Student Loan Forgiveness (and Other Ways the Government Can Help You Repay Your Loans)

Here’s a question a lot of people may be wondering… Is it really possible to have my federal student loans forgiven or to get help repaying them?

The answer is: Yes!

However, there are very specific eligibility requirements for each situation in which you can apply for loan forgiveness or receive help with repayment. Loan forgiveness means that you don’t have to pay back some or all of your loan. You never know what you may be eligible for, so take a look at the options we have listed below. The first three options focus on loan forgiveness programs. The next two options are government programs based on your service.

1. Teacher Loan Forgiveness

If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on certain federal student loans. Get the details about Teacher Loan Forgiveness here.

2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you work full-time for a government or not-for-profit organization you may qualify for forgiveness of the entire remaining balance of your Direct Loans after you’ve made 120 qualifying payments—that is, 10 years of payments. Learn more about PSLF now! To benefit from PSLF, you should repay your federal student loans under an income-driven repayment plan.

If you have been denied loan forgiveness under PSLF because one or all of the payments you made on your Direct Loans were under a nonqualifying repayment plan, you may be eligible for Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF). Learn more about TEPSLF and how to apply for this first come, first serve opportunity.

Click the image below to view our PSLF infographic listing out the main steps.

3. Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plan

If you repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan, the remaining balance on your student loans will be forgiven after you make a certain number of payments. You will likely qualify for an income-driven repayment plan if your outstanding federal student loan debt is higher than your annual income or if it represents a significant portion of your annual income. More about IDR plans and how to apply.

4. Military Service

In acknowledgment of your service to our country, there are special benefits and repayment options for your student loans available from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Defense, such as interest rate caps under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, other interest rate relief, and student loan repayment programs. Learn more about federal student loan benefits for members of the U.S. armed forces.

5. AmeriCorps

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a post-service benefit received by participants who complete a term of national service in an approved AmeriCorps program—AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, or AmeriCorps State and National. Upon successful completion of the service, members are eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award which can be used to repay qualified student loans.

If the options listed above don’t apply to you, but you need help making your federal student loan payments, contact your loan servicer about the option to



  1. With all Due Respect Ms. Voung these “forgiveness” programs don’t fit probably 95% of people who are carrying their student debt more than 10 years.
    What those of us who can’t and haven’t paid back their loans need (yes, I am well aware I’m a loser, free-loader, useless human being etc etc so save your breath people) who for whatever reason have been able to repay their loans who need REAL AND IMMEDIATE action. If I could repay them believe me I would in a NY second. Do you or anyone here really think this is fun or that we are just trying to skip out on these loans and giving everyone the one finger salute?! Well, you are dead wrong. This debt is crushing, debilitating daily stressor and making many people feel hopeless. I’ve read that some here say “this will follow me to my grave” I am right there. Sadly, the way I thought and wanted my life to turn out…didn’t. I tried desperatly to finish College while my loans were managable and have made payments but atlast it was not meant to be. I’ve never made much money in my life time, been homeless, unemployed through layoffs and underemployed, had to apply for food assistance (another unhelpful program if you don’t fit the “mold”) it took me several attempts to get some relief but the stigma of assistance forced me to buy food late at night and hide my card when I swiped. I’ve had to get back on feet so many times I’ve lost track. But I do and it takes years to recover from that. I’ve also in the past 25 years have never owned anything new or owned a home, I will never qualify with this huge debt. This debt makes me pay huge interest when I do get some credit for a used car…it’s the price I have to pay. So you see I’m not a deadbeat, other than this loan I’ve never been in trouble with the law, don’t steal or take what isn’t mine, volunteer extensively (it doesn’t cost to volunteer), been a good citizen, vote, and believe that some day it will get better for me… believe me I’ve tried to repay this loan… it’s that it was always something, now at 55 it’s huge medical bills. Just so you know I’ve suffered from severe depression for years. Not saying this so you can feel sorry for me or anyone else, but it was real and it takes a toll on you. This disease doesn’t mean I’m weak or uncapable it’s that it just all consuming..but enough about that as many will just think I’m having a one man pity party, but that’s their problem.

    I’ve comptemplated suicide over this debt for relief. Sad huh? But that’s real life and I’m probably not alone.

    To be clear, I have always, ALWAYS , kept in touch with my leanders with current information, address, phone number, emails etc. even when I didn’t have an address, I used my mothers. I HAVE NEVER JUST SKIPPED OUT…I just will in this life time never be able to repay this loan. For this I am truely and deeply sorry and ask for forgiveness from those who did and are repaying their loans. You’ve done the right thing and should benefit in every shape and form for your deligence and hard work and sacrifice.

