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College Financing: Loan Forgiveness Programs (page 2)

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Updated on Jul 7, 2009

Edie Irons, Communications Director for the Project on Student Debt, says the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is specifically designed for people with heavy debt burdens. “I’ve talked to people who have said this will change their life,” Irons says. “This amounts to enormous help for students entering school and for college graduates. Not many people are aware of it, but the word is starting to get out.”

Another bit of good news for both inbound students and graduates is the Income Based Repayment (IBR) program, which will allow students to repay their loans based on income. IBR, which officially became available July 1, 2009, will make repaying student debt more practical for professionals who make little money but carry hefty student loans. For most people, loan payments will be less than 10 percent of their income. And those who qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness can keep their payments to a minimum with IBR during the 10-year repayment period of the loan forgiveness program. Find out more about IBR at www.ibr.org.

And there’s another reason to give serious consideration to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. As David Hawkins, Director of Public Policy and Research for the National Association for College Admission Counseling, says, “Obviously there is a need for people in these (qualifying) professions, which translates as more job opportunity.”

Other Loan Forgiveness Programs

Looking for other options for loan forgiveness? Finaid.org, an excellent resource for students seeking financial aid, provides both a brief and detailed explanation of federal and other loan forgiveness programs. Performing volunteer work (through AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, or VISTA), serving in the Army National Guard, teaching in schools that serve low-income families, and working in certain legal and medical capacities qualify a person for loan forgiveness. 

>See also Student Aid on the Web, the Department of Education’s federal student aid information site.

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