, there are quite a few other options for Ohio student loan forgiveness. There are various options in terms of grants and scholarships to discuss for incoming students.

Although they won't be of any help if you have already finished your studies and graduated, nonetheless, if you are an incoming student, make sure you have a look at them.

Current grants and scholarships posted on the Department of Education's website

  • Ohio College Opportunity Grant (for students in a financial need)

  • Nurse Education Assistance Program (for students approved Ohio nursing programs)

  • Ohio War Orphans Scholarship (for children of disabled or deceased Ohio veterans who served in combat)

  • Choose Ohio First (for STEM students)

  • Opportunities for Veterans (for active members and veterans, and family members sometimes)

  • Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund (for Ohio children and spouses of safety officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in the US, as well as service members who died while specific operations)

  • Forever Buckeyes (in-state tuition for Ohio high school graduates who moved outside of the state but transferred back to an Ohio school and established residency in the state)

  • Geological Survey Grant Program (for students pursuing research in geology in Ohio)

And finally, they also feature a specific scholarship search tool for Ohio.

The Statute of Limitations on Ohio student loans

If you are already in default on your Ohio student loans and have very little options on how to rehabilitate them, the statute of limitations might be able to help you out.

If your debt surpasses the statute of limitations, it is called 'time-barred' debt. Even though it may be required for you to pay that money back, the repayment of such a debt is no longer enforceable by the law.

Hence, a debt collector will be able to sue you for it, but if you attend the court proceedings and manage to provide proof that this debt is a time-barred debt, you're most likely to win the case. Although this doesn't prevent them from collecting the debt.

The statute of limitations varies among states and its sometimes invalidated by some types of debt. Sometimes, student loan debt falls into the 'written contracts' category, which gets time-barred after a period of 8 years according to the Ohio revised code 2306.06.

But there's bad news - This law is not applicable to Federal loans. So, only private loans are eligible to become time-barred.

How to make the most out of the forgiveness programs

Regardless of whether you were born in the state of Ohio or you moved there by sheer luck or due to work, make sure you try to get help for loan repayment assistance and student loan forgiveness in Ohio. If you do not see anything that makes you eligible, take it to your representative.

Utilize the GovTrack to look up and reach out to your Ohio Senators and Representatives.

Finally, make sure your debt does not ruin your life and happiness by taking control of it. If you need some more help, have a look at other articles we've written on student loan forgiveness and more.

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