Are You Eligible to Cut Your Student Loan Debt?

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It will come as no surprise to you that the average college student graduates with $28,400 in debt. But were you also aware that if you teach in a public school, work for a nonprofit or government agency, or served as an AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer, some—or all—of your student loan debt could be forgiven?

The federal government offers several programs designed to reduce federal student debt while encouraging public service. Here are the key programs for which Wheelock grads are likely to qualify

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program

Now that you’re out in the work world, you are probably eligible for this federal loan forgiveness program. Under the PSLF Program, borrowers who work in a wide range of public service jobs qualify for loan forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public sector employers.

GET STARTED NOW by downloading and submitting this Employment Certification form [PDF].

Get full details about the PSLF Program at www.studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice.

Just for Teachers

Two federal programs focus specifically on helping teachers reduce or eliminate their college debt:

  • Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers: Provides loan forgiveness of up to $5,000 if you teach for five consecutive academic years in schools or educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other requirements.
  • Teacher Loan Cancellation program: Allows for cancellation of 100% of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have served full-time as a teacher in a public or nonprofit elementary school system.

Get full details about Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Cancellation programs at www.studentaid.ed.gov/tc.

Learn More

In this video from the Huffington Post, Ethan Senack, higher education associate at U.S.PIRG, explains how student debt forgiveness programs work and what types of jobs qualify.

student debt forgiveness huff po video

Please check out the wealth of resources on our Financial Aid Office’s Managing College Debt web pages. If you have questions about Public Service Loan Forgiveness, please contact your federal loan servicer. At Wheelock, we want to help graduates like you worry less about college debt so you can focus on the important work of improving the lives of children and families.

2 Comments…

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  1. This is very imbitious I wish there was this concern when I went to Wheelock.

    I currently have exhausted all my efforts and am paying 800 a month for private loans on a principal balance of $98,000 to attend Wheelock and now 65,000 for federal loans. I have researched all my options and the reality of it is that I will be paying $1,200 a month after grad school deferment which ends next month.

    A very overwhelming process and very upsetting because there seems to be no end in sight.

    • We’re sorry to hear you are struggling with your education loan debt. Trying to sort through all the repayment options and loan cancellation programs can be very stressful. The best place to start is with your loan servicers. For private loans, unfortunately there aren’t many lenders that offer choices in repayment plans. But most lenders will work with you in times of financial hardship to come up with a temporary solution. Keep in mind that any adjustment to the repayment amount may increase the amount of interest that is accruing on the loans over time as you decide whether a temporary reprieve or reduction in payments would be helpful. For your Federal Loans, have you discussed with your loan servicer the different Income-Based Repayment options? Here’s a link to some information about the different options. These Federal repayment plans cap your payments as a percentage of your discretionary income and the percentage is different depending on the plan and when you took out your federal student loans. Again, the best place to start is with your loan servicer.