    I carry this with me everyday, EVERYDAY, it isn’t something I take lightly or feel that I don’t have to repay…This debt has cost me my life, literally.

    • You mentioned you had medical. Did you know they offer full forgiveness of loans if you suffer from medical conditions? Just call your lender and ask for the form! Hope this helps!

  2. I have read the majority of the comments posted and I have yet to see anything about help with student loans or forgiveness of loans acquired while obtaining an associate degree in musing. Please advise and if I over looked please educate me on how to obtain and where to go to obtain assistance. Thanks

  3. I had a student loan in the late 80’s..i went to cosmetology my license,plus a managing License, and that’s as far as it went..i did pay my loan back..i didn’t have a high school diploma nor a ged at that point, can I get my money back? I’ve never worked at a salon at waste of time and money…can I get a refund?

    • I don’t know if you’re joking or not. But if you aren’t then I will give you a real answer, there is no way to get a refund. At all. And if you are joking, then I did laugh when I read this. So good on ya!

    • For now it only applies to a few situations. But I agree. If it goes mainstream it would be a real slap in the face to those of us who did work and pay back our loan obligations. Plus it would drive up the cost of education.

  4. I currently have a student loan through Sallie Mae for continuing education after I got out of the military in august of 2007. I had spinal surgery in 2012 and have not been able to work due to my disability. I am currently filing for social security disability and VA compensation increase to 100%. I am currently rated at 80%. My student loan has a balance of $16,000 at 13% interest and a monthly payment of just under $300. I need to get this loan off of me. Is there any help I can get? I tried calling Sallie Mae to see about lowering the interest and the lady plainly said, “there is nothing we can do. You signed for it, now you have to pay it.” I have no problem with paying my debts, I just need a little help to pay a debt that I incurred without knowing I would be disabled and unable to work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • You should be eligible for loan forgiveness. It takes time. I would speak to someone from the bank or company who owns your loan. If that’s where you got the “no help” at, I would call the Department of Education. They wrote the rules on student loans. There are forgiveness programs, programs to defer payment and ways to recalculate your payment.
      I suggest two things. ..first try the loan number you already tried, but only speak with a supervisor. Next, if you have a cell phone, download an app that will record calls….record any calls you have with these people. You must legally inform them that they are being recorded. ….it usually works to say that since you are recording me, I am recording you, to be sure that I get your instructions right. You might want to add that your memory is not very good. Again,if it seems like you are not getting anywhere, ask for a supervisor.
      I hope this helps.

    • I also have a loan with Sallie Mae so the advice I’ll give you is only based on my similar experience. Sallie Mae is a private loan and may not have the same advantages as a federal student loan such as the loan forgiveness options listed in this article. Ask the rep if there is a way you may qualify for an income based rate reduction. I have this on my loan with them and they will ask you questions regarding your current income and monthly bills you pay for items such as utilities, rent/mortgage and other essential payments so have this information available when you speak to them. They set mine up as an annual certification option meaning the following year you will have to reapply with the the same type of information. I was able to save over $100/month on my loan. Keep in mind this payment mostly goes to interest and does little to pay down the principal and may not be a good long term option but if you were drowning like me, you reach for the closest lifeline. There are options for you, I promise.

    • If and when you are rated 100% you can receive help with student loans thru students loan discharge unit.

    • I had 2 back surgeries and had my 25,000 in loans discharged through TPD services with nelnet. Takes 3 years of monitoring then loans are discharged provided you still are disabled

    • Sallie Mae and other private student loans have NONE of the provisions and protections as the federal student loans. I have seen so many people sucked in to taking a sallie mae loan without knowing the difference, mostly those students attend expensive private schools or for profit schools and they have to take their full amount of federal loans PLUS a sallie mae loan just to make tuition (that should be your first red flag). Federal loans have income based repayment, forgiveness options, many deferment options, and are forgiven should you become totally disabled or upon death. Sallie Mae and other private loans offer none of the above. Think and do your research before you borrow!

      • I had a Sallie Mae loan and mine was completely discharged due to disability. You can get your loan discharged due to disability from ANY lender

  5. Im totally disabled and very sick. How can i get help to end the harressment. I only get 185.00 a month from ssdi. I am on heavy meds and cant understand why they wont give me a break. I cant follow all the details in the paperwork. I graduated in 2002 from salt lake community college with a worthless degree.

