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Paying Off Your Student Loans: Forgiveness Programs & Beyond

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Paying Off Your Student Loans with Forgiveness Programs

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More than 44.2 million people in the U.S. have student loan debt, according to 2016 data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and they all have one thing in common: They have to figure out a way to pay those loans back. Paying student loans is important not only because you agreed to do so when you borrowed them, but also because failing to repay your loans can seriously damage your credit, and once you fall behind, it can be pretty difficult to get back on track. This is especially important because student loans are difficult to get rid of, even if you’ve had financial hardship or filed for bankruptcy.

You can see how your student loans affect your credit standing  — and, as a result, your ability to qualify for credit cards, auto loans, etc. — by getting two of your free credit scores on Still, there are some programs available to you, including student loan consolidation, refinancing, income-based repayment programs and even public service student loan forgiveness, that can help you along the way.

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    Whether you’re considering taking out a student loan, just about to start repaying them or wondering how you can make your loan payments more affordable, here are some things you need to know about paying student loans.

    How Do I Apply for a Federal Student Loan?

    Federal student loans are the most common kind of education debt. (As of the third quarter of 2016, outstanding student loan debt stood at nearly $1.4 trillion, and federal loans accounted for $1.26 trillion of it.) The first step to getting a federal student loan is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and then your school will decide how much aid, including student loans, you qualify for. Federal student loans for undergraduate borrowers do not require a credit check (most applicants don’t have credit at that point in their lives), but PLUS loan and Parent PLUS loan applicants must not have an adverse credit history.

    How Much Can I Borrow in Student Loans?

    Federal student loans have limits that vary by what kind of federal loan you’re borrowing, your year in school and whether you’re a dependent or independent student. For Direct loans, the most common kind of federal student loan, the government limits dependent student loan borrowers to no more than $31,000 for their undergraduate degrees. It’s important to remember that you do not have to borrow the full amount you qualify for, and you should only borrow what you need.

    Do You Pay Interest on Student Loans?

    Yes, student loans carry interest, but how interest works varies widely by loan type. Some borrowers may qualify for subsidized student loans, which means the government pays the interest on them while the borrower is in school. Most loans are unsubsidized, meaning the loans accrue interest as soon as they’re disbursed. So, by the time you enter repayment, which may be several years from when you borrowed the loan, the balance may be much higher.

    How Do I Repay a Student Loan?

    Your federal student loan servicer (or lender, if you have private student loans) should be in contact with you about how to set up your online account to review your loan details and manage payment. If you don’t know who your federal student loan servicer is, you can log into the, using your FSA ID, to get the details.

    Federal student loans have a variety of repayment options, including the ones we mentioned earlier: consolidation, income-based repayment programs and, yes, public service student loan forgiveness. You also have the option of deferring your loans or entering a forbearance period, if you qualify. Private student loan companies may also have options like forbearance or refinancing, but they vary by lender and your financial situation.

    If you think your standard repayment plan isn’t going to work for you, ask your student loan servicer about your repayment options. For people with a high level of debt relative to their income, programs like Income Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) can help you lower your monthly payments to an affordable level, and after 20 to 25 years of on-time payments, your remaining loan balance may be forgiven (though you may have to pay taxes on that forgiven balance).

    Can I Get My Student Loans Forgiven?

    In addition to the forgiveness options through IBR, PAYE and REPAYE, you can also consider working in a field that qualifies you for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or an industry-specific loan forgiveness program.

    Loan forgiveness programs are available to everyone from Peace Corps and AmeriCorps volunteers to teachers, nurses, doctors and other young professionals serving communities in need. Professionals choosing to work jobs in communities in need may take home lower-paying salaries, but they’ll also get some serious help paying their student loans.

    Here’s a roundup of the loan forgiveness programs and volunteer programs available to recent grads and young professionals.

    Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program

    This program repays up to 60% of student loans for registered nurses who agree to work full-time (32 hours or more each week) for two years in a non-profit facility in need of nurses. Nurses that choose to work a third year have the opportunity to repay an additional 25% of their student loans.

    Repaying as much as 85% of student loan debt after 3 years is some deal. For more information, visit the website of the Health Resources and Services Administration.

    National Health Service Corps

    Doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, dental hygienists and mental health professionals including psychologists, social workers and marriage and family therapists can wipe out a big chunk of their education debt by choosing to work for two years in an underserved community with the National Health Service Corps.

    In exchange for two years of full-time employment at a qualified facility, up to $25,000 in student loans will be repaid each year. Further loan repayment is available if you choose to serve beyond the two-year contract.

    Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers

    Teachers who are willing to make a five-year commitment to a school in need can get some much-needed help with their student loans. The richest rewards are reserved for science, math and special education teachers.

    Science and math teachers who work in low-income high schools may be able to cancel as much as $17,500 of their federal Stafford loans. This money gets eliminated from a teacher’s loan balance after he or she completes five years of teaching at a designated low-income school.

    Special education teachers who work in designated low-income schools for five years may be eligible for as much as $17,500 in loan forgiveness for their federal Stafford loans.

    Other full-time teachers working in a designated low-income elementary or high school for five years may be able to cancel as much as $5,000 of their qualified federal loans.

    For more information on teacher loan forgiveness programs, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

    Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness

    The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 created a new loan forgiveness program for public service employees. This program requires quite a commitment — 10 years working as a public service professional. But the payoff — the cancellation of all remaining Direct federal loans after 10 years of service and 120 qualifying student loan payments — may be just the incentive a heavily indebted college grad needs to choose a lower-paying, service-oriented career path.

    Eligible public service jobs include everything from emergency management, public health and safety and law enforcement to social work, child care, library sciences, public interest law services and jobs serving people with disabilities and the elderly.

    To be eligible for this program, you must make 10 years of consecutive, on-time repayments of your federal Direct loans, including Direct consolidation loans. Keep in mind that the standard repayment period for federal student loans is 10 years. If you choose standard repayment for your student loans and keep up with your payments, your student loans will be paid in full in 10 years. You won’t qualify for loan forgiveness because you’ll have no remaining debt left to forgive. Only grads that are eligible for reduced student loan payments, because of very high debt levels or consistently low salaries, would be eligible for this loan forgiveness program. To qualify, they would still need to make 10 years of on-time payments through an income-based or income-contingent repayment plan and work full-time for 10 years in a public-service job.

    Public service can also help you with Perkins loan cancellation. Qualified jobs include things like like firefighting, law enforcement, federal public or community defenders, and many others. You can read more about loan cancellation on the Department of Education’s website.

    Loan Forgiveness for Volunteer Programs

    Borrowers who serve full-time in AmeriCorps or Peace Corps positions can also qualify for PSLF. Additionally, Peace Corps volunteers with Perkins loans can cancel as much as 70% of their debt after four years of service. Peace Corps volunteers who complete a two-year term can wipe out 30% of their Perkins loans’ balance. Another 20% can be canceled upon completion of a third and fourth years of service. Federal student loan payments may also be deferred while serving in the Peace Corps.

    Other Student Loan Forgiveness

    Federal student loans can be canceled in the event of a borrower’s total disability or death and, in rare cases, bankruptcy. Borrowers may also apply for loan cancellation if they were defrauded or if their school closed, preventing them from completing their degree.

    In the case of all loan repayment programs, forgiveness and cancellation, nothing is automatic. All programs involve an application process, so if you have questions or need help, reach out to your student loan servicer (helping you is their job), contact the department of education or, if you need additional guidance, consider working with a nonprofit credit counselor or attorney who specializes in student loans.

    Lucy Lazarony contributed reporting to this article.

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      • mike howard

        How can a nurse work fulltime sufficiently take care of their family and do 32 additional 32 hours a week?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          It’s not 32 hours on top of a regular work week. It’s simply that you don’t qualify if you only work in nursing part-time.

        • OhMy

          Gerri Detweiler is correct. 32 hours is the minimum hours you can work and still apply. If you work less than 32 hours…you are part time.

      • Julissa

        I have a question, I am enrolled at school to obtain a BA in Social Work, I then want to go for my Master’s. Problem is school is becoming way too expensive. I heard about this program and wanted to know if I would be eligible.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Do you have federal student loans? If so I suggest you check out this student loan forgiveness chart which summarizes options. If you can’t get loan forgiveness working specifically as a nurse it sounds like you could be eligible for income-based repayment (if you qualify).

        • Mark

          The sad part of this is the income based doesn’t always work. I have more loans than I should, House, truck, car, etc… My loan holder wants more than 180 a month and I don’t have that to give with having insurance (medical/dental/vison). What else can be done. They just keep taxing and adding on penalties. I was jobless for 2 yrs and they just put more debt on me. I didn’t have money to give yet they charged late fee’s. Now I finally have a job and am so far in the hole there is no way out. They just keep burying me in penalties that I cant afford.

          • Gerri Detweiler

            I would recommend you get a second opinion from someone other than your servicer. You can get a free consult with Joshua Cohen, the Student Loan Lawyer, or you can visit for more information. It has been well documented that servicers don’t always give borrowers complete and accurate advice about their options. That’s not to say there is a program that will definitely work for you, but you do want to make sure you explore all possibilities.

      • Teresa Mc Daniel

        I am 59 and cannot find any full time work that pays more than $11.00 an hour. I am in debt for 70 grand for an MBA from University of Phoenix that doesn’t hold water.

        • MAC1950

          I’m 64 and owe $130K plus. Am on disability and can’t even find a job for more than $8 per hour.
          Hey Obama forgave illegals for committing the crime of sneaking into this country the least he could do is forgive the student debt when is less than these blood suckers who are undocumented. Perhaps we can find employment with their criminal selves headed back where they belong.
          He doesn’t want to break up families what a crock! He’ll ruin us though.

