Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: 9 Types To Help You

Want to find a student loan forgiveness program? You can find hundreds – but which ones apply to you and your loans? Take a look at this list to help you get started, and find the help you need.

Many different groups sponsor forgiveness and loan repayment programs. And most focus on one or two groups, such as alumni from a particular field, or a specific career field, like teachers.

How Many Programs Are There?

I have found hundreds of programs for various fields. You can search Google and Yahoo! and look through the results, of course. But I thought I would give you a bird's eye view of what you can do to narrow the list quickly.

You can get started on your own list, just for your loans, with the list below. maybe someday I'll write a complete, categorized list. Until then, this list will help you find the best programs for you:

1. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of September 2007 is a federal law with tons of provisions for forgiveness. You can find links to a summary of the law and FAQ’s by searching in a big engine. In general, you should know that most of this law focuses on relief for loans made after it became law in late 2007, and after you make 120 payments. Great, right? I’ll bet you are looking forward to relief in 2018! Let me know if you find a way to do this faster.

2. Other Federal Programs, such as the National Institute of Health or NIH. The NIH has a great program for nurses, and for researchers from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Department of Education (ed.gov) has a program for teachers as well. The Indian Health Service (IHS.gov) has a program for doctors and nurses which may help you.

3. Student loan companies have some in-house programs, like Mohela’s engineering loan forgiveness, and UHEAA’s UECLP program for engineers and computer scientists. Of course, you have to meet their requirements. One requirement will be to have a loan through that company.

Remember, if you consolidate student loans into one, you may be able to afford the payment better. It helped me.

4. University programs, where the university will take care of part of your loan. These cater to alumni of the university and usually receive funding similar to scholarships, from donors.

Also, a side note here: Law schools usually call their programs an LRAP: Loan Repayment Assistance Program, and many law schools have them.

5. Private foundations have also set up some forgiveness programs. For instance, the Freeman Physician Education Loan Repayment Program. You’ll find this category a little thin. To find these requires some searching – perhaps through your university.

6. State governments offer loan cancellation and forgiveness programs in many states, typically for medical, dental, and teaching positions. You can usually find these programs on the state higher education website under financial aid.

I have put together an ebook with links to every state's higher education site (territories, too :) This page has instructions for downloading the book.

7. City governments: yes, some of the larger cities offer student loan forgiveness programs as a benefit. I have found programs in New York City and in San Francisco, for example.

8. Businesses offer loan forgiveness as a sign-on benefit or as a way to induce you to work with them. You may want to look at your benefit package or a business where you plan to apply.

9. Loan Forgiveness as a job benefit happens more and more. This category resembles number 8, but can apply for any job, not just a business. You can attempt to negotiate loan repayment as a benefit with many types of positions, in the public and private sectors.

I know, it’s kind of broad. But if you start working on a few of them, you’ll narrow it down fast. You can probably hit 8 and 9 in one day.

One Final Pointer

You may take some time working through it, but I think it’s worth it. Any one of the above could be worth thousands. A final pointer: Leave #1 till the end. I put it at the beginning because of the news surrounding it lately. You can work through the others, then see what the College Cost Reduction act will do for you, since it takes longer to qualify.

Happy hunting – and let me know if you find another item to add to the list or if you have a good experience you want to share. Student loan forgiveness programs can take some work to find, but the return is worth it.

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