    • If you are total and permanent disabled look into the TPD Discharge. I may help you with your loan, from what it looks like, if you qualify for the program, you can write-off the loan but you will be required to take it as income that year. If you are receiving such a small amount through SSDI then the tax burden should be lower then the original loan. I looked into this myself but don’t qualify at this time. Please as always, do your research so that you know what you are getting into. Good luck!

      • It’s true that a forgiven debt may be taxable but please, please, please don’t just assume so. The chances are excellent that the tax is forgiven – see a professional tax pro who understands debt cancellation. If you have paid tax on a forgiven loan in the last 3 years, run (don’t walk ) to your nearest tax pro for a review (this should be free) and see if you qualified for a tax break. If so, you can stillvamend and get your tax back.

  6. I was going to apply for the PSLF and I am currently in IBR plan at zero a month payment . But I was told by someone at the dept of edu. That if I do qualify for the PSLF to keep in mind that my current interest may increase and the account will be handled by another company. If I apply for the PSLF & find that the interest has gone up by a lot. Can I change my mind and go back to the IBR payment plan I have now and have the dept of edu. As the loan “handler” again? Or is there no going back ?

    • The PSLF federal loan servicer is FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA). If your employment qualifies and some or all of your federally held loans are not serviced by FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), those loans will be transferred to FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) so you will have a single federal loan servicer for all of your federally held loans. After your loans are transferred, earlier payments made to other federal loan servicers will be evaluated to see whether they are qualifying PSLF payments.

      Even if you are eligible for PSLF, you can still be on an IBR plan to repay your loans. PSLF is not a repayment plan, it is a program intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers. Keep in mind that being eligible for PSLF has no impact on your interest rate.


  7. Unfirtunately the loan type requirements for the PSLF are such that most of us with long public service careers don’t qualify because we did the smart thing 10 or more years ago and consolidated to fix interest rates. Now we are penalized for that choice.

    • oddly, if you default or become past due, you then qualify to consolidate again, as long as you have the ability to make payments.After so many on time payments to Direct, you then may be eligible for the idr and forgiveness program. The rules must be followed carefully, you cant just wait 10 yrs and then ask to have the loans nixed. You need to have your employer document by certification on a regular basis. . . Forget about getting any helpful info from banks and other private lender like Salli Mae: go to the dept of education website and follow from there remember to make sure the url ends in .gov. Salle Mae is notorious for tricking people by making some pf their websites appear to be from DOE…Salle Mae, the phoney schools and greedy banks are nothing more than vultures that created this mess. No one should been allowed to finance a non academic school such as cosmetology when the resulting income could never give a necessary repayment. Salle Mae was indicted in ny for criminal bribery with school financial aid depts; that says it all.

  8. I’ve been making my payments on time for the last 10 years, i check my balance on occasion, my balance keeps going up, yes i make my minimum payment and sometimes give a little more, can u tell why this is happening, please help

    • You have more and likely entered into a seriously deep interest compounding federal student loan aka the Government/ Servicer(s), these loans are driven by mandatory scheduled payment and should those payments become modified for less for any reason one would find themselves experiencing increased balances and outrageous fees. You can message me between 8-5 central standard time and I will explain to you what is happening in greater detail. Let me know if this is helpful.

    • Estaban, Your principal keeps increasing, despite minimum payments, because the company managing the loan structured it this way. They want you to remain in debt to them. You need to pay more each month than the amount of increase to the principal. The same happens to many.

  9. To Sandra Vuong, I do not have a student loan, but, I have a grand daughter who does have a large student loan for going to and graduating from Law School. The way this student loan program has been and is being handled is a joke. It is a total fraud on all of the students and their parents who borrow money for loans. The interest rates on these loans should be no higher than 3.9% at this time. The government made approximately 51 billion dollars on the loan program last year. Its time for the American people to remove ALL the politicians who do not vote to help students and parents in repaying these loans be voted out of office.
    America needs educated people and the education costs have to be reduced.