          • Gerri Detweiler

            Are you in Income Based Repayment? If so please check it out. If you are not eligible for it because your student loans are older, you may become eligible within the year because President Obama signed an executive order expanding that program. Under IBR your payments may be as low as $0 and balances will eventually be forgiven.

            • Mary

              Would I be able to change a student loan to an IBR loan? What if I have a co-signer?

              • Gerri Detweiler

                Income-based Repayment is a payment plan, not a loan. But since you have a cosigner it’s likely you have a private loan not a federal loan. Private loans are not eligible for IBR. If you are not positive though you can visit the National Student Loan Data system which should list any federal loans you have.

            • Anne Justin Welch

              I am part native American. I didnt know it made a difference when filing the FASFA. I also thought i had to have proof? Is there anyway to fix this

            • Kimsan Song

              I’m on a income based repayment plan. I was told 0 payments monthly as long as my income doesn’t change. I meet a particular criteria, which meant I am not required to make monthly payments. I was told from ed financial where all of my loans are consolidated that as long as I am on this ibr and my income doesn’t change for the next 25 years, my loans will be forgiven. I owe roughly 63 grand… The disability parts, well, I can’t say I think it sucks, because I have a job, plus is blindness considered disabled? I’m a single parent raising 3 kids, and the one area I question is public service professional jobs. Would working at a title 1 school count? I was told from ed financial that since I work for a title 1 school, but I’m not a “certified” teacher, nothing can be done, as it relates to forgiveness. 2017 will be my 10th year. I’m looking for options to help me clear my debt of loans just like some of you here, so I welcome any suggestions/thoughts.

              • Denise Maguire

                yes blindness is a disability, and make sure you check that on your taxes also if it’s yourself.

              • Anon Person

                Hello….There is no forgiveness or even bankruptcy remedies for TAXES! Beware of so-called $0.00 payment plans, You will be liable at the end of the ICRP or IBR (or whatrever they call these jokes of plans) for the TAXES on the loan amount and beware that the interest does not stop. At the end of the 10 or 25 years the loan could be 4 or 5 times the original amount and you WILL OWE THE TAXES on THAT AMOUNT! PERIOD! They do not tell you that! 🙁

          • Tish Mata

            Gerri Detweiler is right. Income Based Repayment is the way to go. My $12,000 loans were in some sort of forbearance or deferment for 13 years and grew to almost $20K before I found out about it. But now, based on my income, I owe a payment of $0 per month. You MUST reapply every year however and usually about 3 months before your current time period is up because of the length of time it takes to process the paperwork.

            • Gerri Detweiler

              Thanks so much for sharing your story and I am glad it helped.

              • Wendy

                I’ve been in the IBR for a while now, I guess with me my thought is, eventually it’ll need to be paid, but what if I never make enough money and my required payment stays at $0??

              • Gerri Detweiler

                If you continue in the program then eventually the remaining balance will be forgiven.

              • Anon Person

                and the TAXES on a forgiven debt? What about those?

              • Gerri Detweiler

                Yes. We’ve written about that extensively: Canceled Student Loan Debt Creates Tax Nightmare

              • Zaida

                I am in the IBR program and the payment is over $500 because I live alone and the income is too high, so they said. But then, I applied for the loan forgiveness in 10 years because I am Federal Employee and the payment is going up to over $600 a month. That is not helping me at all and I don’t consider that forgiveness because with that payment of over $600 a month in 10 years, all they are forgiving me is the interests, not the loan. Very frustrating!!!

            • josie

              How much is your income every month? My husband owes about 36K and has been in forbearance and deferment also, but we can never get the payment to $0 per month. HOW do we do it?

              • Gerri Detweiler

                Josie – I imagine this commenter is in Income Based Repayment. You must apply and the payment amount will be based on income. You can learn more at

                I know student loans can be overwhelming but relying on deferment or forbearance is not a great long-term strategy. I’d encourage you to look into IBR. You may also want to contact a reputable non-profit credit counseling agency that does student loan counseling to explore all your options. Cambridge Credit Counseling, Money Management International and a few others are doing this kind of counseling.

          • T.C.

            I know why don’t you take a job in the fields like the migrant workers your so worried about, and maybe you can work off your debt that way. Oh by the way I’m sure you wouldn’t last not one day doing such hard labor. You ought to do one thing before you dole out your racism. Look at the face
            of all the pan handlers in your community and I bet you won’t see not one brown skinned person in the lot. Why because the would rather work the fields before stooping to beg for money.

            • Gerri Detweiler

              Mac – I am editing your comment as we are trying to help people by answering their questions on this blog and not to get into political discussions. The problem of student loan debt dates back a while, and is not at this point a partisan issue.

              • George

                if they say forgiveness why don’t they just get rid of all the student loans like it says to forgive it i think it is all a lie there is no forgiving at all they make u just consolidate it first for like 50 years!! to a lesser payment thats all there is no forgiveness!!!

              • Gerri Detweiler

                With some of the programs there is actual forgiveness (I have a relative who got all debt forgiven due to work in the medical field in a rural area) but it’s certainly not for all loans.

              • Cami

                I applied and was accepted for a rural area program. I have lived and worked in the area for almost a year. Problem is that the state of Kansas accepted me, but the county I live in has no money to help pay their 1/2 share, so the state won’t pay any either. Not fair at all.

              • Gerri Detweiler

                That’s really a shame. Have you looked into IBR as an alternative for the time being?

              • KZ

                Can you give me some guidance into student loan debt forgiveness for working within a rural area? Where do I start to inquire about the possibilities or how to apply?

              • Gerri Detweiler

                What field do you work in? If it’s medical then you want to look into the National Health Services Corp as mentioned in the article.

              • Kim

                Does Paramedic qualify?

              • Gerri Detweiler

                It’s not listed under the NHSC eligibility guidelines. You may want to check their website for more information.

              • jojo

                I had $50+K forgiven last year. I have been totally disabled for 22 yrs. Things started looking good, so went to school, thinking I could go back to work, then everything went to h*** in a handbasket and now am worse off than before, so no work for me. I wrote to Dept. Ed and asked for a disability forgiveness and got it within months. Now, if for some miracle I can work within 3 yrs. my loans come back, but if no work for 3 yrs. then they are totally forgiven.

              • Anon Person

                What was the outcome? Did the relative have to come up with the taxes on the amount forgiven?

              • Gerri Detweiler

                In his case the employer also gave additional funds to cover taxes, But you’re right–that can be an issue if someone does not qualify for the insolvency exclusion, usually due to home equity or retirement funds.

          • Mia

            You should contact the Department of Education and request information on discharging your debt because you are disabled. I did.

          • wayne warf

            If you have certain types of loans, such as Direct Student Loans, and are totally disabled for a year or more you can apply for forgiveness.

            • Michael Bonaparte

              I have been disable for over 2 years. I can’t even pay my rent because of the Social Security Benefit I receives. It is a small amount and sure will seek a loan forgiveness. Thanks for the information.

          • Theresa J Lydy

            If your on disability, student loan debt is forgiven.

            • zoozy1

              no it isn’t..the only way it is forgiven on disability is if you are going to DIE from your disability and you have a Dr willing to sign you off as such..

              • Denise Maguire

                that’s not true. If you are considered permanently and totally disabled, unemployable, then you can have your student loans forgiven, BUT you will also receive a 1099-c and that loan amount is considered income for the year you had it forgiven and you will be taxed on that amount. being on disability can help with the amount you have to pay on an IBR plan but it’s not officially for that reason

            • Anon Person

              Not true… You need to prove it and it is not easy… I was on SSDI and they denied me! I’m looking at doing an Adversary Proceeding as part of a Chapter 7. Beware forgiven debts will result in a TAX obligation, whereas bankrupting for discharge of the loan debt is not taxable.

            • Linda Semple Hendrix

              i thought if u were on disability for 5 yrs then it may be forgiven.

              • Gerri Detweiler

                If you have federal student loans and are disabled you can apply for a Total And Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge. It’s not automatic yet.

        • Anita

          same here. I’ve only had just above minimum wage jobs and now I’m unemployed at 57 and my credit is ruined.

      • Credit Experts

        Dear stilldeepindebt,

        Here’s one resource, Pssst…Want to Know The Best Kept Secret In Student Loans? and you can find others by using the search bar at the upper right of any page. The loans that are eligible for these programs are federal loans (Stafford, PLUS and others). More information is here: The Ultimate Guide to Student Loans

      • Credit Experts

        We’ve emailed you, totherightofleft, and are gathering information about your options.

        • totherightofleft


      • Gerri Detweiler

        You may have gotten wrong advice from your servicer about having to make payments while you’re being garnished. It is not uncommon for them to incorrectly advise borrowers. Joshua Cohen, “The Student Loan Lawyer” who we frequently quote in our articles offers a free 15 minute consultation. You may want to take advantage of that to see how you can get back on track. Let us know what happens.

      • Tish Mata

        The bigger problem I’m seeing is not so much the Student Loans, but the inability to get a job after college, ESPECIALLY if you are an older adult, that pays enough money to cover the cost of normal living expenses, insurance, servicing the loans, AND having margin for savings. My husband completed his Bachelor’s Degree three years ago and it seems to have only qualified him for the most basic of entry level positions paying about $12 per hour and it is SEASONAL at that. By the time the employer takes out taxes, insurance, and TSP, over 60% of his check is gone. His take home is similar to the kids working for minimum wage with no benefits!

        It used to be that a Bachelor’s Degree was your key out of poverty and into the Middle Class. In my opinion, a Bachelor’s Degree is not worth anything more than a high school diploma was worth 30 years ago when I graduated high school. And yet, the cost of that degree has skyrocketed. It just no longer seems like it provides a good return on the investment unless you are going into a specialized field like engineering, medicine, etc.

