Top ways to get Student Loan Forgiveness

Understand the best ways to get Student Loan Forgiveness. Learn more about PSLF, State-based Forgiveness, Volunteer work , and more!

Updated by Vidish S on 6th February 2020

Are you looking for opportunities that can help you clear your student debt? If yes, then the student loan forgiveness programs can be your savior. It can help you with forgiving the loan amount depending on the program type you choose. It doesn't happen overnight and isn’t an easy process, hence, we’re here to help.

Student Loan Forgiveness can only work if you’ve taken a federal student loan. This is the special benefit of federal loans. Under special conditions, the federal government can forgive the loan up to some extent, and in some cases, it can forgive the entire amount.

Clearing student debt can be challenging and scary all together, but it’s not impossible if you follow the right guidelines. Read on to learn about the best ways of getting Student Loan Forgiveness.


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Table of contents

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

To put it in simple terms, Public Service Loan Forgiveness or PSLF is a program run by the Federal Government for the employees who work full time in a public or non-profit sector and hence qualify for the same. It turns out to be for a variety of employers. Full-time employees are considered only if they have been working for more than 30 hours per week.

Most often the terms for the qualification of a federal student loan applicant for Public Service Loan Forgiveness is when you have made 120 on-time payments (10 years). It can lead to the rest of your federal student loans being forgiven.

Most of the employers that qualify for the PSLF program are as follows.

  • The government (including military, law enforcement, schools, and universities)

  • Peace Corps or AmeriCorps

Learn more about PSLF


State-Based Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Various student loan forgiveness programs are available to students based on their career, state of residence, and more. All of these programs include different criteria that applicants must pay close attention to, and help in forgiving the remaining loan amount after several years of repayment. 

States across the US have different programs, each catering to its own economy and workforce. The state-wise provisions of them are given below.

Check out Student Loan Forgiveness by State to learn more about the forgiveness program of each state in depth.


Volunteer Work

Contributing to different social causes through volunteer work can also get you closer to ending your student loan debt.

Peace Corps - Volunteering for the Peace Corps can get you an automatic deferment of Stafford, Perkins, or Consolidation loans as well as a partial cancellation of Perkins Loans based on the number of years of service. Currently, you get 15% per year, with a max of 70%.

Americorps - Serving for 12 months can contribute $4,725 to your student loans.

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) - Volunteering for 1700 hours will contribute $4,725 to your student loans.

Learn more about Student Loan Forgiveness Through Volunteering.


Military

Military loan forgiveness and repayment program is a way to help pay debt faster. Choosing a career path as a military officer is very tough, challenging and is dangerous too at the same time. It can be a life-changing decision too if you are serving as US armed forces, the opportunity offered by them are rarely offered by others. 

You can choose a forgiveness program based on the branch of armed service you are serving in. There are a number of reasons to join the armed forces, getting your loans forgiven is just an additional benefit.

Learn more about Military Loan Forgiveness


Teaching 

Teachers do qualify for teacher loan forgiveness programs so if you are a teacher who is currently making repayments for your student loan(s) or are about to start your repayments, you could be eligible for a student loan forgiveness program. 

Learn more about Student Loan Programs for Teachers.

If you are interested in learning more about Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs then you may also be interested in reading whether Teacher Loan Forgiveness is worth it or not.


According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Lawyers owe an average of $145,000 in student loans from their undergraduate and graduate degrees. This is without bringing in the picture some more expensive law schools like Harvard.

The sooner you can dispose of your student loan debt, the easier it will be to achieve your other financial and life goals.

Law Students have some recourse for reducing their debt in the form of forgiveness programs for Law Studies.

Learn more about Loan Forgiveness for Legal Studies.


Medical Studies

Medical school is a serious commitment and anyone who wants to pursue their dream of becoming a doctor must come to terms with the lifelong journey they must take to fighting diseases and promoting wellness in society. It is even advised by aspirants to first consider the number of hours of study and research one has to put in to become a doctor. Finishing medical school is one milestone of the journey and is one worth being proud of, but it is difficult to overlook the burden of debt that comes along with medical debt.

According to a recent study done by health care research firm Merritt Hawkins 3 in 5 physicians completing residency cited student loan forgiveness as a major concern.

Learn more about Student Loan Forgiveness for Medical Studies.


Concluding Thoughts

Student Loan Forgiveness can be a big helper in paying off your student loan debts. You can significantly reduce your credit balance and in some cases even pay off your debt completely, depending on the forgiveness program and some other conditions. Check out our in-depth article on Student Loans Forgiveness. Although it should be kept in mind that Forgiveness is available only for Federal Student Loans. If you have private Student Loans, then one of your options is getting your loans refinanced. This can help reduce the burden of debt. Interested and want to learn more? Check out the Best Companies To Refinance Your Student Loans to learn more.