One of the most important options for college graduates is highlighted about student debt forgiveness or loan repayments. These programs offer to eliminate some or all of your student loans in exchange for choosing specific careers, military service, and even volunteer work.
Such programs can take anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over USD 100,000 in student loans. Ironically, many of these programs receive relatively few applications, indicating that many graduates are completely unaware of these opportunities.
Missing a loan
Student loan forgiveness programs are those supported by the federal government and cover loans issued through federal programs such as Stafford and Perkins loans. When you participate in one of these programs, parts of your debt are literally deleted from your lender’s books.
Repayment of the loan
Student loan repayment programs, which are more widespread than forgiveness programs, can be used to repay any type of loan, including private loans. Under these programs, you either receive additional funds that you can use to pay off your loan, or your employer made a payment directly to your lender.
Taxing student repayments and layoffs
The amount eliminated under a loan recovery or repayment program can be considered taxable income in the year received. In other words, if you have the next USD 5,000 in loans forgiven, it can increase your taxable income in the eyes of the IRS by an equivalent amount.
While this is not fun, it should not discourage you from using one of these programs, as the profits far outweigh the cost.
To prevent student loan forgiveness or employer repayment from becoming taxable, your student loan must specifically include provisions that can be forgiven.
These provisions must require you to work in certain professions, for specific employers, for a certain minimum period of time.
In addition, any repayment of a loan under the National Health Service Repayment Program or any state program that meets the requirements of the Public Health Services Act is considered tax-free.
Various student repayment and dismissal programs
There are literally hundreds of loan forgiveness programs available to graduates. Many times, professional associations in various industries will maintain a list of student repayment and write-off programs relevant to their profession.
Examples of some places to start exploring options for writing off or paying off student loans (by profession) include the following.
The American Federation of Teachers has a funding database to find funding for your continuing education, professional development, and classroom. You also look for forgivable loan programs, teacher grants, and awards, classroom donation programs, and summer study and exchange programs.
For specialists in medicine, medicine, and mental health
With the typical medical school student entering the workforce with an average of USD 200,000 in student debt, the School of Medicine Association provides options for paying off and forgiving loans to healthcare professionals.
For lawyers and lawyers
Most attorneys graduate from law school on average with a USD 150,000 debt burden. The American Bar Association offers loan repayment and loan forgiveness strategies at the state and federal levels.
For public service and volunteer work
The Public Service Credit Recovery Program, created by an act of Congress in 2007, remains one of the best student loan recovery programs in existence.
The program offers the full benefit of federal forgiveness in exchange for skilled public service work, meaning it allows you to clear your outstanding federal credits in exchange for public service work such as teaching, nursing, or government positions.