I have a question about the public service loan forgiveness
program. Would it still apply if I work for a non-profit
job? I am a little confused about the difference between public service
and non-profit. I would really like to apply for the loan forgiveness
program but the company I am interested in is non-profit.
— Jessica E.
Public service jobs include a variety of other occupations in addition
to working for local, state and federal government agencies. For
example, public service jobs include working for any tax-exempt
501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Eligible jobs also include public safety and law enforcement (police
and fire), emergency management (EMT), military service, public
education (public school teachers), early childhood education
(including licensed or regulated childcare, Head Start and
State-funded prekindergarten), social work, public services for
individuals with disabilities or the elderly, public interest legal
services (including prosecutors, public defenders and legal advocacy
on behalf of low-income communities at a nonprofit organization),
public librarians, school librarians and other school-based services,
and public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a
clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care
practitioner occupations and health care support occupations).
Full-time faculty at tribal colleges and universities, as well as
faculty teaching in high-need subject areas and shortage areas
(including nurse faculty, foreign language faculty, and part-time
faculty at community colleges), also qualify. Public servants working
for the government do qualify, except for members of Congress.
To determine whether your job qualifies, call the Federal Student Aid
Information Center, a toll-free hotline sponsored by the US Department
of Education, at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
I am a new teacher with outstanding student loans. I keep hearing
about programs that will forgive student loans for teachers who teach
in impoverished areas or teach in high-need subjects such as science
or math, but I have yet to find one that will help out a teacher that
didn't take out a loan before 1993. Can you tell me about any of
these programs? By the way, I teach in an impoverished area (about
90% of the students are on the free and reduced lunch program), and I
am a science teacher. I was on an economic hardship deferment, but now
I am no longer a substitute teacher and do not qualify. I can't make the
payments they are asking for because my teaching salary is not enough
to go around.
— Kimberly F.
Consider using the income-based repayment plan to reduce your monthly
loan payments to an affordable level. Income-based repayment bases the
monthly payments on a percentage of discretionary income, as opposed
to the amount you owe. Discretionary income is the amount by while
adjusted gross income exceeds 150% of the poverty line.
In addition to public service loan forgiveness with income-based
repayment, there are also a variety of front-end loan forgiveness
programs programs for teachers. A front-end loan forgiveness program
forgives a portion of the student loans each year as the service
For example, highly qualified math and science teachers who teach
full-time for five consecutive years in certain
elementary and secondary schools serving students from low-income families
may qualify for up to $17,500 in Stafford loan forgiveness.
The full set of eligibility requirements and an application form can
be found on the
of Education web site
The American Federation of Teachers maintains a list of other loan
forgiveness programs as part of its
teacher funding database