        This has caused us to completely change our approach to our children’s higher education – to the point that we are seeking alternative avenues. We know HVAC guys, plumbers, and welders with just six months of technical education that make over twice what we make, and my husband and I have three jobs each just to cover everything.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Yes, these are exactly the kinds of issues contributor Bob Sullivan has been writing about in his series The Restless Project. Here’s one of his articles: U.S. Ranks Only 12th in Well-Being Survey

        • Rebecca

          I agree with you. I have a Bachelors in healthcare administrative and I have not been able to find a job due to the lack of experience I have. I did not push my son to go to college after he finished high school nor will I push my younger son. I have a job but being a single parent can not afford the cost for schooling. OBAMA pushed for people to go back to school to better their education but we are suffering because of it. I spent 4 years in school for nothing except to be in debt and owe the state more money.

        • Anon Person

          Yes the issues are that colleges have increased the costs and there are no jobs for graduates that will provide the salaries required to pay off the HUGE amount of borrowed money to get that degree!

        • Steffer

          Yep, my husband and I are in the exact same boat. I have had three long-term bouts of unemployment since I graduated college 10 years ago, making paying off my loans very difficult. I’ve worked every job under the sun just to pay my bills. My husband also has loans. We’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that our loan burden is so high that we’ll never be able to afford to have kids and the chance of buying a house is slim. So we’ll be living like broke 20-year-olds until retirement. Pretty awesome.

        • John Fox

          There is much truth in what you say, but the major does matter. You must focus on the needs of the economy and realize you may still miss. That there is no money after taxes and medical is because like college costs have been driven way beyond reason or need by ” free college loans”, so health care rules now make that much more expensive and required ( young people pay it to cover old people). the government usually makes thing worse, healthcare, college costs, and student loans are a great example.

      • Janice M Likens

        I, too, am nearly 60 years of age and cannot seem to get above the $27K per year. my debt for student loans is over $50K. I stupidly thought if I got my master’s degree I could get a good paying job. ain’t gonna happen, captain. I cannot afford to make any payments towards student loans, make a car note (that I have to have for the $27K job) and pay insurance for the car. now the government wants to tax me more because I cannot afford health insurance with a $6K deductible per year. after paying bills just to survive, I barely have enough for groceries. where does it all end?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          So sorry to hear what you are struggling with. Have you looked into income-based repayment for your student loans?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Janice – if your income dropped you should be able to apply to have your payments readjusted. I know it’s a lot of work to keep up with this but it’s really important you try to use the programs available to you, or you may find yourself in an even more stressful situation. You’ll find more information here. IBRinfo,org.

      • karebear

        I am 47 years old. I attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale 2 year program when it was still a trade school. My original loans were less than 18K. I was a young, single mother and had problems making payments. I ask for forbearance often. By 1995 the loans were 26K. I consulted a bankruptcy attorney who told me to consolidate the loans. I did with Sallie Mae. By 2001 the loans were up to 42K. I got married and we made regular payments for nearly 6 years. The loan amount never went down. We were both out of work in 2007 and moved out of state for a job for my husband. We have small children so I got a part time job on the weekends. Even so, we could not make the payments. I made income based repayments for a few years and watched the loan get bigger and bigger. It was up in the 50s when I read about an income based payment where your interest was paid for you for 3 years. I read this on Sallie Mae’s website. I guess I read wrong, because after signing up for the program and paying for a year, the loan was up to 62K.
        It broke my heart. I cannot tell you the huge burden I feel with these loans. I have paid over 30K on loans that were originally less than 18K and that were consolidated at 26K. I have worked in my field, but not using the very expensive education I received at AIFL. The year after I left, everything shifted to computers. I had one computer class the whole time I was at AIFL. Everything that I learned there was done by hand. I learned everything on a computer at the first job I got in my field, 4 years after I left AIFL. I had taken a job on the midnight shift to get my foot in the door. I waited and when a job opened up in the Graphics department there, I applied and I got it “because of my personality”. They trained me on how to do computer design.
        Anyway, you can get released from every kind of debt that I am aware of, but student loan debt. I would be very, very happy if a judge would simply stop this monster of a loan in it’s tracks – stop the interest – and just let me pay it off. Paying on a loan for years and years and never once making a dent in it, but watching it grow and grow, is horrible. When I saw that the loan had gone up to 62K, I just shut down. I stopped paying. The loan is in collections now and is over 90K. They want me to sign up for the rehab program, but doesn’t that ERASE all my payment history and start me at day one/payment one? When my loan is sold, I am at the mercy of whomever buys it – as far as my payment goes. Is there any hope of loan forgiveness? There is new legislation out or coming out that protects people against schools such as the one that I attended (Art Institutes programs have changed) where they charge you high prices for an education that is not adequate for you to work in the field earning enough to pay back the loans. It does not help me. I need a miracle.

        • Credit Experts

          So sorry to hear you’re going through this. We have emailed you.

          • RJ

            My daughter is a single Mom w/ 3 children under 10 years of age. She graduated from a private liberal arts college, but owes over $130K in student loans. The problem is that she was ill-advised by her school advisor convincing her that she should take out more loans to live off of rather than just applying for $ for her classes. During her undergraduate years became ill w/ a chronic illness that has passed on to all 3 of her children. Chase has been fined before for predatory lending and she was one of those unfortunately who have loans through Chase. The school will not officially give her the paper degree because she was unable to pay off her loans. She has PHD student loans, but only an undergraduate degree due to poor advice. Chase forgave about 30K of her loan without her requesting it. They just told her they were and sent her a 1099 stating that some of her loan was forgiven and she has to now pay taxes on this forgiven amount. She pays over $300 a week in daycare and works really crazy hours for very little pay. Her babies are in and out of the hospital and most recent one has to get monitored and tested for her heart and Chronic Asthma. Simply put, she is working against herself and I believed she’ s a victim of predatory lending by the school and Chase Bank. What can she do about this. This has totally ruined her credit.

        • fer

          i’d like to see the answer to this specific situation. i am in just the same one.

          • Credit Experts

            In a nutshell, it was that stopping payments was a huge mistake. It was possible “karebear” did not understand or had not been told that the remainder of the loan would be forgiven after 25 years of payments on the income-based repayment plan. However, because she gave up and stopped paying, the clock will now re-set when she begins again.

            • David Stark

              It seems to me that a debtor should be able to get a judge to declare a debt satisfied after the lender has collected an amount far in excess of what was originally borrowed.

              • John Fox

                So the person or company should not get paid interest on the money you borrowed from them? What if you boorwed the money from som epoor retired person who just trying to get a fair return on the money he saved his entire life. You not paying interest is no fair, you agreed to it when you borrowed it. Choices have consequences.

            • savanna23

              While that may be true, what I have discovered is that when you have your loans consolidated, you end up actually being charged twice for the loan! I have 2 consolidated loans. When I looks on the US Dept. of Education’s website to look at my loan balance; I see the consolidated loans and what their monthly payment amount is and I see my current loans through the Dept. of Education and those consolidated loans are in there as well! Hence I am being charged twice for one loan!!!

        • Patti Crockett Branch

          I am in a similar situation, I had a child that was born with a birth defect. Then my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness and later died. My $40,000 loan is now over $200,000 after deferment and forbearances. I have worked for 2 state governments for 12 years total but have never been able to pay consistently for 10 years straight. I see no hope in sight!

      • Credit Experts

        Tom —
        It varies by the loan. Factors that affect it include whether it’s a federal loan or a private one, and if there was a co-signer. We wrote about it here: What Happens to Student Loans When You Die?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        There certainly are downsides but the jury is out yet on the tax issue. I suspect Congress is going to do something about that but you’re right, it’s not guaranteed. And I agree it’s not perfect – there can be downsides for some borrowers, but right now there aren’t many other options for those who truly can’t afford their payments.

      • Credit Experts

        You can find application information here:

      • Gerri Detweiler

        You may currently be eligible for the Income Based Repayment program which offers public service loan forgiveness. Visit for more information.

        Currently this forgiven debt is likely taxable but Congress has not yet indicated whether it will change that.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Have you disputed it with the credit reporting agencies? I’d suggest you do that and supply a copy of the letter with your dispute. A Step-By-Step Guide to Disputing Credit Report Mistakes

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Cathy – I am not aware of a director that lists student loan forgiveness opportunities in every community. I believe you’ll have to do some digging for that. And I don’t understand the second part of your question. Can you try restating it?

        • cathy

          The original loan was from a technical school and due to interest has gone way up taking his entire IRS refund at the end of each year. He has no information on this loan. How does one get information on something that was 15 years ago and is there a forgiveness program for technical schools.

          • Gerri Detweiler

            OK one more question. Is it a federal or private student loan. Tell him to get into the National Student Loan Data System to see what he can find out about the loan.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Have you looked into Income Contingent Payments? We wrote about that here: Help! I Owe $45K for My Kids’ College & I Only Make $28K a Year

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Start at the National Student Loan Data System. You should find information there about your options for your loans. Let us know what happens!

        • Lindag

          Thank you so much for the information.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Please contact an attorney with experience in student loan issues asap. You can find one via The Student Loan Lawyer website.

      • Tanisha Bradford

        Where do I apply?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          There are links in the stories to the various programs. You’ll have to go directly to the program you believe you qualify for. Otherwise you can go to to learn how to apply for income-based repayment.

      • p

        The income based payment program is a finger in the leaking dike stop gap measure because when your loan IS forgiven After 25 yrs of payments, you Must pay Income Tax on the forgiven amount, which will be 3 times your balance of today. Say you have 100k in debt. Your balance Increases each yr because you are not even paying the interest due. In 25 yrs, the debt will increase to over 300k, and you will owe TAX on 300k , all in one yr. ! That will be at least 100k itself.

      • Annie

        I have been paying on my student loan going on 9 yrs. because the interest rate is so high. I feel like I haven’t touched it. I have asked them to reduce the interest but they won’t! Its ridiculous that there are people out there that care more about money than helping their fellow human being.

