20 Year Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

This article talks about the 10 year student loan forgiveness and the 20 year student loan forgiveness, compares them so you can choose the plan which suits you the most.

Updated by Anuroop C on 1st February 2020

Currently, you can opt for two time periods if you are planning on considering Student loan forgiveness. Undoubtedly, This is one of the many best benefits that federal student loans offer to the public. There are two approaches in which you can get your student loan forgiven.  The first one is to opt for a Publis Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program and the second one is the Income-driven Repayment plan. Read more about PSLF and IDR plans.

To qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you will have to make 120 payments or make payments for 10 years. Most of the Income-driven Repayment plans go on up to 20 years terms. But what most people do not know is that you can choose both of the plans together. 

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10-year student loan forgiveness plan

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness plan is usually available to some government and non-profit workers and it is usually these guys that are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness(as the name suggests).

To qualify for this program, you need to make 120 payments and be on an Income-driven repayment plan. If your loans are forgiven under the PSLF program then your forgiven amount is not taxable. 


20-year student loan forgiveness plan

Looking for the 20-year student loan forgiveness plan? Then you have to opt for an Income-driven repayment plan. These plans have a loan forgiveness program after 20 years:
PAYE( Pay As You Earn) Repayment Program

REPAYE( Revised Pay As You Earn) Repayment Program

Income-Based Repayment Plan(for more recent borrowers, after 1 July 2014)

These plans take out 10% of your monthly discretionary income, therefore by which you will be paying a whole lot of amount less and you have a good deal of amount to spend or save. Read more on PAYEREPAYEIncome-based repayment programs.

And even better, the payments are affordable and you do not need to miss out on any payments.

It is important that you recertify every year so that your payments are tracked.


Moreover, they are provided to the majority of the borrowers by the majority of the student loan servicers. And there is no career requirement on your part. You can do anything you love. After making 20 years of payments, you can talk to your loan servicers about your loan forgiveness. And if your loan is forgiven under this plan, then the forgiven student loan amount is taxable and you need to make sure that you have that amount ready to pay as tax.

For either of the loan forgiveness programs, you must be on the Income-driven repayment plans. But if you had to move away from public work, then you can always opt for the 20-year forgiveness plan and enroll in an Income-driven repayment program that supports this plan.

However, if you do not work in a public sector, then you do not have many options except to enroll in an Income-driven repayment plan, pay for 20 years and then ask you servicer for student loan forgiveness. 

But if you are a public service person and choosing the 20-year plan over the 10-year plan then you must realize that you will be paying a lot of amount as tax for the forgiven loan amount. Just be sure to save up for that. And remember as a public servant, you have the options for opting for both the plans.