Locate Grants to Pay Off Student Loans
For graduates, there are different programs available to pay off student loans, depending on career type or certain types of public service jobs. Here are some programs that help students pay back loans:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP)
- The Peace Corps
- National Health Service Corp. Program
- Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
- Military Service
- Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers
PSLFP offers one of the best deals available to repay certain qualifying federal student loans for graduates who work in public service. The program has several conditions that must be met, but the basic thrust of the program is that after 120 qualifying monthly payments, the balance due on eligible loans will be forgiven.
The Peace Corps provides an experience to work in a developing country and make a difference in communities in need. As Federal Student Aid explains, student borrowers may be able to defer their student loan obligation, and Peace Corps service can be used toward the PSLFP.
After each year of completion of AmeriCorps work, and depending on program funding, most corps members are eligible to receive an education award for a maximum of $5,730 per year (total available is $11,290). The education award can be used toward an existing student loan. The loan must have a federal or state lender (i.e., not a private loan).
For certain workers in the medical field, the National Health Service Corp Repayment Program can be a great help. Eligible medical workers who meet the program criteria and serve in a Health Professional Shortage Area can receive $30,000 or $50,000 (depending on certain criteria) for two years of service. In 2013, there were 4,505 awards with total loan repayment in the amount of $169.7 million.
Nursing professions can be highly rewarding from both a personal and financial standpoint. The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program can last for up to three years. In the first two years, the program will pay off 60 percent of a registered nurse’s student loans. In the third year of service, the program will repay 25 percent of the loan balance. To receive this benefit, qualifying nurses must serve in a clinic, non-profit hospital, nursing teaching school, or other facility in a Health Professional Shortage Area in the United States. Nurses who participate in the program earn the same salary and benefits as colleagues who are not in the program.
Service in the military counts as service under PSLFP (additional criteria must be met, and it is best to fully review the details of this program). In addition, members of the different arms of service should inquire directly with their branch to learn about education benefits. For instance, as the U.S. Military benefits page discusses, there are different loan repayment programs available for service members in the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Federal Student Aid provides information on two teacher repayment programs: the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP) and the Teacher Cancellation Program (TCP). Teachers who meet all the conditions under TLFP qualify for a total forgiveness of $17,500 on qualifying federal loans. Teachers who qualify under the TCP may receive a cancellation of up to 100 percent of their Federal Perkins Loan.
At SimpleTuition, we know that most students are concerned about paying off student loans. Although income earned from work is the main way most borrowers repay their student loans, it is not the only way. Exploring repayment programs and grant options is a smart way of paying back student loans.