      • Elaine McDevitt

        Don’t believe the hype on the Americorp Service “Award.” Know that you are heavily taxed once you use the “award” that you gain for doing your service for poverty wages.

      • gmillioni

        i am 32 and will be graduating in May 2015 with a doctorate in physical therapy. my student loan/s over the last 10 years (involving deferments and unsubsidized interest) are now at about $180,000. i read about some loan forgiveness programs for serving in rural and impoverished areas but none of them mentioned physical therapists, only doctors, dentists, phys. assists., etc. is there a loan reduction program inclusive of physical therapists?

        • Credit Experts

          Gmilloni —
          Unfortunately we do not catalog all student loan forgiveness programs. One site that does collect details on various programs is Student Loan Hero.

          Good luck in finding forgiveness or repayment programs that will work for you.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        What do you mean when you say you are in payment forgiveness? Which program are you in? Income-based repayment? If so in IBR the balance is forgiven after 10, 20 or 25 years.

        • Richard Famiglietti

          I applied for income based due to low income, they said I do not have to pay for a year. I need to reapply every year. I am on Social Security so my income will never go up. The question is how long will this continue until they write it off or tell me to apply for forgiveness?

          • Cadowyn

            It will take 10 years of paying $0.00 a month.

            • Gerri Detweiler

              Richard – Have you asked the servicer? Generally under IBR loan forgiveness occurs after 25 years of payments, unless you qualify for public service loan forgiveness (10 years) but that requires that you work in a qualifying public service job and it sounds like you are not working. If you are disabled you could consider applying for a disability discharge but keep in mind there could be tax consequences if your debt is discharged due to total and permanent disability.

              • Ret, Sgt

                “applying for a disability discharge but keep in mind there could be tax consequences if your debt is discharged due to total and permanent disability.”

                Note: IF it is Due to Total and Permanent Disability filing and after (3) Three year monitoring period you have met the requirements set forth in their agreement , You will Not have Taxes to pay on the forgiven Student Loans (SL) as there is an IRS form to fill out Due to Below Poverty / Total and Permanent Disability that you could Not pay the SL Nor the Taxes that would be assessed with them . I just went through this this Year .

              • RJ

                What form did you fill out that excused taxes on the forgiveness of debt?

              • Anon Person

                No there is no way to avoid the taxes. It is a Non-forgivableNon-forgivable tax.

              • Gerri Detweiler

                If the taxpayer qualified, he or she can claim the insolvency exclusion. We explain that here: Just Received a 1099-C? Don’t Freak Out!

              • taxguy

                Talk to a tax expert about rules for exempting 1099-C taxability. You MAY be ab le to avoid taxes on amount forgiven.

              • Gerri Detweiler

                Absolutely. We’ve written extensively about that topic here on the blog:
                What is a 1099-C? Your Top 11 Questions Answered

              • Yo_Its_Me

                I owe over $50k and have usually gotten forebearance, although I should have applied for IBR (on my to-do list, I’m super busy because in 1 mo. we will have zero $ to our name).

                QUESTION: my husband applied for disability and will most likely get it (hopefully in a couple months, fingers crossed). Will that make ME eligible for disability discharge even if I’m not the one with the disability???

                I know that sounds like a ridiculous ? but hey, if I die, he acquired my debt, right? And since we’re a household UNIT (and live where there are no jobs)…

                Btw, I do help care for him, but not in an official status, and he is able to do a lot more around the house than he could a couple months ago, yet he’s still disabled.

              • ParmalatHarlot

                No. Go get a job if you aren’t disabled…

              • Yo_Its_Me

                How incredibly narrow-minded and shallow of you. And you came here to tell people how to run their lives because…yours is so wonderful? You obviously didn’t see how I “live where there are no jobs”. That means I would have to travel a long ways to get one or commute. Hello. Unless you did see it and like to feel important by judging others with little knowledge of their situation. I actually slave all day on the computer attempting to get income online (proofreading, ecommerce, IM, etc.).

              • John Fox

                Thats what i had to do to pay back the money i borrowed. That is life. I didn’t think the student loan program was offered by Santa Claus.

              • Yo_Its_Me

                Your ignorance astounds me. Do you not see statistics of the unemployment rate and how so many people are looking for work and can’t find work? Some people live in remote areas, where jobs are a long ways away, and pay very little. One is lucky to get a minimum wage job where I live, and that would only pay for rent, gas to drive an hour one way to work, and day care. I’d have nothing left over. I’m earning some money online, though (ecommerce, internet marketing, small jobs on fiverr and odesk, etc.) without having to pay childcare, gas, etc…so at least I have a little left over.

        • jes

          How do you get a 10 year ibr?

          • Gerri Detweiler

            10 year forgiveness applies to Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Please read: Public Service Loan Forgiveness FAQs

          • Marg

            I graduate since December 2014, want a job but don’t get it and I have over 60k. What can I do?

            • Gerri Detweiler

              Marg – If these are federal loans, you may want to look into Income-based Repayment. It could lower your payment to zero while you look for work.

      • jessica

        I am a sahm and my $10,000 of loans have pretty much been in forbearance the entire time. I graduated in 2010, worked for about a year then had to leave my job due to complications in my pregnancy. I have not worked since 2011. My forbearance just ended should I apply for another deference or try for the income based repayment? I personally have no income however my husband is working. I can’t afford to pay for any of it at the moment.

      • Jonathan Ginsberg

        I am a Social Security disability lawyer and I also represent student loan borrowers so I have seen this issue before.

        One argument that the Turners can use to avoid income tax liability is the insolvency exception. Basically this IRS provision says that a discharge of indebtedness is not taxable if the forgiveness occurred when the taxpayer was insolvent. If this is applicable the Turners would need to fill out IRS form 982.

        On the instructions to Form 982 the IRS describes “insolvent” as follows: “you were insolvent to the extent that your liabilities exceeded the fair market value of your assets immediately before the discharge” and it refers to IRS publication 4681 for more about the insolvency calculation.

        If the insolvency exception does not apply I wonder if the Turners could reduce or eliminate tax liability because their gross income includes SSDI money. SSDI income may or may not be taxable depending on the total household income. This is a situation where the Turners should consult a tax advisor to determine the starting point for the debt forgiveness tax calculation.

        Finally – it looks like there has been some discussion about this issue previously on this site:

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Kamelia –

        I am afraid I don’t really understand what you are asking about paying it all back in one shot. It sounds like you have federal student loans and Navient is the servicer for those loans (collecting payments on behalf of the federal government). Have you visited the website of the National Student Loan Data System to get information about your loans? It should list all your federal student loans and the repayment terms.

        I would suggest you start there. After you have done that if you can be more specific about your questions perhaps we can help provide some direction.

      • Dee

        I want to do Income Based Repayment. Do I have to go through a “broker.” Why do I have pay $1000 for a company to do IBR? My loan is with the Dept of Ed, so I don’t have a bank to call.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          You absolutely don’t have to pay anyone for this. As it’s explained at “To apply for IBR, borrowers can log in at, enter their personal information into the Electronic IBR Application, authorize a transfer of their tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, and review, electronically sign and submit the completed form online.”

          Hope that helps Dee! Let us know.

      • Rhonda Moore

        Where do you apply for these benefits?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          It depends on which one(s) you think you qualify for. There are links in the story. If you don’t qualify for any of those you can check into Income-based Repayment at

          • Rhonda Moore

            The only program I think I would qualify for is the Volunteer one. However I did not find a link for that particular one.

            • Gerri Detweiler

              Rhonda – what about IBR? That’s much more accommodating and your payment can be as little as zero depending on your income.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Have you checked into IBR? Your payments may be as low as $0 under that program.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Bethany – we have deleted the company name per our community guidelines. But we encourage you to consider doing this yourself. You can do it for free and it sounds like that’s money you could really use for other purposes. It’s not that hard to apply for Income-based repayment! You’ll find instructions and lots of good info at This is really important for your financial future; I’d encourage you to take the time to take advantage of it.

      • Martin

        RE: Loan Forgiveness for Teachers… Only $17,500 for 5 years?! Really?? That’s less than $4,000 per year! They make it sound like a bargain. But you can just get a job that pays far more than that and pay off your debt sooner.

      • tony

        In 1972 I received a Student loan for $2,700.00. I am now 70 and am a left below knee amputee. I am on social security and am medically permanently disabled. Do I still need to pay the loan ?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Is this a private or federal student loan? If you aren’t sure see if you can find it in the National Student Loan Data System. If it’s a private student loan it may be out of the statute of limitations. They can try to collect but there may not be a whole lot they can do if you don’t pay. Federal student loans don’t have a statute of limitations but you may be able to get a disability discharge. The first step is to find out what kind of loans you have.

          • tony

            Thank you so much Gerri. It is in the NSLD System because I tried to apply for a Pell Grant in 2013 but I was denied because of the unpaid loan from 1972.

            • Gerri Detweiler

              Then it sounds like you may need to apply for a disability discharge.

              • tony

                Thank you so much again Gerri.

              • Gerri Detweiler

                Sure. Let us know how it turns out for you.

          • Denise

            Is there not much hope for $100k in private loans then? I heard you can discharge private loan amounts over and above the actual tuition paid???

      • Credit Experts

        We are not lawyers, and in this case, because you have already tried to handle this yourselves and it hasn’t been effective, it sounds like it’s time to consult a consumer law attorney to get this resolved. You can find names at NACBA,
        the National Association of Consumer Advocates website.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Here is information from the website:

        “I am making PSLF-eligible payments on my undergraduate loans. If I take out more loans to go back to school, will those loans also qualify for PSLF?

        … be aware that if you choose to consolidate your old loans with your new loans, you would then have one big “new” loan, causing the PSLF clock to start over and any PSLF-eligible payments you made on your undergraduate loans before consolidating would no longer count toward the 120 required PSLF payments.”

