Although Texas is one of the most affordable places to study, there has been an increase in the number of borrowers and an increase too in tuition fees.
The Texas state government provides student borrowers multiple access to the student loan forgiveness in the state.
If you wish to eliminate your debt and you're a resident of Texas state, there are a couple of student loan forgiveness and repayment programs, most of which are provided for those in the healthcare stream and those who are in the education system.
There are many other opportunities for those who do not fall under any of these two categories mentioned.
Do keep in mind that some of the programs to be mention have been suspended, but their funding might be reinstated at a later period.
Let's take a look at some of the forgiveness and repayment programs available to student borrowers in the state of Texas.
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Physician's Education Loan repayment program
Eligible students for this program can get up to a maximum amount of $160,000 over a period of 4 years in order to help out in loan repayment debt which was incurred during the process of becoming a doctor.
If you agree to practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or are able to meet the minimum requirements for being able to provide services to those that are enrolled in Texas women's health program or Medicaid, you'll be eligible for this program.
Applications are accepted quarterly, and service periods are then renewed on a yearly basis. To be able to receive the full amount of $160,000 you must be certified in any of the following specialties in the time period lasting from either before or during your service period -
Obstetrics and Gynecology
The requirements for this program -
You must agree to complete work for a duration lasting 4 consecutive service periods in an HPSA or a qualifying correctional facility
You are also required to provide care to the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program recipients
You must be free from any other scholarships or loan repayment programs
Program Status - Currently Active
Math and Science Scholars Loan repayment program
This program is for scholars who studied in the fields of Math and Science. This award tends to vary according to the point system which in turn is based on the number of Math and Science courses that have been completed by the applicant.
The program has about $2,750,000 available for the provision of loan repayment, which is granted to eligible teachers based solely on their application.
The requirements for this program are as follows -
You are required to hold a U.S. Citizenship
You must have completed a program (undergraduate or graduate) in the fields of Math or science
You must have a degree that you finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above
You must also be certified to teach Science or Math in a public school in the state of Texas
You are required to have a contract to teach at a title I school as a full-time teacher
You are not eligible if you're a beneficiary of any other teacher loan forgiveness program
Program status - Applications are no longer available for the year 2018-19 so check for the year 2019-20 in early to mid-2019.
Repayment assistance program for lawyers
Unlike other programs that deal with student loan forgiveness in the state of Texas, this forgiveness program is offered to those eligible through the Texas Access of Justice Foundation. It is funded by the State Bar of Texas.
Attorneys are able to apply on a quarterly basis if they work in areas where help for low-income citizens is required.
Money is awarded on a when required basis, based on your situation and depending on your participation in other student aid programs.
Requirements for this program -
You are required to work in a Texas legal aid program
You need to be recognized by the state bar of Texas as a Lawyer
You need to earn a relatively low income (The foundation mentions the avg salary of recipients to be less than about $50,000 a year)
Program status - Currently Active.
St. David's Foundation public health corps Loan repayment program
Physicians and Dentists are able to apply to avail up to an amount of $30,000 a year for a period of 4 years.
These health practitioners may secure up to $15,000 a year from this student loan forgiveness program in the state of Texas.
The requirements for this program are as follows -
The St. David's foundation provides money to the THECB to disburse to healthcare providers who meet the stipulations mentioned below:
You are required to be a U.S. citizen, be a permanent resident, or have some other authorization to work in the U.S
You are required to provide service at a participating site for at least 4 years
You are required to have and keep a proper license or certification from a recognized governing body
Program status - Currently on Hold. The state organization will no longer be the one administering the program. Grants have been given out for the year 2017, but applications since the year 2018 haven't.
Loan Repayment program for Mental health Professionals
Here the aggregate awards range between $40,000 to $160,000 and are available over the course of 5 years.
One criterion that would determine your eligibility for this program is your mental health job. Money is awarded based on how many years you have spent in service or the program.
Applicants may get about 10% of the total amount in the first year, which increases in percentage every successive year until they reach the maximum dispensible amount.
The types of mental health professionals that are eligible and the amounts that are offered to each of the said professionals are -
Psychiatrists - up to $160,000
Psychologists - up to $80,000
Licensed clinical social workers with a doctoral degree - up to $80,000
Licensed professional counselors with a doctoral degree - up to $80,000
Advanced practice nurses who are board-certified in mental health or psychiatric nursing - Up to $60,000
Licensed professional counselors and clinical social workers who are without a doctoral degree - Up to $40,000
The requirements of this program are as follows -
You are required to work in an area that is currently in a shortage for Mental Health Professionals
You also need to have no more than about 25% of the total employment hours conducted through telemedicine
You need to service those that are enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicaid
You are required to agree to provide 5 consecutive years of service
Program status - Currently closed for the 2018 fiscal year but could reopen for the year 2019 soon depending on available funding.
Nursing Faculty Loan repayment assistance program
Residents of Texas State who have a degree in nursing and are currently teaching as a faculty member at an approved Texas nursing program are eligible to receive as much as about $7,000 per year for up to 5 years under this program.
You are required to provide some information about your lender because this program pays for your loans directly without routing the funds through you.
The requirements of this program are as follows -
You are required to have completed a master's or a doctoral nursing degree
You need to be licensed by the Texas board of nursing
You need to be employed as a full-time faculty for a period of 1 year at least in an eligible nursing program
You should not be in default on any of your student loans
Program status - Currently unknown as the Update for the academic year of 2018-19 has yet to be published.
Teach for Texas loan repayment assistance program
If you are willing to teach in any specialty that has been identified as an area that is in shortage then you might be eligible to receive up to an amount of $5,000 every year. Recipients are limited to a total amount of $20,000 and can not tap into these funds for a period of more than 5 years.