  10. There are two other loan forgiveness avenues. The first is if you are totally and permanently disabled. The second is via the National Health Services Corp for underserved areas. The first requires extensive documentation including statements from your doctor indicating you have been or will be permanently and total disable more than 60 months. The second requires that you work in specific health care fields like medicine nursing or dentistry in federal rural or urban health facilities that provide health care for the under served. As a note of interest after serving in underserved area health care for five years or teaching in low income crime riddled areas you probably can qualify for permanent and total disability…

  11. my wife and i signed a student loan for a man who could not get anyone else . we are now having to repay his loan every month. iam 80yrs old wife 78 with limited income<but they bug me and never try to garnish his wages as he works full time. we have excellent credit rating or i would not pay anymore …..we pay 2400.00 ayear for this rascal…

  12. Face it, we were all lied to and we didn’t get adequate student loan counseling when I was in college (1999-2003). I also have law school debt, again we were lied to regarding job possibilities after we graduated. It’s ridiculous. If they won’t to know why Millennials are stagnant financially…this is why. We’re working as much as we can at whatever job we can get and the loans aren’t going away. There needs to be an amnesty for student loan debt. We were deceived so schools could keep the money rolling in while increasing tuition, which they knew they would get anyway due to federal loans. If they don’t want an amnesty, just let us declare bankruptcy. As it is, I’ll never own a home. I’ll never help any future children through school and I will contribute much less to the economy throughout my life.

    • Imagine 20 I totally agree, I tried schooling twice but for both I have medical reasons I needed to stop, but of course nothing I can go on disability for because my life with kids don’t allow me not to work. But of course they haunt me all the time, they are gonna garnish my whole 200.00 a week. Nothing like taking money from keeping food and a roof over my kids heads from someone who wanted to better themselves instead of declaring I am a scum bag leaching the system when people can work, just easier to say I am disabled.

  13. I graduated in 1990 owing 40k in loans. I started repaying about 1997. I have never been late and never missed a payment. I now owe over 140k thanks to exorbitant interest and my loan being sold several times. Every time it was sold, the new owner tacks on another 20k in fees.
    Navient took it over about a year ago and they tell me there is a 25 year clock for balance forgiveness but I’m not eligible.
    My loans will go with me to the grave. I’m not a rich person, I earn about 35k a year.
    Be careful folks! Watch what you borrow!
    There was no financial counseling back then. I had no idea what I was getting into. Stick with public colleges that have lower prices.
    Every few months someone starts calling demanding I pay $800-$900 a month. After laughing I explain that I can do that if I eschew paying my mortgage.
    The chain would then be:
    1. Stop paying mortgage
    2. Pay $800 in student loans
    3. Become homeless
    4. Lose job because no one likes a stinky professional.
    5. Stop paying student loans entirely.
    So I’ll keep making my $150 a month payments thank you. If I ever hit the lottery you’ll be the first to know. So stop calling!

    • Do not use big words like eschew when talking to loan servers. They will raise your interest rates because you are obviously well educated and benefiting from the government loans you can’t pay.

    • Sorry but this is not true. No one can “tack on” fees to what you owe. The only way your balance can be going up is if you are not paying the prin AND interest. You need to consult a lawyer asap and do some basic research on the subject.

      • Well, Scott since I have been one of those loan collectors in my past, let me tell you that you are very much mistaken in what you are saying as far as tacking on fees. When a loan is purchased to a different company they most certainly can charge you for all the time and expenses they put out to find you and collect from you. The longer you take to pay off the credit the more fees you will pay and every time they contact an attorney concerning your account they can charge you a fee. Every time someone spends time searching the internet or making phone calls they can charge you. Service and collection fees. Sorry that is what they do and how they make their money.

  14. Why isn’t there a forgiveness program for people like me who’ve paid on their loans for 20 plus years and still have a balance? My degree unfortunately didn’t help me to ever find a better job to pay it off and I’ve never been in default. I wish I had a teaching or non profit job as they qualify and pay better already:(


    • If you chose to enroll in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, any loan amount remaining after 20 or 25 years (as applicable) of qualifying repayment will be forgiven. These IDR plans include: Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Income-Based Repayment (IBR), and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR). The repayment period under an income-driven repayment plan is the maximum period of time over which you must make payments, but you might not repay your loan in full by the end of the repayment period. Your monthly payment amount under an income-driven repayment plan is generally based on your income and family size, and may increase or decrease over the course of the repayment period if your income or family size changes. As a result, the total amount of your payments might not be enough to fully repay your loans after 20 or 25 years of qualifying repayment. Any loan balance that remains will be forgiven. However, keep in mind that under current law the IRS considers loan amounts forgiven under an income-driven repayment plan to be taxable income.
      More info:

  15. We are one of the richest countries in the world and yet we cannot educate our young people without putting them in debt for the rest of their lives. And yet we can give money to countries who actually hate us. Education is the future of America, shame on us.

