Loan Forgiveness Programs
By Elisa Kronish
June 05, 2007
Other Forgiveness Programs
Volunteering for certain organizations for a prescribed period of time entitles you to apply for loan forgiveness. Three popular programs are:
- Peace Corps
- Volunteers in Service to America
The Army National Guard’s Student Loan Repayment Program may pay up to $20,000 of a student’s loans.
Many law schools and medical schools forgive loans of students who serve in public interest or nonprofit positions for a certain number of years. Similar incentives are often provided by state agencies. For instance, the Wisconsin Physician and Healthcare Provider Loan Assistance Program offers repayment for medical professionals who practice in underserved areas.
Even some business schools have loan forgiveness programs. For example, Harvard Business School’s Initiative on Social Enterprise offers a loan-forgiveness program to lower the financial barriers to employment of MBAs in the nonprofit sector.
Applying for Forgiveness
You can usually find applications for loan forgiveness programs at your school’s financial aid office. You should also review your loan promissory notes, which describe some of the more common federal loan forgiveness programs. If the program is state-specific, you may have to call the state agency that administers the program. Some programs are competitive and operate on a first-come, first-served basis, according to fund limitations. Typically you must reapply each year following the year of completed service.
Finding More Programs
The Loan Forgiveness Directory lists more than 200 federal and state agencies, employers, colleges, hospitals, law firms and other employers that offer loan forgiveness programs. It includes award amounts, eligibility criteria and application procedures. For information on purchasing the directory, visit: www.srnexpress.com/forgive.cfm.
If you qualify, loan forgiveness programs can lighten your financial burden. Check out your options for a debt-free future.