You can find a list of shortage areas at the Texas education agency website.
Requirements for this program are as follows -
You are required to teach at any public school in Texas
You need to be certified in the field that is identified as having a shortage
You need to be willing to teach full time at a school that is identified to have a shortage of teachers
Program Status - On hold for application until Sept of 2019. For those already in the program, it is possible to file for continuing assistance.
Loan repayment program for the Speech-language pathologists and Audiologists
You can be eligible to receive up to $6,000 a year, if you are part of a doctoral faculty at any college or university communicative disorders program in the state of Texas.
You may also quallify to receive up to $9,000. Both of these awards run for a time period of 5 years.
The requirements for these awards are as follows -
You need to have graduated from a Communicative disorders program
You need to be employed as a speech and language pathologist or audiologist in a public school district in Texas or at an institution of higher education as a doctoral faculty
You are required to hold proper licenses and/or certificates that are required from the appropriate governing bodies
Program status - Currently on hold due to the lack of state funds, but it might reopen if any other sources of funding are found. The award was even subsidized in the year 2014-15 by the Texas speech and language hearing association.
Border County Doctoral Faculty education loan repayment program
You are eligible to receive up to a set amount of $5,000 every year for up to a period of 10 years from this program if you have a doctoral degree and you also agree to teach full time at any public college or university in Texas county that borders Mexico.
The requirements of this program are as follows -
You received your doctoral degree at an accredited institution on or after the date of 9/1/1994
You are employed full time as a doctoral faculty member involved with instructional duties
You have experience working as a full-time faculty in said capacity for a period of one full academic year
Program status - Currently on hold and not accepting applications until September of 2019 at the earliest.
The Dental education loan repayment
In case you are a dentist who agrees to practice in a dental care health professional shortage area (DHPSA), you are eligible to receive up to $10,000 every year to help you pay back your student loans.
You can find a list of federally designated DHPSAs in Texas by visiting the Health resources and services administration website.
The requirements of the program are as follows -
You are either practicing Pediatric or general dentistry
You serve patients regardless of their ability to pay
You accept Medicaid assignments as full payment
You maintain a license from the Board of Dental Examiners in the state of Texas
You have no disciplinary actions pending or completed from the Board of Dental Examiners in Texas
Program status - Currently on hold and not accepting any applications until the Sept of 2019 as of the earliest.
Loan repayment assistance through your own school
Some texas colleges and universities tend to offer their own loan forgiveness programs. Call your alma mater to get to know if these programs are available. For example, The University of Texas at Austin offers a loan assistance program for the law school graduates of its own.
Regardless of where you live, you are eligible to receive federal student loan forgiveness on your federal student loans. The federal government offers programs that are aimed at helping teachers, health care professionals, veterans and public servants pay off their student loans.
Double check all your provisions but depending on your current situation and the loan forgiveness program, you may not be eligible to get help from either state or federal funding sources. So be careful and cautiously compare programs to figure out which course of action will most likely benefit you the most.
Where to apply for Physician Education Loan Repayment Program?
You should be able to apply for the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program on the THECB website.
How many people are allowed in the program?
Although we currently have not known any limit to the number of people who are allowed into this program, the number this is actually allowed can vary and will usually be accepted for as long as the funding for the program is available. But there is a limit of only 10 physicians who are allowed every year if the physician works for a secure correctional facility.
How many Medicaid patients do I need to see?
There is no mentioned minimum number of Medicaid patients that you are required to see if you work in an HPSA. But, if you are not currently working in an HPSA, you are required to meet the service levels above to possibly be awarded funds. The number of unduplicated clients will be cross verified by the Health and Human Services Commission.
What is considered full-time?
For the consideration of working at some of the institutions and for the qualification of some of the programs which need you to work full time, hence full time is specified as a minimum of 32.5 hours of work with direct patient care per week.
Can I get student loan repayment help from my school?
Yes, it is possible but only with a couple of schools, get in touch with your school's alma mater to figure out what forgiveness programs might be available at your school. Take for example the University of Texas at Austin offering a student loan assistance program for its own law graduates.
Do student loans get forgiven after a period of 10 years?
Those Borrowers who have signed up for the income-driven repayment plan are also eligible for the forgiveness after a period of 20-25 years, but for those who currently work full time for public service or a nonprofit employer can have their loans forgiven after a period of 10 years with the PSLF. But, borrowers who repaid their student loans with the graduated or extended plans do not qualify for the PSLF.
How can I get out of paying back my student loans?
If you find yourself in a situation being unable to pay back your student loans because the times are bad, here are a few options to consider.
Get in touch with your loan servicer
Change your repayment plan
Have a look at consolidation
Think about deferment or forbearance.
Consider loan forgiveness
How much of your Social Security can be garnished for student loans?
Through the federal payment levy program, social security benefits are put through a 15% levy to pay for the delinquent taxes. If you owe non-tax debts in some other agencies, the first $750 of your social security payment every month is not accessible for garnishment.
What is the Obama student loan forgiveness program?
President Obama made a couple of changes to the federal student loan forgiveness program. The Federal Government no longer subsidizes any private lending institutions for the federally backed loans. Borrowers of any new loans beginning in the year 2014 will qualify to make payments totally based on 10% of their discretionary income.
Is it possible to get student loan forgiveness if your student loans are in default?
In case you failed to make payments and your student loans are in default now, do not let the consequences affect your financial future. One of the ways you can get out of the trouble is repaying your student loan in full but that is not a practical option for many of the borrowers.