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The Ultimate Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment for Law Enforcement

Student Loan Forgiveness

It is all crystal clear that the country is full of students who are in debt because of their student loans. And these students are now after student loan forgiveness programs or any appropriate repayment plans to pay the loans that they have taken to pursue their higher education. Since there is a vast variety of student loan forgiveness programs, sometimes it can be complicated for students to find out which student loan forgiveness program is right for them. In this article, we will try to list as many options as possible to help the students with finding the best way for their situation, as well as, making it specific for law enforcement members. You can see the alternatives to the student loan forgiveness right below:

  •     Public Service Loan Forgiveness for law enforcement
  •     Federal Perkins loans forgiveness for law enforcement
  •     Forgiveness based on Repayment Plans
  •     Student Loan Discharge
  •     Forgiveness based on Career
  •     Forgiveness for U.S. Military
  •     Forgiveness based on States
  •     Student Loan Repayment based on Employer

Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Law Enforcement

Student Loan Forgiveness

Usually, law enforcement specialists work for the government, and it makes them eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Within this program, you need to make 120 qualified payments and expect forgiveness for the rest of your debt. However, to be qualified for this program, you need to make sure that your employer is qualified. If you are working for one of the institutions listed below, your employer is undoubtedly a qualified one:

Federal Perkins Loans Forgiveness for Law Enforcement

Student Loan Forgiveness

The difference between Federal student loans and Perkins loans is that your college disburses your loan. If you are a law enforcement or law corrections officer and working full-time, then you can be eligible for the Federal Perkins Student Loan Forgiveness program. However, it is also important to note that the employer for whom you are working must also be a qualifying one. If you decide to apply for this program, you can do it through your school. You need to introduce your employment certificate, together with a document proving that your employer is qualified.

In case they approve your application, for the first year they will forgive 15% of your debt, then the second year again 15% of your remaining debt will be gone. The following year you will also get rid of twenty percent of the loan debt. For the fourth and fifth years, they will forgive 20% and 30% respectively.  

Within Perkins loans, you can also defer your payment concurrently. Deferring and cancellation can make you eligible never pay off your loan. However, you must work in a qualified area. The qualifying services are as follows:

Active-Duty Imminent Danger Area

You need to serve in the army. The forgiveness can be up to 50% -100% depending on the time when you have taken the loan. If it was before August 14, 2018, it is 50%, for borrowers after the mentioned time it can be up to 100%.


Student Loan Forgiveness

You can be eligible for 100% forgiveness if you are a full-time attorney in either a Federal or a defender organization.

Child and Family Services Agency – if you are working full-time for an agency which serves to the low-income families and high-risk children, you can cancel your loan.


If you are working full time as a firefighter and you have started your employment, not before August 14, 2008, you are eligible for loan forgiveness up to 100%.

Law Enforcement

The requirements are the same as a firefighter. However, you need to serve as a law enforcement officer.

Intervention Services Provider

Student Loan Forgiveness

If you are a full-time qualified specialist providing the disables with the early intervention services you may get maximum 100% forgiveness.

Nurse / Medical Technician

Qualified nurses or medical technicians who work as full-time employees can get up to 100% forgiveness.

Speech Pathologist

If you have a master’s degree and working as a full-time speech pathologist at an elementary school, you can be eligible for a maximum 100% student loan forgiveness.

Teacher in a shortage area

Full-time teachers teaching math, foreign languages, science, and other teacher shortage areas can receive 100% forgiveness.

Special education teacher

Student Loan Forgiveness

Teachers who work full time in a public school or a nonprofit school can get up to 100% forgiveness.

Forgiveness based on Repayment Plans

There are four types of income-based student loan repayment plan.

Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

Under PAYE student loan repayment plan they require you to pay 10% of your discretionary income. However, eligibility for this repayment plan also depends on your loan type. Please, find a full list of eligible student loans below:

  •    Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  •    Direct PLUS Loans for graduates or newly graduates
  •    Federal Perkins Loans (consolidated)
  •    Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (consolidated)
  •    Direct Consolidation Loans (excluding PLUS loans parents)
  •    Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (consolidated)
  •    FEEL Consolidation Loans (excluding PLUS loans parents)
  •    FEEL PLUS Loans (graduates or professionals), (consolidated)
  •    Direct Subsidized Loans

 REPAYE (Revised Pay As You Earn)

Student Loan Forgiveness

REPAYE payment plan has been released only after December 17, 2015. The difference between PAYE and REPAYE plans is that REPAYE plan is available for all Direct Loans, so the time when a student has taken out the loan is not an issue. Similarly to the PAYE plan, under REPAYE plan you are also required to pay 10 % of your discretionary income. Moreover, you need to make payments for 20 years. Here is the full information of the qualified loans with which a student can apply for an income-based student payment plan.

  •    Direct Subsidized Loans
  •    Direct Consolidation Loans (excluding PLUS loans parents)
  •    Direct PLUS Loans
  •    Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (consolidated)
  •    FEEL PLUS Loans (graduates or professionals), (consolidated)
  •    Federal Perkins Loans (consolidated)
  •    FEEL Consolidation Loans (excluding PLUS loans parents), (consolidated)
  •    Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  •    Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (consolidated)

IBR (Income Based Repayment)

Student Loan Forgiveness

The income-driven repayment plan is one of the most widely used repayment plans by the loan takers who are experiencing difficulty with paying off. However, the rates for this repayment plan changes depending on the time when you have taken your loan. If you have received your credit before July 1, 2014. Under this plan, your payment must be equal or less than 15% of your discretionary income. This repayment plan lets you be eligible for forgiveness after making payments for 25 years.  In case you have got your loan after July 1, 2014, your payment will not be more than 10% of your discretionary income. You will be paying for 20 years before being eligible for forgiveness. The available loans for IBR are as follows:

  •    Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  •    Direct Consolidation Loans 
  •    FEEL Consolidation Loans
  •    Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  •    Federal Perkins Loans
  •    Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  •    FEEL PLUS Loans 
  •    Direct Subsidized Loans
  •    Direct PLUS Loans

Income Contingent Repayment (ICR)

Under this plan, your payments will be equal to twenty percent of the discretionary income. You will be eligible for forgiveness after 25 years of payment history. Right below you can find the qualified loan types:

  •    Direct Consolidation Loans repaid PLUS loans to parents
  •    Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  •    Direct Subsidized Loans
  •    Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (consolidated)
  •    Direct Consolidation Loans repaid PLUS loans made to parents
  •    FEEL PLUS Loans (graduates or professionals)
  •    Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (consolidated)
  •    Direct PLUS Loans to parents (consolidated)
  •    FEEL Consolidation Loans (excluding PLUS loans parents)(consolidated)
  •    FEEL Plus loans made to parents(consolidated)
  •    Federal Perkins Loans (consolidated)
  •    Direct PLUS Loans

Student Loan Discharge

Student Loan Forgiveness

Besides the forgiveness programs, there are also discharge options which help you to eliminate your debt. In the cases listed below, you can be eligible for a discharge.

Disability Discharge

Since law enforcement jobs are hazardous, the injury cases are quite frequent which can lead to disability. Once the law enforcement officers get total or permanently disabled, they do not need to worry about their student loan in a situation they cannot work and make money. They can apply for a full discharge for their disability along with all the necessary documents. It means that if something terrible happens to you, your family members will not be responsible for your debt.

Closed School Discharge

This discharge option is ideal for borrowers whose school has closed during the first 120 days of their enrollment. In this situation, the borrower can apply to get rid of the loan altogether.

False Certification

If somebody has stolen your identity and take out a loan under your name, you are not obliged to pay off that loan. In this case, the best thing is to file a police report and apply for a discharge.

