What is student loan forgiveness?

issuing time: 2022-04-07

The federal government offers student loan forgiveness programs for certain professions. These programs are designed to encourage individuals to enter and remain in public service jobs. Student loan forgiveness is typically awarded after the borrower has made a specified number of on-time, monthly payments. The forgiven debt may be taxes-free.

What are the eligibility requirements for student loan forgiveness?

To be eligible for student loan forgiveness, you must:

-have made 120 payments on your Direct Loans* OR

-have made 300 payments on your FFEL program loans** OR

-be employed by a qualifying public service organization***


-have not previously received a discharge on any of your federal student loans****

*Direct Loans include Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans for graduate or professional students, and Direct Consolidation Loans.

**FFEL program loans include Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans for parents and graduate or professional students, Federal Consolidation Loan, Perkins Loan (if consolidated), Health Professions Student Loans (HPSLs), Health Education Assistance Loan (HEALs), Guaranteed Student Loan (GSLs), Nursing Student Loans (NSLs) and lineage of NSLs.

***A qualifying public service organization is defined as any federal, state or local government agency; entity that is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; AmeriCorps or Peace Corps; military service; public child or family welfare agency; public interest law services organizations; early childhood education providers who offer services to low-income families as determined by state eligibility criteria established in accordance with Head Start Program Performance Standards regulations found at 45 CFR 1304.

How do I apply for student loan forgiveness?

If you are struggling to repay your student loans, you might be eligible for student loan forgiveness. This means that you may be able to have all or part of your loan balance forgiven. There are several ways to qualify for student loan forgiveness, such as through public service or teaching, or by working in certain occupations. You may also be able to get your loans forgiven if you meet certain income-based repayment requirements.

When is the deadline to apply for student loan forgiveness?

The deadline to apply for student loan forgiveness is typically 10 years after you graduate from college.

Will my entire student loan be forgiven if I qualify?

No, your student loan will not be entirely forgiven if you qualify. You may, however, have a portion of your student loan forgiven.

What types of loans are eligible for forgiveness?

There are several types of loans that may be eligible for forgiveness, including federal student loans, certain business loans, and mortgage debt. To learn more about which types of loans may be forgiven, please consult the following resources:

-Federal Student Aid: Loans Eligible for Forgiveness


What happens if I don't repay my student loans after they're forgiven?

If you fail to repay your student loans after they are forgiven, the debt may be reinstated. This means that you would once again be responsible for repaying the entire loan balance, plus any interest and fees that have accrued. In addition, your credit score could be negatively affected, and you could be subject to wage garnishment or legal action.

Are there any tax implications associated with having my student loans forgiven?

Yes, there may be tax implications associated with having your student loans forgiven. The amount of your loan forgiveness may be considered taxable income by the IRS and you may be required to pay taxes on that amount. For more information, please consult a tax professional.