  16. I took out a Parent Plus loan to help pay for my daughters college. I made several years payments from 2007 to 2009 with Citi Bank and then asked for deferment as I was unemployed, When I restarted payments Citi Bank went to Sallie Mae and I made payments again for two years and had to again ask for an deferment. I’m 67 years old and on fixed income and back to making payment now through Navinet. My loan is $55,000 and I’m able to pay $300 a month (with difficulty) and think the loan will outlast me. My questions is: can I add the prior payment to the 120 payment required for forgiveness? And if I can, how do I get that payment history? Any help will be appreciated.

  17. I have student loans with EdFinancial Services. My loan was for a degree in science – nursing program. Do you know if this would qualify for the PSLF forgiveness program. I owe about 12,000. I starting paying this back in 2003. If so, do you know what I need to do in order to apply for this? I’ve tried to go to a couple of the websites that you have on this article but when I go there it says that the page is no longer available?



    • Check with the national health services corp.They used to have a loan forgiveness program for nurses and doctors ..year for year forgiven for working in underserved urban and rural areas. uD military also had similar programs

    • Yes, if you are serving as a full-time Peace Corps or AmeriCorps volunteer. During their service periods, Peace Corps and AmeriCorps volunteers are generally not required to make monthly payments on their student loans because the volunteers are eligible for a deferment or forbearance on those loans. A volunteer who declines the deferment or forbearance and continues to make monthly payments while serving would be treated like any other borrower working to qualify for PSLF. More info:

      • Not have to pay during service is not forgiveness
        Interest still accrues
        Loan debt does not decrease

  18. Hi, any loan, forgiveness, for people that are on disability! I found out people who are already on disability, there kids go to college for free, also the military. I have a private wells Fargo loan, for my daughter, any way to transfer this loan to a government loan??

  19. I have a question regarding changes in the Federal law on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. I have read, from reliable news sources, that the PSLF program is projected to be reduced to only $57.5K. Can someone who works for the Department of Education shed more light on this and how it will affect students who have not begun the repayment process on federal student loans? Thanks!

    • For those who qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), there is no limit to the amount that is forgiven under current law. It’s the entire remaining balance. Since you must make 120 qualifying payments on your eligible federal student loans after October 1, 2007 before you qualify for the loan forgiveness, the first forgiveness of loan balances will not be granted until October 2017.

  20. I have loans through Nelnet. The loans are soon to go into default, but I can not afford the payments. I have done everything they told me to do and they still deny me any relief. They said that the loans are consolidated with parent plus loans so nothing can be done. My ex husband did that without my knowledge so that he could get the rebate from NelNet several years ago. The loans consolidated are for my two daughters and me. We are all eligible for forgiveness loans because we work in low income public service. I want to pay on these loans, but can not afford the $490+++ a month. Is there anyone that I can talk to about this? Please.

  21. I went to school based on this loan forgiveness talk now that I have graduated and is on fixed income you tell me that my loan cannot b e forgiven?

    • Your income level does not directly determine your eligibility for PSLF. Your income is a factor in determining your required monthly payment amount under the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan, Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan, and the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan, the three PSLF-eligible repayment plans that are the most likely to leave you with a remaining loan balance to be forgiven after you have made 120 qualifying payments. You must be employed full-time by a public service organization when you make each of the required 120 qualifying payments on your Direct Loans, at the time you apply for loan forgiveness after making the last of those 120 payments, and at the time you receive loan forgiveness.

  22. I’ am in need of help. I have been working with West Asset management since August and I have made steady monthly payments toward my student loans. I was told that April I would be done with my loan rehabilitation. I called to ask what is the next step and was told that my ex husband was my co borrower and they needed his signature. I’am not on speaking terms with this man as he was abusive and I divorced him. I do not know of his whereabouts. I was told there was nothing I could do to continue on and get my loans out of deferment without his signature. What can I do now?

  23. I was told I am not eligible because I have one loan before a certain date?!?!? I did the five years from hell teaching and nearly lost my mind. This on the promise my loans would be forgiven. Please help.

  24. I went to college on student loans. I worked and sufferred to pay back my loans. It was an obligation I incurred. Since the government see fit to forgive student loans my question is: Can I be reinbursed for paying off my loans.
    I served in the US Armed forces for over 20 years.

    • No. Once you have paid off your loans, you would not be eligible for a refund.

    • The Department of Education and your student loan servicers appreciate the sacrifices you make for our country. Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of your Direct Loans when you’ve made 120 qualifying payments after October 1, 2007, while employed in public service, including military service. Unfortunately, you may not be eligible for this program if you have already paid off your loans prior to 2007. More about federal student loan benefits for members of the U.S. armed forces can be found in this PDF:

      • I agree. I went to school and paid my loans in 10 years, as did my wife. No reason for a welfare system for loans!