Death Discharge

If the student dies after taking out the loan, it gets discharged for Federal student loans. Even for private student loans, the lender is responsible for the debt. To prevent this kind of a situation life insurance is recommended.

Bankruptcy Discharge

If a person goes on bankruptcy, he can apply for a loan discharge. However, it is not a typical situation because to be eligible for this kind of a discharge you need to convince the judge that you will never be able to pay your student loan again. Since the future is unpredictable, it is difficult to achieve a bankruptcy discharge.

Forgiveness based on Career

There are lots of forgiveness programs based on your career. Although the most popular one is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, the varieties are not limited to only this one.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (General)

private student loan

This student loan forgiveness program allows the borrowers to be forgiven for the rest of their loan after making 120 qualifying payments. This program forgives a considerable amount of money in a relatively short, and the spectrum is quite extensive. If a person works for a qualified employer, he can be a qualified applicant. Eligible employer means employment for a federal, state, local, tribal, and non-profit organization.

Attorney Loan Forgiveness Program

An attorney who is working for the United States Justice Department, you can apply for this student loan forgiveness program. Every year the department renews the beneficiaries competitively depending on the funds. Attorney Student Loan Forgiveness Program does not make the payment directly to the individual attorneys, but loan holder. However, if you get forgiveness under this program, you need to devote at least three years to this profession after receiving the fund.

Faculty Loan Repayment Program

Health Resource and Services Administration offers the Faculty Loan Repayment Program. The program is available for health educators to support future generations of educators in medical fields. Within this program, you can get $40,000 of repayment and some extra help to alleviate the tax problem.

Federal Employee Student Loan Repayment Program

This program lets Federal agencies to get up to $10,000 for repaying their employees loan. If you are working for such kind of an agency, you can get this benefit to pay off your loan. However, keep in mind that the total amount of repayment you get from your agency cannot be more than $60,000. An employee must ask for this benefit at the beginning of his cooperation with its employer, so you cannot ask your HR consider you eligible for this benefit if you are already in agreement. Another thing is that the beneficiary needs to commit three years of employment for the same employer. In case the employee resigns or gets fired because of inappropriate behavior or misconduct, he must pay back all the benefits the employer granted.

Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Program

Within this student loan repayment program, you can get a maximum of $20,000 as a grant. In turn, you need to work at an Indian health program place for two years as a full-time employee.

John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

If you are a public defender or a prosecutor you can be eligible for this program. The only thing you need to do is remaining as a defender or a prosecutor for at least three years. Under this student repayment program, you can get up to $10,000 per year, not exceeding $60,000 per attorney.

National Health Service Corps Repayment Program

Federal Student Loan Programs

Qualified health care assistants can get up to $50,000 to pay off their loans if they are certificated, specialists. However, in turn, they need to work for one of the qualified sites of National Health Service Corps for at least two years. The eligible professions are as follows: mental or behavioral, dental, medical or primary care health clinicians. They can also commit for more extended periods of employment if they want to get extra support towards their student loan repayment.

National Institute of Health Loan Forgiveness

There are five repayment programs offered by the National Institute of Health.

  •    Clinical Research Loan Repayment Plan
  •    Pediatric Research Loan Repayment Program
  •    Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program
  •    Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program
  •    Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program for Individuals with Disadvantages


People who take benefit of one of these repayment plans need to accept researching by spending at least 20 hours a week. The duration of the commitment lasts for two years. National Institute of Health makes the payments every three months by considering the performance of the research conductor. Under one of these student loan repayment programs, national Health Institute pays 25% of the debt not exceeding $35,000 per year.

Nurse Corps Loan Program

Nurse Corps Loan repayment program can pay up to 85% of your student loan debt if you are a registered nurse, advanced practice registered nurse or nurse faculty member. Moreover, you must have graduated from an accredited nursing school and willing to work in a needed area at an eligible Critical Shortage Facility for two years.

