Student Life

How Maine Can Help You Pay Off Student Loan Debt

Elizabeth Hoyt

November 01, 2019

How Maine Can Help You Pay Off Student Loan Debt
Maine is willing to help you pay off your student loans via the Opportunity Maine program.
Like lobster? Duck boots? The great outdoors? How about getting your student loans paid off? You can have it all…if you move to the state of Maine. That’s right; Maine is willing to help you pay off your student loan debt as of last year. According to CNN, “the north-easternmost US state can't seem to get enough young people to move there. So, officials have hit upon the ultimate incentive: Move to Maine, and they'll help you pay off your student loans.” Here’s the deal: When you relocate to Maine, the money spent towards paying your student loan debt (whether its comprised of federal loans, private student loans or a mix of both) each year will be subtracted from your state income taxes. Student Loan Hero reports that the average student loan debt amount for a college graduate totals $29,800. Imagine having that completely wiped out just because you moved to Maine.
The program began in 2008 as a tax benefit for young professionals already living in Maine. The original program, The Educational Opportunity Tax Credit program, allowed for Maine college graduates to use their loan payments as tax credits. Now Opportunity Maine is open to anyone who wants to relocate and work full time -- or part time. That means, as a simplified example, if you pay $800 towards your outstanding student loan, and you owe Maine $1,000 in taxes, you’ll only end up paying the state $200. Note: there’s even more potential for STEM majors. According to CNN, those “who study science, technology, engineering and math -- could even get a check back from the government -- if their loan payoff amount outweighs their taxes. Non-STEM majors fall under a non-refundable tax credit program, which means they'd owe $0 in state taxes under the same scenario.”

Other States that Provide Student Loan Debt Help

While Maine’s student loan forgiveness is unique, there are other states that provide student loan forgiveness programs and benefits to recent graduates. Most of these are specific to a particular career or industry – so check to see if your state and field of work are included: Alaska -- SHARP II - Heath Care Professions Loan Repayment and Incentive Program
Arizona -- Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program (PCPLRP) and Rural Private Primary Care, Math, Science, Special Education Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Joyce Holsey’s ALL (Arizona’s Legal Legacy) Loan Repayment Assistance Program Arkansas -- State Teacher Education Program (STEP) and Out-Of-State Veterinary Medical Education Loan Repayment Program California -- Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment, California State Loan Repayment Program and CDA Foundation Student Loan Repayment Grant Colorado -- Colorado Health Service Corps and Colorado’s Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program Delaware -- Delaware State Loan Repayment Program Florida -- Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program and Loan Repayment Assistance Programs for Lawyers Georgia -- Physicians for Rural Areas Assistance Program Hawaii -- Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program​ Idaho -- Idaho State Loan Repayment Program Illinois -- Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program​, John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program, Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program and Veterans’ Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program IndianaHon. Richard M. Givan Loan Repayment Assistance Program Iowa -- Teach Iowa Scholars, Iowa Registered Nurse & Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness Program, Rural Iowa Primary Loan Repayment Program and Rural Iowa RN and PA Loan Repayment Program Kansas -- Rural Opportunity Zones Student Loan Repayment Program, Kansas State Loan Repayment Program and Kansas Bridging Plan Kentucky -- Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program​ Louisiana -- Louisiana State Loan Repayment Program​, John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program and Louisiana Bar Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program Maine -- Educators for Maine, Maine Health Professions Loan Program Forgiveness, Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan Program Forgiveness, Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program and Maine Bar Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program Maryland -- Maryland SmartBuy Home Buyer Assistance & Forgiveness Program, Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program​, The Nancy Grasmick Teacher Award and Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program Massachusetts -- Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program for Health Professionals​ Michigan -- Michigan State Loan Repayment Program​ and John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program Minnesota -- Minnesota Rural Physician Loan Forgiveness Program​, Minnesota Urban Physician Loan Forgiveness Program, Minnesota Rural Midlevel Practitioner Loan Forgiveness Program, Minnesota Nurse Loan Forgiveness Program, Minnesota Nurse Loan Forgiveness Program, Allied Health Care Faculty or Nurse Faculty Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program, Minnesota Dentist Loan Forgiveness Program, Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program and Minnesota Loan Repayment Assistance Program for Law Mississippi -- Mississippi Teacher Loan Repayment Program​ Missouri -- PRIMO Student Loan Program​, Health Professional Nursing Student Loans and Missouri Health Professional State Loan Repayment Program Montana -- Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program​, Montana Rural Physician Incentive Program and Montana Institutional Nursing Incentive Program Nebraska -- Nebraska Student Loan Repayment Program​ Nevada -- Nevada Health Service Corps New Hampshire -- New Hampshire State Loan Repayment Program​ and New Hampshire Bar Foundation Loan Forgiveness Program New Jersey -- John R. Justice Federal Student Loan Redemption Program​, Primary Care Physician and Dentist Loan Redemption Program and Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program New Mexico -- Health Professional Loan Repayment Program​, John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program and Public Service Law Loan Repayment Program New York -- District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan Forgiveness Program​, NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program, Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program, New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program, Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program, Albany Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program, Physician Loan Repayment - Qualified Educational Loan Repayment, New York City Loan Forgiveness Program and Steven C. Krane Loan Assistance for the Public Interest Program North Carolina -- Forgivable Education Loans for Service, North Carolina State Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals​ and NC LEAF Loan Assistance Repayment Program Ohio -- John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program​ and Ohio Dental Loan Repayment Program Oklahoma -- Oklahoma Medical Loan Repayment Program​, Oklahoma Dental Loan Repayment Program and Physician/Community Match Loan Oregon -- Health Care Provider Incentive Program and Oregon State Bar Loan Repayment Assistance Program Pennsylvania -- Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program​ and Pennsylvania Bar Foundation – PA IOLTA Board Loan Repayment Assistance Program Rhode Island -- Primary Care Practitioner Loan Forgiveness Program​, Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, Nurse Educators Loan Forgiveness Program and The Wavemaker Fellowship South Carolina -- Public Interest Law Loan Forgiveness Fund​ South Dakota -- Delta Dental Loan Repayment for Service Program​ Texas -- Border County Doctoral Faculty Education Loan Repayment Program​, Loan Repayment Program for Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologists, Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Program, Physician Education Loan Repayment Program, St. David’s Foundation Public Health Corps Loan Repayment Program, Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program, Texas Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program, Educational Loan Repayment Program for Attorneys Employed by the Office of the Attorney General and Texas Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program Utah -- Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program (RPLRP) Vermont -- Vermont Educational Loan Program for Primary Care Practitioners​, Vermont Educational Loan Program for Nurses, Vermont Educational Loan Program for Dentists, Vermont Educational Loan Repayment for Nurse Educators/Faculty and Vermont Bar Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program Virginia -- Virginia State Loan Repayment Program​, Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program and LSC Loan Repayment Assistance Program Washington -- Health Professional Loan Repayment Program Wisconsin -- Health Professions Loan Assistance Program​ Wyoming -- Wyoming Healthcare Professional Loan Repayment Program​ and Wyoming Veterinary Loan Repayment Program The District of Columbia -- DC Health Professional Loan Repayment Program​ and District of Columbia Bar Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program Just like you immersed yourself in the scholarship search as you headed into college, you can do the same for your student loan debt after graduation. Search for student loan discharge programs by your job or geographic location in order to pay off your student loans.

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