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There are many forgiveness programs that teachers may qualify for...see what best fits your situation

Here is some General Information:

-120 qualifying payments

-Must be made no more than 30 days before due date and 15 days after

-All loans must be Direct Loans

-Non taxable

-Must have qualifying plan (typically based on income only beneficial plan)




-Must teacher 5 years as highly qualified teacher in qualifying subject area at a Title I school

-If high school math and science or high school or elementary special ed, you can qualify for up to $17,500 in forgiveness

-If you are highly qualified teacher for a qualifying subject area, you can qualify for up to $5,000.00

-If the amount you would owe at the end of five years  is less than the forgiveness you will receive, you can do a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance yearly to avoid payment.  However this amount must include both principal and interest amount.

You qualify for cancellation of up to 100 percent of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have served full-time in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school system as the following;

-a teacher in a school serving students from low income families


-a special education teacher (this includes teachers of infants, toddlers, children or youth w/ disabilities)


-is a teacher in the fields of math, science, foreign language or bilingual education, or in any other field of expertise determined by the state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that particular state

-Based on duties, not on position title

-If you qualify for cancellation, it can be up to 100 percent of the loan, in the following increments:

-15% per year for the first and second years of service

-20% per year for the third and fourth years

-30% for the fifth year

These amounts also include the interest that accrued during the year

-Many other states and employers have their own forgiveness programs

-Often times in these situations, rather than cancellation payment is remitted to the provider for payment

-Talk to you individual employer or state to find out the time frame and eligibility requirements

Overview of Forgiveness and Discharge

-120 qualifying payments

-Must be made no more than 30 days before due date and 15 days after

-All loans must be Direct Loans

-Non taxable

-Must have qualifying plan (typically based on income only beneficial plan)

-Must teach at least five years at Title I school

-Cannot include PLUS loans

-Eligible loans must be disbursed previous to five year period

-Forgiveness is 5,000 (highly qualified, most general subjects) or 17,500 (highly qualified secondary math or science or elementary or secondary special education)

-Can be disabled veteran, receiving SSI or SSDI (in some cases) or have certification from doctor may qualify for plan

-Once forgiven cannot work during 3 year period (unless approved through military) or will be reinstated


-In order to receive new loan during 3 year period (unless approved through military) but have discharge reinstated

-If borrower dies, loan will be discharged

-If student on Parent PLUS dies, loan will be discharged

-If endorser dies, loan remains but endorser removed.  However if borrower dies, endorser not liable.


-Very rare for student loans

-Must prove to bankruptcy court that paying student loans would be undue hardship

-The court uses this three-part test to determine hardship:

  • If you are forced to repay the loan, you would not be able to maintain a minimal standard of living.
  • There is evidence that this hardship will continue for a significant portion of the loan repayment period.
  • You made good-faith efforts to repay the loan before filing bankruptcy (usually this means you have been in repayment for a minimum of five years).

-If withdrew from school but school did not pay borrower or servicer refund

-Check with school about refund policies

-Only refund amount forgiven

-School closes while you are enrolled or within 120 days of your withdrawal

-Must not have completed all coursework even if no diploma received

-Cannot be able to transfer classes to comparable program at a different institution

-If discharged then transfer and used discharge credits, may have to pay back forgiven money

-FFELP or Stafford Loans Only

-Your school falsely certified your eligibility to receive the loan based on your ability to benefit from its training,

-The school signed your name on the application or promissory note without your authorization or endorsed your loan check without your knowledge (unless funds were delivered to you or applied to charges owed by you to the school.)

-Identity theft

-The school certified your eligibility, but because of a physical or mental condition, age, criminal record, or other reason you are disqualified from employment in the occupation in which you were being trained.  An example of this was being a registered sex offender but being in an education program

-Perkins Loan Only

-For each completed year of service, a percentage of your loan may be canceled.

-The total percentage of  loan canceled depends on the type of service performed.

-Service areas include (depending on situation): Peace Corps, Teacher, Military, Nurse, Law Enforcement, Head Start Worker, Family Services Worker

-No standard application.  Contact school about forgiveness