      • Phay

        The only time you can claim student loans in bankruptcy is if they are garnishing wages and you can claim they are causing a fiscal hardship. This is always an option if you are in this position. The problem is bankruptcy itself is an expensive process as well. I can easily cost you thousands of dollars for a bankruptcy lawyer and they do not really do payment plans. Intensely the reason they garnish your pay checks 15% is because that is what the government considers your expendable income. Most student loan providers will try and get you on some sort of payment program before it goes to garnishment because of this fact. Don’t get me wrong even after a bankruptcy you still technically owe them that money they just can’t legally make you pay it anymore. This is a pretty extreme measure though. Really the best bet for most people is IBR (income base repayment). The great thing about this is depending on when you got the loan it will be forgiven after 10, 20, or 25 years. You do have to report your income to them once a year. One complaint that people on here make is that they see their loan grow year after year on this plan. The truth is most providers show this growth. In my opinion this is on purpose so that you will laps in renewing the repayment plan and make payments on it or give up because you don’t think it is doing anything. DON’T LAPS!!!! If you do the time frame starts over. They want this to happen because they have a better chance of getting more money from you. The other thing is the loans cannot be in default in order to qualify.

        • John Murray

          if they in default they don’t qualify but if you do default and complete a federal Student Loan rehabilitation program after 9 months then they will become Eligible for the IBR again…

      • Credit Experts

        JamieLee —
        Much as we’d like to help, it sounds like what you really need is a good lawyer. You could also consider filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

      • Eric J

        For IBR, will this always be based off all wages? I was thinking of getting a part time job to catch up on bills this year, but am afraid that will make next years payments more per month.

      • msgmak

        After reading much of this blog all I can say is you better obtain a degree in a field that has excellent job prospects before you obligate yourself to high dollar student loans. Good Luck.

      • LC

        I have roughly 60,000 in student debt from attending school for my bachelor’s. My husband is military and we are stationed overseas where work is almost non existent. I have loans through SallieMae (now Navient), Wellsfargo, and SallieMae federal financial aid.

        When I tried to combine all of the loans my monthly payment actually ended up being more for the 15 years.

        We are paying roughly $600 a month and I cannot work here. I don’t want to my loans in a deferment because of the interest stacking up.

        What’s my best option at this point?


        this article sounds good on paper, but when applied to reality, it doesn’t hold an ounce of water….kind of like a politician, tell them what they want to hear, even though it doesn’t make any sense.

        most of the common folks that are indebted to Uncle Sam for student loans, can not find a job that pays enough to survive on, let alone live on…and that is without the debt of a student loan.

        Those of us(such as myself) who are disabled, do not have a prayer in Heaven or hell of ever paying back what we owe….
        Yet, our fine & wonderful gov’t.,(cough, hack, cough), is always pushing to take away from us what we do not have, & will make our lives harder than they are already.

      • Latosha Saunders

        I am 39 yrs old with three kids and one on the way. After all these years I recently had my student loan go into Default. I was on a payment arrangement to get out of default in 2013 , i became unemployed beginning of 2014. I m in a pickle and not quite sure on how to get out of it?!

        • Credit Experts

          Check into income-based repayment.

      • Juliet

        Hello, I have a Federal Student Loan of $24,000 and then 2 private student loans: one of $24,000 and the other $13,000. Currently, I make $23,000 a year and have never missed a payment on my student loans because they are my first priority. However, my federal student loan is starting to become a problem. I’m on the plan where the payment increases every 2 years with the loan pay off being two years. Next year my ONE federal loan payment will go up to $345 then in two years $450 and the last year $550. I can’t afford to pay that much on one student loan when I have 2 more that are consistent. I have been thinking about the Income Based Program but I’m scared of the negative effects. Will applying for this program effect my credit? I’m nervous about the taxes I will have to pay if it does get forgiven in 25 years if my situation does not improve. Plus, when I talk to my Federal Student Loan Company they always seem negative about the plan and advise me to make that my last resort, stating that I will NEVER be able to pay off the loan if I switch to the Income Based Program. What is you advise?

      • WEC Pawn

        This is indentured servitude. I feel sorry for anyone that has such debt at a young age.. We as a country will pay for this misguided program and comfy relationship between our government and colleges.

      • Sam V

        I have been on $0 payment for 2 years now on IBR. If I continue at $0 for years, does this count towards the years of eventually getting my debt forgiven? Does that mean that if one cannot ever afford to pay, all these loans will eventually be all forgive even if the person never paid a dime? Does this apply Department of Education Loans and Federal Loans? I pay an arm and a leg right now to my private loans and there’s no flexibility with them.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          If you continue to qualify for a $0 payment on your federal loans and continue in the program you may have them all forgiven. If you work in public service you must make 120 qualifying payments. If not, balances are forgiven after 20 or 25 years, depending on which program you are in. You’ll find more details at

      • rtw

        My loans go back to 1996. I can only make one or two payments per year of $264. How can I pay down these loans?

        • Credit Experts

          It’s hard to know. You could investigate income-based repayment, possibly, if these are federal loans.

      • broke and frustrated

        What if you were on disability when you went to college. How do get debt forgiveness with a family of three and only making 24 000 a year.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Do you have federal student loans? If so have you applied for a disability discharge? If you don’t qualify for one you can look into Income Based Repayment (IBR).

      • Julie

        I’m 58 yrs old, started with $43,000 student loan debt. I deferred for probably 12 years as a single parent… my loan debt grew to $58,000– I started repaying with monthly payments of $451… but because interest accrues daily even in repayment, even with a steady on-time payment the balance keeps growing– it’s Very Discouraging,,, and may I say Disgusting….. I am a teacher, and I work in a district that is 75% or more free & reduced — but my loans were taken out before a certain year and I cannot qualify the the current loan forgiveness program the President put into place(which would be $17,000 I believe). My balance is now at $65,000 and I don’t know how to get this off my back!!! I’m starting to feel desperate….. and am considering selling my house to get out of this debt.!!! I am working full time, but I’m not getting any younger, and I need a new car but with the monthly payment for student loans, I’m worried about a car payment also. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

      • Tsprout7

        I graduated from a “Top 100 Best-Value” school in the country with “only” 55.000$ in debt (a lot less than most people I know.) In 2005. In the past ten years, I have held 3 different jobs related to my field of study. All three were either part time, seasonal AND/OR 1$ over minimum wage. BUT, all 3 STILL REQUIRED A COLLEGE DEGREE! The reality is, I am 32 years old, I have 2 kids, a husband who also has student loans, 1 junker car, and living in a 500$/month rental, pay-check to pay-check, because THIS is all we can afford. We both had no choice to default on our loans and now are making the minimum payments. Bottom line: The cost of higher education in America is OUT OF CONTROL. What needs to happen is an overhaul of the cost/vaule of college or this will keep getting worse and worse, as evidenced below. Especially if they keep doing things like garnishing wages (which are so low, they are literally taking food out of my children’s mouths when they do that,) suspending drivers licenses, AND even suspending professional licenses (from truck drivers to doctors to cosmetologists.) It is not that we don’t WANT to pay them back as fast as possible, BUT, the economy is awful, and right now, my husband and I are choosing to pay back our loans rather than save for our kids college, go on vacation, buy a house, etc. Thanks, American education system!

      • Gerri Detweiler

        This article talks about how to discharge private student loans in bankruptcy.

        • Denise Mayo

          Thank you! Do you happen to know if they can garnish wages when you are working in another country for a foreign company (England)?

          • Gerri Detweiler

            It seems that would be difficult and more trouble and expense than it is worth. But I can’t say for certain it is not possible.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Jolene – There aren’t a lot of great options for private student loans unfortunately. Since your credit is poor, it sounds like you are going to have a hard time consolidating them. You can certainly try to see if your private loan lender will work out a more affordable repayment plan, but it’s hit or miss. You could also just default and then try to settle the loan, but that can be risky as the amount can increase and you could be sued.

      • Dave

        I went through a direct loan rehabilitation in 2012 after several months of late payments. I was led to believe that these would be removed from my credit report once completing the program. Now, when looking at my credit reports (I’m looking to qualify for a home loan), after my rehabilitation program, new accounts were opened which read as paid in full, but the old accounts still show all the late payments. Does this seem right or should they have been removed?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          We wrote about that in this article: Will Student Loan Rehab Fix My Credit?

          • Dave

            Thanks Gerri!
            Wow, Alexander’s story seems all too familiar!

            • Gerri Detweiler

              Deja vu all over again, right? Very frustrating no doubt.

      • Heather Manning

        hubby is 40k in debt for student loan for being a teacher, he can’t teach, he’s not made for it, he’ll never be able to use this degree, we are scraping by, how the heck can we get these useless loans to go away?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Unfortunately there is no refund for buyer’s remorse when it comes to student loans. But if he qualifies for income-based repayment, you can at least get him in an affordable payment plan while he figures out his next career.

          • Heather Manning

            unfortunately it’s not buyers remorse, he tried, he keeps getting fired, the degree is useless if it didn’t qualify him to actually do the job, we’ve been in deferment for years and will probably just stay that way til we die, there is no way we’re paying back a 40,000.00 joke.

            • Gerri Detweiler

              I apologize if that came across the wrong way; I just wanted to point out that there is no ‘escape clause’ because you can’t work in the field for which you received your education. And without bankruptcy as an option (as it is with almost every other type of consumer debt), borrowers are truly stuck.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        If you have federal student loans, here is the Dept of Ed disablity discharge information. Hope it helps!

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Sandy – if he has federal student loans you’ll find information about the program at the Dept of Ed disablity discharge information page.

      • Mariah

        I have 30k in student debt. I completed grad school, now licensed architect working full time for nonprofit hospital in Florida. Any loan forgiveness programs for me?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          I am not familiar with programs for that line of work but you may want to ask your HR department at the hospital to find out if they know of any.