  25. Question #1I am applying for loan forgiveness. However, I need to know where to mail the application. There are no addresses anywhere on the application or certification form. Where would I mail the Loan forgiveness forms?

    Question #2
    I notice the dates and type of loans being forgiven are not the same. I have been teaching since 1990 and I have always taught disadvantaged children. Why are the type of loans and the dates being forgiven always different?

    • Are you applying for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program? After you have completed the five-year teaching requirement, print and complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application:

      The chief administrative officer of the school at which you performed your qualifying teaching service must complete the certification section. If you need more than one chief administrative officer’s certification, the additional certifications may be provided on a separate piece of paper and submitted with your completed application. Return the completed application to your loan holder or loan servicer. If you are applying for forgiveness of loans that are held by different loan holders or loan servicers, you must submit a separate form to each of them.

      More information on how to apply:

      For the second question, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program includes Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. If you have PLUS loans only, you are not eligible for this type of forgiveness. You must not have had an outstanding balance on Direct Loans or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans as of Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date that you obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998.

  26. I have been in contact with a couple organizations explaining to me about loan repayment programs. These organizations get personal information regarding my tax information and annual income. process information for a fee, send this information regarding my student loans to Department of Education. These loans could be consolidated and I pay the minimum b/c my annual income would be less than 37,500. This is possible , they say, b/c of law Obama passed and I work in health care.
    Do you know of this activity from any organizations?

  27. I am from Heald college which closed down. I know there is closed school loan discharge but I am afraid only some loans will be forgiven. I received my AAS degree but couldn’t complete my AA. So I think I will have to pay back my AAS. Should I apply for Defense of Repayment or School Closure discharge?

  28. Throughout the history of all these programs, how many total students have gotten their loans forgiven?

    • I’ve been teaching in a Title I public school for many years. I work with at risk teenagers and spend much of my own limited pay on my job. I’ve paid back the majority of my student loans with a small balance left. I’ve tried to have my loan forgiven but was told I didn’t qualify. I don’t get it! I know many who I work with that have had theirs forgiven.

    • No one has had their loans forgiven. The program went into affect in 2007, and the first person that will be eligible to have a loan forgiven will not be so until 2017.

    • Hi Michelle. Those who qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) must make 120 qualifying payments on their eligible federal student loans after October 1, 2007 before they qualify for the loan forgiveness. The first forgiveness of loan balances in this program will not be granted until October 2017. Unfortunately, we do not have data on the aggregate totals across each of the other programs publicly posted. However, you could submit a request to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) website about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness numbers:

  29. I would like someone to contact me on loan forgiveness directly from the government. I have spoken with other agencies and they are very harassing that are contracted by the US government to collect debts. every time I’ve ever talked to this contractor company they have been very harassing and they have been really nasty over the telephone I’ve asked them to send me information they said we cant we need you to go to website but I don’t have access like that because I don’t have cash like that I would really like somebody from your department to call me directly not from one of these agencies that you get to cover your loans I would like to have someone from the US government in the education department please send me an email with a phone number where I can contact you directly thank you very much. Dwight Allred

  30. I thought we wanted people to fully pay back their loans and borrow only what they can afford (?). I know of students with over $600,000 in loans for multiple master’s degrees. Am I missing something?

    • Hi Ben. You are correct, we definitely encourage everyone to pay back their student loans and only borrow what you need. However, we also have loan forgiveness programs for people who are working in qualifying employment. This may include teachers, those who work in public service, and members of the U.S. armed forces. These programs also come with strict requirements, and sometimes you have to submit paperwork to verify your employment status every year in order to have your remaining loan balance forgiven. More information on our website:

        • Those who qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on certain federal student loans. For those who qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), there is no limit to the amount that is forgiven under current law. It’s the entire remaining balance.

          Something to consider: The PSLF Program provides for forgiveness of the remaining balance of a borrower’s eligible loans after the borrower has made 120 qualifying payments on those loans. In general, only borrowers who are making reduced monthly payments through the IBR, Pay As You Earn, or ICR repayment plans will have a remaining balance after making 120 payments on a loan.

    • Yes. You missed the fact that the federal government is a predatory lender. I’m personally locked into an 8.5% interest rate. No refinancing. No bankruptcy protection and not married because I do not want to saddle my partner with my loan. The predatory loan from the government even follows you past the grave.

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