SEMA Loan Forgiveness Program

This program pays $2,000 directly to your lender. To be eligible, you need to work in the automotive industry and an eligible employer of the Specialty Equipment Market Association.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

We can consider the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program as one of the best options if the borrower has worked for a low-income school as a full-time employee for five years consequently. The program awards up to $17,500 towards student loan repayment.

USDA Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program

This program grants $25,000 for veterinary practitioners. However, the borrower must agree on working for NIFA for three years.

U.S. Military Loan Forgiveness

If you are serving the country and have a career in the military, there are numerous student loan forgiveness opportunities for you.

Air Force JAG Student Loan Repayment Program

Although they paused the Air Force College Loan Repayment program in 2018, Air Force JAG student loan repayment program can allow you to pay $65,000 towards your student loan.

Army College Loan Repayment Program



This repayment program is one of the most generous student loan repayment programs and awards up to $ 65,000. To be qualified you must be a highly qualified specialist in one of the critical military occupational specialists on the Army’s list.

National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program

If you are a guard, within this program, you can get forgiveness with a value not more than $50,000 for your qualified Federal loan. However, you need to enlist for not less than six years.

Navy Student Loan Repayment Program

Navy students can get up to $ 65,000 towards their student loan during the first three years of their employment.  Most importantly, you need to apply for this student loan repayment program when you enroll at work.

Army Active Duty Health Professions Student Loan Repayment Program

If you are serving in the army and practicing dentistry or medicine, you can be forgiven for $ 120,000. The Army pays the amount in three installments for three years.

Navy Health Professions Student Loan Repayment Program

The individuals who are serving in navy and practice medicine while serving can get up to $40,000 towards their student loan repayment.

Forgiveness based on the state

death and disability discharge

The likelihood of achieving forgiveness also depend on your states. While some states offer a wide range of forgiveness programs, in the others the number of these programs is limited to one or two. Right below you can find a complete list of the states together with the number of available student loan forgiveness programs:

Alaska (1), Arizona (3), Arkansas (2), California (3), Colorado (3), Connecticut (none), Delaware (1), Florida (2), Georgia (1), Hawaii (1), Idaho (1), Illinois (4), Indiana (1), Iowa (6), Kansas (3), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (3), Maine (5), Maryland (3), Massachusetts(1), Michigan (2), Minnesota(10), Mississippi(1), Missouri (3), Montana (3), Nebraska (1), Nevada (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (3), New York (9), North Carolina (3), North Dakota (3), Ohio (2), Oklahoma (3), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (3), South Carolina (1), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (none), Texas (9), Utah (none), Vermont (5), Virginia (3), Washington (1), West Virginia (none), Wisconsin (1), Wyoming(2), The District of Columbia – Washington D.C. (2)

Student Loan Repayment based on employer

Nowadays some companies pay their employees’ student loan. If you are working for one of these companies you can take advantage of these benefits. You can find a list of the company names and the amount of the annual repayment they offer below:

  • Aetna                                                           ($2,000)
  • Chegg                                                           ($1,000)
  • ChowNow                                                    ($500)
  • Common Bond                                            ($1,200)
  • Connelly Partners                                      ($1,200)
  • Fidelity                                                         ($2,000)
  • Gradifi                                                          ($3,000)
  • Kronos                                                          ($500)
  • LendEDU                                                     ($2,400)
  • Martin Health Systems                             ($2,000)
  • Natixis Global Asset Management          ($10,000)
  • Nvidia                                                            ($6,000)
  • PowerTex                                                      ($1,200)
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)              ($1,200)
  • SoFi                                                                ($2,400)
  •                                                      ($1,200)
  • U.S. Government                                        ($10,000)


Finally, to find the best student loan forgiveness program for your need scrutinize all the options and their eligibility requirements. Getting to know the criterion and applying the suitable program can save from being an unsuccessful applicant.