      • gypsy

        I owe over 46 grand in student loans from when I was in art school. I haven’t been in a financial position since graduation to pay these. Lots of reasons why and the interest keeps accruing and i have had to have it deferred all these years just to keep it from going into default status and frankly it is a thorn in my side. I graduate in 1988. It is continuing to grow without a way for me to pay it…what can I do to have it forgiven…it has been so many years.
        Any suggestions are welcomed

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Are these federal or private student loans? If federal, have you looked into Income-based Repayment?


        President Truman I think it was, said to congress at the end of the war that we need to educate the people of this great country, for if we don’t, we’ll end up supporting them….

        I have no ax to grind against those that are on welfare…in most cases, it’s not their fault. they did/are doing, what they have to for the sake of their children.

        But look at how many people are on welfare…..
        I blame the U.S. Gov’t., not the people.
        This country would be a whole lot richer financially & spiritually, IF, if congress would have made it MANDATORY for everyone to go to college…and on their bill, not ours.

        Just for the record, I’m $285,000 + in debt, and disabled & our holier than thou gov’t wants me to pay back what I owe, or they are going to seize all assets & auction them off to pay my debt….I told them go ahead, & I told them where to go as well before I hung up.
        Ya see, there is just one teensy weensy little problem with their plan….
        I DO NOT have any assets.
        I have no car
        I have no house/property that is all paid off
        if I’m lucky, my average balance at the bank is about $2…
        If I’m REALLY lucky, I may have $5 in my account at the end of the month.
        I live in a rent apt., which was(at one time) a hotel built in about 1918, or 1920. each “room” of this hotel, is now an apt.

      • zoozy1

        How does someone apply for ‘income based forgiveness’ ? I am on disability and bring in $628 EX husband was ordered to repay his loan and he was also on disability..SS told us the gov is allowed to take everything EXCEPT $750 to live on a month…and am told as soon as my own disability reaches over $750, they will garnish my SS also…I tried to get this expunged and was told that the only way you can do this is if my disability results in my death (Dr needs to verify this) or if I have a Dr say I will NEVER EVER work again..(haven’t found one that will say this yet and I have been on disability for 22 yrs now) HELPP!! *original loan was for $2300 and now I owe close to $11,000 with FEES and such..

        • Gerri Detweiler

          If these are federal loans then you may be eligible for a discharge of your student loans due to total and permanent disability. You’ll find details here: Dept of Education disablity discharge information.

          • zoozy1

            This is a Guaranteed Student Loan & Ive TRIED to get it discharged (been on SS for 22 yrs now) but I have moved from state to state a lot and cannot find a Dr willing to say I will NEVER EVER work again (I am 55yrs old) & my disability will not result in death…what other options do I have besides trying to get it discharged, as I cannot get the needed paperwork to do this ?! ..even tho I can say I wont be going back to work, my Drs are unwilling to state this in writing…what other options do I have to get this off my back? *I was disabled almost immediately upon finishing schooling & have not worked since….out of the $628 a mos I get for SS the guv already take $124 for medicare..not leaving me with much to work with..Ive tried to make a payment plan of $50 mos but they wont accept it..its ALL or NONE Im told..

            • Gerri Detweiler

              I don’t know how to tell you to find a physician willing to work with you but at this point I suggest you contact a reputable non-profit credit counseling agency that does student loan counseling to explore all your options. Cambridge Credit Counseling, Money Management International and a few others are doing this kind of counseling.

      • Broderick J

        I’m 25 with an 11,000$ loan I believe I’m on the ibr. , but just the thought of having that much in loans is very stressful. I pay $4.43 a month starting may then after a few months it jumps to 137 dollars a month. I was told that if I qualify for another program payments won’t be as high. I just want to know if I will ever be forgiven for my loan. I went to trade school because colleges gave me a hard time getting in, but as I see people who owe over 20,000$ in student loans I’m kinda glad I did trade school. I’m a federal employee now at the v.a hospital, which I’m grateful that trade school gave me the skills to land a hard to come by job like this. I just get stressed out about the 11,000$ dollars.

        • Credit Experts

          If you pay faithfully (and on time) for 20 years, the remainder of the IBR loan will be forgiven. (And in general, payments are set at about 15% of your discretionary income.)

          • Broderick J

            How would I know if I qualify for the 10 year 120 on time payments and then my loan is forgiven program?

            • Gerri Detweiler

              You can get more information about the IBR program at

      • Buttons

        I am 62, have paid on a 30,000 loan for my son for 10 years and still owe 22,000. I retired from a federal job to care for my dying father in 2009. Now I am taking care of my 90 yr old mom and I am financially scraping by while everyone is getting FREE college tuition plus help give them student aid, food stamps, etc. I have NEVER received a thing from the government in the way of any assistance while no one marries, everyone is head of household and there are two and three heads of household under one roof. If you have more than 2 kids, well they let their relatives take their extra children and they claim them. My sons dad worked as correctional officer, but since I have my name on I, that does not qualify. On top of this, my son went to a specialized school that guaranteed helping him find a job–that did not happen and he is making 15 an hour as a chef with no degree, and he still owes 20,000 also. What is fair in this country. What am I to do when I see all these people getting help. I worked my whole life, still helping my family and have no savings, but American Educ Svcs makes more and more. I will be dead and still owe. I guess for all of us that believe in honesty and truth need to be like the majority of us citizens now, I will lie and put in for every bit of FREEBEES. When my husband and I divorced, instead of working 50-60 hrs a week so my kids can play spirts and have activities,I should hsve quit work, been head of household, recd food stamps, welfare benefit, not marry my husband. My other son moved in with a woman with 3 children, he has 1 child and they had 1 child. He claimed head of household and recd 9000 back in taxes. She worked parttime, we make sure we dont wirk toi much to qualify, she made about 2500 for the year, she received 12,000 back, my son claimef 2, she claimed 2, her mom claimed the extra 1 and claimed she was head of household and she received 6000 back and put that on a new car while our vehicles are old. Wonderful system we have.

      • Bianna

        I’m graduating from nurse practitioner program in September and I’ll have close to 100K in loans. I’m interested in NHSC program, and would love to work with under-served population, but it seems that you can apply for loan forgiveness only once you’re already working in such setting. How do I find out what workplaces are eligible for this program? Thanks.

      • Student needing help!

        Hello – I am freaking out as I am currently attending school
        as I wanted to get at least a 2 year degree. I was debt free at one time and
        now I am 34 years old and single and have over $31,000 in school debt again and
        no degree yet. I don’t even want to keep going to school since it will keep
        costing me more and more money and I am trying to figure out how I will pay for
        it in the future. I also now have some
        health issues that may keep me from getting a new job as I will need to be able
        to keep my FMLA status so that worries me as well and believe it’s just a waste
        of time to continue. With all of this being said, is there anything I can do
        that will help with my school loans? I bring home less than $20,000 in a year
        and even less since I miss days with my medical stuff. I currently do not have
        to pay on my loans, and really can’t afford to but every time I think about it I
        get an anxiety attack and would kind of like a little insight to know what I will
        be facing in the near future. Any information you can give would be wonderful!

        Thank you!!

        Lost in school debt, again!

        • Gerri Detweiler

          We have some articles that talk about options for paying off student loans that may give you some ideas. Strategies for Paying Off Student Loans and How to Pay Your Student Loans While You’re Still In School. It may also benefit you to talk with a non-profit credit counselor that offers student loan counseling. In your case having someone go over your situation with you may be a good idea. There are a few agencies that provide this type of counseling, including Money Management International and Cambridge Credit Counseling.

      • Ray

        I’m in debt for $279,000 working two jobs and living in my car at age 60. Suicide has cross my mind.

        • Credit Experts

          If your loans are federal, have you looked into income-based repayment? We wrote about a man who felt similarly hopeless here: Help! I Owe $37K for My Kids’ College & I Make $28k a Year. And if you are seriously contemplating ending your life, we urge you to call a suicide hotline.

      • Venessa Brown

        I have student loans up to 30k and I am having trouble an is a financial burden. I am in financial hardship and stress due to not being able to pay back student loans. I am Native American but have done everything on my own since I was 13 and have graduated with a 4.0 with honors from a 2 year college and did not get help with understanding what I could get help with through my tribe and now can’t move forward with my life due to knowing I have such a high debt with student loans. How can I get help?

        • Credit Experts

          Are any of the loans federal loans? You may be eligible for income-based repayment. Some credit counseling services now also offer help with student loan repayment plans.

      • Amour Flower

        I am a single 50 year old women, who is now unemployed going on three years. I worked in higher education with individuals that were receiving welfare while going to school it was a nonprofit organization. I did this for eight years. I was paying a student loan while working. I was not eligible for this forgiven loan program. So who is this program really for, now I am poor with a student loan. I dont believe any of these programs work for the better of helping people.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          You must enroll in IBR in order to be eligible for the loan forgiveness. You may want to look into it at Hope that helps!

      • Teddyballgame

        My wife and I took Federal loans to help pay for our children’s college. These loans are in our name Been paying for 5 years and still owe $42K. Both are now living on SS only, about $33/year between us. Disposable income less than $8k. Can we apply for IBR?

      • steve

        Your balance will eventually be forgiven under IBR for those living on disability and unable to pay – however – when that time comes and the loan is forgiven, you will owe the IRS taxes on that amount forgiven as if it were income . . . see if you can pay a large lump sum to the IRS when you couldn’t even pay the monthly pmt of the student loan over 20 years??

      • Donna

        I am trying to have my loan eliminated, if I told them that the Univ of Phoenix approved everything without proof that I actually graduated from High School with a Diploma, which is actually true would my student loan be eliminated. I am fearful to expose this to the student because I do not want to be held accountable for this. What would you advise? I just tried applying for the Income based first it was approved then I received an email that the info was not accepted, so I will have to reapply meantime I have a payment due and cant afford it. I think they are playing games first it was ok, then oh sorry it was not accepted due to insufficient info, I did exactly what was asked of me. Help!!!

      • John Murray

        what makes student loans unaffordable is if you try to apply for a forbearance and that your payments are based on your before tax income, not after tax which is what people live off..and the interest rate they charge….it should be a simple interest rate not a amortized payment schedule like house payments which means if when you graduate you borrowed $100,000 with the amortized payment schedule all of a sudden your total loan balloons to over $300,000….I defaulted on my student loans because I couldn’t even afford the IBR payments and now currently in a loan rehabilitation program to get it out of default which based on my income I only have to pay $5/month for 9 months when the negative report will be taken off my credit report but then I might be back in the same boat not being able to afford the payments…but my point is your total loan shouldn’t be 3 times or more what you actually borrowed

      • tom j

        my dad co signed my direct federal loans for me (dad) so our son could go to college, my dad has passed, I have been in forebearance, now 90k w/interest, I am married, my income is low should I fill taxes alone outside of my wife, she is retired
        and gets a good income, we file joint at the moment, should I check into IBR,thks!

        • Gerri Detweiler

          I would suggest you start by checking into IBR and go from there. has all the facts.

      • Russ Ramey

        I ended up stuck with a loan for my 27 year old child, my wife filled out the paper work years ago when she was tapped out. She isn’t even on it somehow and I am stuck with it. What a country.

      • Obz

        I have a fed loan and been paying since 2006. I’ve been on deferment few times. My payment plan is standard for 30 years and I have been working for a 501c3 organization since 2007. Can my loans be forgiven? Can I change my repayment plan to IBR?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          You need to check into Income-based Repayment as soon as possible. It’s not retroactive at this point, so you have to get enrolled to qualify for forgiveness after 120 qualified payments under the Direct Loan program. More info and how to apply is available at

          • Obz

            Thank you for your prompt response. I got my forms signed by the organization I am currently working for and have worked before. I also called VSAC, the organization handling my repayment plan, and asked them if I could move to IBR and based on my income and family size, I am not eligible to change my repayment plan to IBR. Do you have any suggestions for this kind of situation or am I not asking the right questions? Do you have any suggestions such as organizations who would help in this process? Please help.

            • Gerri Detweiler

              Yes, I do have a suggestion. There is a handful of reputable credit counseling agencies now providing affordable help with student loan repayment issues. A few I am aware of that offer this service include Greenpath, Money Management International and Cambridge Credit Counseling. There may be others but if you look elsewhere, be sure you are dealing with a reputable, well-established counseling agency.

      • Karen

        I was going to school before I was even dating my husband so all my loans are in my name only but they are using his income in addition to mine to set my payments. We have separate bank accounts and pay our own bills. Anything we share as a household expense we split 50/50. How can I get them to set my payments according to my income only?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          If you are talking about Income Based Repayment, you may be able to file your tax returns Marri”ed Filing Separately.” But that may affect the taxes you pay. You can learn more on the website.

          • Karen


      • Widower

        I am 60 and have considerable student loan debt from my children. My wife recently passed away and I was told that if I had not combined the loans a few years back that it would have all been written since it was her name. Does anyone know if this is true or anything that can be done to correct it?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          We’re sorry to hear of your loss. It sounds like you are saying that you cosigned for some kind of debt consolidation of student loans for your children…? Is that the case? At any rate, it sounds like you may want to talk with a credit counseling agency to help you figure out a plan for dealing with these loans. More information here: I’m 58 & Have $65K of Student Loan Debt. What Can I Do?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Very often financial institutions will retain the “right of offset,” allowing them to take funds from money on deposit with them if you become delinquent on loans you owe them. Consumer advocates and attorneys often recommend consumers do not keep funds in a deposit account with a financial institution to whom they owe money if they are having trouble keeping up with payments.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Are you talking about loan discharge because your school falsely certified your eligibility to receive the loan based on your ability to benefit from its training, and you did not meet the ability to benefit student eligibility requirements? If so, we recommend you check out the Department of Education’s details on various loan forgiveness options.

      • Kj Chafen

        I work for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) would this position work for this program

        • Gerri Detweiler

          I am not sure which program you are talking about but even so, it’s hard for us to say. We tried to include links to the relevant programs above. You’ll need to do some research to find out whether your position qualifies.

      • JRivera

        I have been forgiven for student loans based on the Total and Permanently Disability Program, I am two months away from my 3yr probationary period, however, I still have a debt with Sallie Mae Private Student Loans. Do you know if there is a forgiveness program for Private Student Loans? I have been permanently disabled since 12/2009 and under a doctors care.

      • Sarah

        I am on the IBR plan with zero payments each month. I do not work because I care for my young relative who is 5 years old and is totally disabled. He requires 24/7 care, which does not allow me to work. How can I get my student loan forgiven (if at all) since I’ve dedicated my life to his care and well being? By the way, any income that I receive is from the State to care for him and the income is non-taxable which qualified me to receive the IBR at zero payment each month.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          There is no loan forgiveness specifically due to caring for someone who is ill that I am aware of. You’ll have to stick with IBR and get the forgiveness at the end of the 25 year time period.

      • SJC

        I have been on a IBR for about 10 years now. the balance goes down about 1 cent a month, I will never get it paid off at that rate. I borrowed $2,000. originally in 1989 and circumstances beyond my control caused me to drop out and move out of state and I had to go to work and not finish school. I had over $1500 withdrawn from my state taxes back in the early 90’s. But they say they show no records of it. Even after I produced records of my taxes and letters at that time. 1998 I was disabled and filing for SSD but it never got accepted until 2001. I was contacted by Student Loan to make payments, so I filed for a extension. My interest and balance is up over $5,000 and I started making $25. monthly payments in 2001. I have actually paid back more than twice what I borrowed and if you would include the money they won’t acknowledge I had garnished from my income taxes, it would surpass what I am being billed. Yet they will not let me get a forbearance or anything. Why is that? I was always told when I tried to get it dropped for reasons that my disability would keep me from ever working, and my doctor signed the papers to that effect, they said their rules were more strict than social security’s. I was denied twice. I am 61 now, so I am sure that I will never work again now and my income is way below poverty. I am eligible for Medicaid and Medicare because of my low income. And I have trouble paying my bills. $25. to someone might not seem like much but to me it is a lot when you have very little.

      • Barbara Patterson

        I am 47 and disabled. I am on SSI and live in assisted living because I had a stroke last year. My Federal student loans have been forgiven, but my Colorado student loans are still affecting my credit. What can I do to get them forgiven, if anything?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          I assume these remaining loans are private loans. Is that the case? If so, there is no specific requirement that private loans offer disability forgiveness. I’d recommend you talk with a credit counselor to find out what options you may have. Read: I’m 58 & Have $65K of Student Loan Debt. What Can I Do?

      • Lucy Raynsford

        I am 67 have a student loan since 1992, was for 8,000 now is over 16,000….can’t even retire for they will take part of my SS of only 1300 a month, how can anyone live on that….this is a shameful country if you where born here…….

      • jennie

        i have 18k worth of credit card bills all maxed out. im paying my bills on time but i keep using ones i pay the monthly.i just keep using it. so i decided to consolidate my debt. i have to pay it for 4 years. is my credit score gonna get worst? its going down every month. will consolidation help my credit score or it will make it worst?

        • Credit Experts

          If you went through a counseling agency, your score can take a hit (this is not necessarily a bad thing, because it can help you catch up when it might have otherwise been impossible). Here’s more:
          Is a Debt Management Plan Right for You?

      • Paul inbusan

        I am 98 and first got my loan in 1934. Why won’t the creditors quit sending me

      • LeAnn Hogan

        What forgiveness is available for respiratory therapists that work in the VA hospitals? Does that fall into the National Healthcare forgiveness program?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          The NHSC website says that “Inpatient Hospitals (including Veteran’s Administration Hospitals, with the exception of Medicare-approved Critical Access Hospitals)” are not eligible to apply. But it would be a good idea for you to review the National Healthcare Service Corp forgiveness program guide here.

      • Rev. Kenneth J Nelan, OPoc

        I know this is an older article, but it at least still seems active. I’m 48, returned to school to finish my degrees at a major university in Wisconsin. I’ve a year left and then will enter the community. My major is educational psychology with an emphasis in community counseling – basically I will be licensed (after some other hoops) to be a Licensed professional counselor (mental health practitioner). I’ve looked at many of the programs mentioned above and the only one that seems to fit is the NHSC, but they are no longer accepting applications (according to their website). My question is this – is there anything I can be doing NOW to reduce my debt. My wife makes too much money in her retirement for us to qualify for grants, though I am also of Latino descent. This coming Semester, and the following, I will be interning at a community clinic working with monolingual speakers who are primarily victims of abuse.

        Ms. (Dr?) Detweller, are there other programs for students who are finishing their master’s degrees and will soon be out there in the community? When is the best time to apply for the NHSC? Are there other forgiveness programs?

        Thank you so much for this article and all the help you’ve been providing in the comments here. I greatly appreciate any help you might be able to provide.

        Sincerely – Ken

        • Gerri Detweiler

          I would love to advise you but unfortunately I am simply not familiar with all the sources of financial aid or grand for someone in your situation. Other than the National Health Services Corp. website I’ll have to suggest you consult the financial aid office of your school to try to find out what’s available. You may also want to look into Income-Based Repayment if your loan repayment is expected to last longer than 10 years as it may provide forgiveness if you work in a qualifying job after education.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        We have a new article addressing your question. You will find it here: Could This Loophole Help You Get Rid of Your Student Loan Debt?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        I don’t believe your loans qualify for public service loan forgiveness based on your husband’s career unfortunately.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        I would encourage you to review the
        Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness FAQs to make sure you qualify.

      • criley

        I think it is terrible that the loan forgiveness possible is only for registered nurse. I am and LPN (nurse) and work very hard but you do not see any help for our classification. Discriminating is what that says. They should have more LPN’s because they are paid less but do work almost identical to RN. Could save a lot of money with LPN’s and have more help in the workforce. So how about a program to help our group.

      • Susan

        I am almost 62 and am a sub teacher whose salary is rarely over 250 a week. I have tried to full time teach but have been in over 40 interviews and it is a joke..”oh we have over 30 applicants and we try to get the best!” translates into you are too old. because my husband has applied for disability and will be retiring from truck driving when he turns 62 in the next year I can move and will be his caretaker because of his health…I have no clue what to do with my student loans cause I havent heard from my loan people in years and I am sure the 25 thou is much higher now. I go 3 months without any income until school starts back up but have been having garage sales to sell off my stuff to help feed us. who do I turn to now cause all I know is credit people have the loan and they have hounded others and threaten us etc…I went to school to be a teacher cause there was a shortage…in my 40’s…now I am tool old…geeze…help…who do i turn to now?

      • ken ptasnick

        I’m 67, trying to repay parent plus loans. I’ve asked to extend time of loan to make it more affordable monthly. They want to reduce it by $50. I send them what i can afford, if that’s not enough, the hell with them. Eventually, i’ll die and they won’t get squat. It’s like talking to a stone wall. The most the government should allow on student or parent plus loans is 2% interest.

      • Mother thats in need of help

        I am currently on the ibr program. and i see that i can apply for a complete forgiveness of my student loans if my school closed while i was still enrolled and i received my GED and was working on my degree in Business Administration /Acoounting when the school closed. so I had to consolidate my 2 loans in 1994 and have been trying to get them paid the best way I can.I don’t even think that my state has any records of the school can you help me with this search.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        There are several different types of income-based payment, including the income contingent payments. You may want to try to find out whether one of the other programs will help you. Beyond that, there aren’t a lot of options. You can check into the National Heatlh Services Corps program but the funding for that program is closed for the year.

        You might try getting a consultation with an attorney who practices student loan law to see if they have any other recommendations for you.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        @Perry – I’m not aware of loan forgiveness programs specifically due to pregnancy. Have you looked into income-based repayment? The Department of Education website has some helpful information on loan repayment options and forgiveness for federal student loans.

      • sonniell

        You have no idea how much I wished these forms of repayments/forgiveness on student loans were available back in the 72-74 day…..I attended a Community College in Connecticut-graded third in class with an AS….received Veteran’s Benefits, worked part-time and work-study program… on-campus living arrangements; so, had the additional debts of resident living…..upon graduation, my “Goal” was to obtain a full-time position (which I did) working for a government contracted Corporation with intent to “save” college funds and go back to complete my Bachelor’s (Nursing)…….as is with most people, I never returned to college….I could not see the forest passed the trees involving my saving to complete college.
        Was an excellent paying job….in fact, my fiancee’ (at the time) was an Asst. Professor at that college and became very frustrated and somewhat angered that I would be paid more than she per year and received incredible benefits….I lived with her frustration for well over a year; very, very unfortunate that we parted ways before I could even entertain thoughts of returning to school….my goal was to eventually become a teacher in Nursing….we would both move on to higher University sources for employment and feel happy and secure with tenure, etc….I couldn’t live with the constant negativity she posed toward my income and eventually the relationship ended……this tore my little world apart and rather than continue on with my education, I moved to another state to start over the moment, to reestablish and heal myself and move along in life….I became very good in the Corporate Banking World, receiving many upgrades on ranks and financial improvements……today, I have never felt more regret than allowing my emotional/financial stress to dictate my life…thinking often of returning to school; but, truly did not allow for the need. Her life is a huge success as a full Professor with Tenure in a major University (with a very sound financial life)…..bottom line (through all this explanation) had I had the privilege of Community College at no charge (to get a scholarship back then was very hard to do; plus, I didn’t qualify for any Affirmative Action Programs) I would’ve continued on to receive my Bachelor’s – eventually reaching my goal as a PhD.
        My point being had I not had to worry about finances during my first two years of college, I could’ve used my VA, etc in my critical years…..learning of the chances for college kids to receive Community College for free literally is breaking my heart!!!

      • Lee Hazelbaker

        I have worked for a not profit business the past 10 years after retiring after 30 in education. What loan forgiveness programs are available to me?

      • Lee Hazelbaker

        I looked at the website and didn’t see any of the schools I taught at listed but I was hoping for better news on the non-profit side.

      • Michael W George

        When I graduated with a Bachelor Degree in 2007, I had $80k in student loan debt. Seeing as this was around the time the recession came around, good jobs were scarce for entry level positions, so I joined the Navy with the student Loan Repayment Program (LRP) as part of my contract.

        At the time, the LRP offered $65k towards paying back student loans. The caviat, of course, was that the money would be paid in installments of thirds at the anniversary of my Active Duty Service Date, and that these were also taxable. Long story short, after taxes the LRP ended up paying off about $45k of my $80k total. Not bad, but not what I had hoped for (I know, I know – “read the fine print”, right?).

        Now, 9 years after graduating, I still owe about $27k. I completed 6.5 years of active duty service, separated with an honorable discharge, completed my MBA through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and now work for the Federal Government. I figure there has got to be something in that mix of experience and status that could help expedite paying these darn loans off quicker. Does anyone know or have a suggestion?

      • Frustrated

        I was going to volunteer for AmeriCorps for a year term job they have opened. But I want to know what doing that program for a year would get me regarding my federal student loans? I used to hear that after completing some service you’d get a portion of your loans off but now I’m hearing, after 10 years of paying, it’s forgiven? Well I’ll be done paying at that rate??? Someone tell me what doing AmeriCorps can do for my student loan debt?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          It can be confusing, no doubt. This AmeriCorps FAQ page explains the education award and public service loan forgiveness options. Hope you find it helpful!

      • Ann

        My daughter went to one of the Everest Schools (not CA, in WA) for medical assistant programs. That was a joke. I foolishly got a loan for her thru direct plus and now i owe a huge amount of money. I was laid off, my husband is on disability. (he had a stroke and kidney cancer, no longer has either kidney) we live off his disaibility check. I defaulted on the loan, but recently have been reinstated and been making 5.00 a month payments, that’s all i can make. She works as a Medical Assistant, but makes like 11.00 an hr. She has her own student loan of 5000.00 to pay off. She can barely survive her bills(she lives on her own). Her father and I live on his disability check. The student loan I have is in my name only, cuz i was working at the time, but of course got laid off shortly after. (and husband got sick right after as well) IS THERE ANYWAY TO GET ONE OR BOTH OF THESE LOANS FORGIVEN?

        • Credit Experts

          Ann —
          What a difficult situation!

          If she your daughter has federal student loans, there might be forgiveness programs. We are not aware of forgiveness programs for parent loans. Here’s a little more information from the Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness FAQs.

      • Nancy gomez

        If you are permanently disabled you’re entitled to full forgiveness log onto and/or for further information if your loan servicer isn’t helping you

      • Patrice Miller

        What relief is there for Parent Plus loans? My husband and I are in our 70s and still have a huge student loan debt from our children’s college days.

      • Sam Brown

        I am 65 and owe 90k . I am on disability and can’t find job that pay no more than minimum wages. My BA from the University of Phoenix is not a degree for a good paying job. I am looking for some type of help. I am making minimum payment, but will die with this loan hanging over my head.

        • Credit Experts

          Sam —
          If some of these are federal loans, it may be that income-based repayment is the way to go. There are not a lot of options for private loans, unfortunately.

      • MC

        Read about and ask about income based repayment plans. The student loan companies will not volunteer this information. One of the income based options is considered paid or forgiven after 25 years.

      • MC

        Check into income based repayment. One of the options allows your loan to be forgiven after 25 years. But you will not have to make a payment, unless you have enough income.

      • Restart Snap Spokane

        So according to this article, “Perkins” loans will stay on your report forever until paid off. I believe this is the only exception to the 7 year rule. Why?

      • Martha

        I have a student loan that is presently about 6000.00 that it is very difficult to repay because of my salary. I work for a non-profit agency in MS in a Head Start program. We only work 9 months of the year and receive unemployment benefits for three months. Is there any type of loan forgiveness that I qualify for?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          If this is a federal loan I would suggest you immediately look into Public Service Loan Forgiveness. You can get more information in this
          student loan forgiveness chart.

      • staceyque

        “mental health professionals including psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists can wipe out a big chunk of their education debt by choosing to work for two years in an under-served community” I am about to finish my Masters in Counseling, how do you go about finding a position in an area that would qualify for this?


        I have been teaching science in a low income district since 1997, but since my loans we pre 1997, I am told that I do not qualify for forgiveness. I have about 10,000 left to go. Did I get the correct information regarding eligibility for forgiveness? If so- talk about poor timing!

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Qualifying payments after October 2007 count. Have you read this: Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness FAQs?

          There are efforts to change that. Talk to your legislators in Congress.

      • kmiller

        Hi, can I apply for a nurse repayment program even if my loans are not all from my nursing degree?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          This resource details nursing loan forgiveness through the Nurse Corps. In addition, you may be eligible for Income-based Repayment (with or without Public Services Loan Forgiveness) if you qualify.

      • 2emi

        My student loan is taken from my SSDI every month due to default. I have 4student loans but my credit report states I have 8. It originally from AES (default) transfers to PHEA now is holding the account. I was told they can legally report loans Separately. Can they report same loans as different loans. How can 4 loans =8 loans?


        • Gerri Detweiler

          Yes individual disbursements may be reported individually. You may want to consider talking with a
          student loan counseling agency or student loan lawyer to see if there is a way you can get out of default and stop the garnishment.

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