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2021 Guide to Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

federal student loan forgiveness

Nowadays thousands of students graduate from university with a lot of student loans and face difficulties while paying them back. With the help of the federal student loan forgiveness programs, student loans are no longer student’s concern. Every student has access to multiple student loan forgiveness programs to cancel their debt. Working in one of the public service fields is enough for you to benefit from one of the federal student loan forgiveness programs that include PSLF, TLF programs, military forgiveness programs, the program for nurses and many others. This article introduces beneficial forgiveness programs, helps you find the most suitable program for you and provide crucial steps for you to qualify for that program.


List of the Programs


Federal student loan forgiveness programs introduce a sufficient amount of options for students to pay their student loans back. Students can get benefit from one of these programs only if:

  1. Loans are taken after October 1st, 2007 via Obama student loan forgiveness program
  2. Student loans are taken under Pay as You Earn Student Repayment Plan
  3. Student works in public service and qualifies for public service loan forgiveness program
  4. Student works as a teacher, nurse, or doctor and qualifies for public service loan forgiveness program, nursing student loan forgiveness program, or teacher loan forgiveness program.
  5. Student works for a non-profit organization under the non-profit student forgiveness program
  6. Students work in the military via military student loan forgiveness program


As described above, many programs are available for students, yet difficult part for them is not to qualify for one of these programs but to decide which one to apply for.


Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Program

federal student loan forgiveness

Starting from 2010 with Obama’s health care and education reconciliation, federal student loan forgiveness program began to change its form and got its unofficial name which is called Obama student loan forgiveness programs. Those changes to forgiveness programs help borrowers to pay their loans efficiently, and more students have access to student loans. According to the program, borrowers pay 10 percent of their discretionary income. The new federal student forgiveness program introduced one of the most effective loan programs for students which are called Pay as You Earn program.

According to this program, students need to pay 10 percent of their discretionary income, and after paying continuous monthly payments during ten years, student loans will be canceled regardless of their remaining student loans. One negative side about the PAYE program is that it can be qualified by a borrower who received his first loan after October 1st October 2007. Fortunately, to make PAYE program more accessible to borrowers, another similar program called REPAYE was enrolled later. According to REPAYE program borrower should make monthly payments based on the income. After completing 240 payments, the debt will be canceled regardless of money borrower owes.


Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Another program is called public service loan forgiveness and is a popular program between borrowers because of the simplicity in its requirements. Anyone who works in the public service field can get benefit from this program. For canceling the loan, the borrower should pay 120 monthly payments within ten years, and after completing the payment, all debt will be removed regardless of how much money paid and how much remaining. Only borrowers from the following public service positions eligible to apply for the program:

  • Full-time employees from government organizations
  • Full-time employees from non – profit organizations
  • Teachers
  • Military Members
  • Volunteers from public service
  • Health Service Members (nurses, doctors, etc.)
  • Public Safety and law enforcement members
  • Members from public service for elderly
  • Preschool Teachers


As described above a lot of students can get benefit from a long list of federal student loan forgiveness options, yet most of the borrowers are not aware of them. Public student loan forgiveness program is valuable for both the government and the borrowers. Jobs that are offered by the program are beneficial for the students especially who get low paying jobs after graduation. On the other hand, the program benefits the government a lot as it helps the government to attract many students to the public service fields.


Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

federal student loan forgiveness

Federal Government provides several federal student loan forgiveness program to help teachers pay their loan easily. After ten years continuous payment teacher loan becomes forgiven. The requirement is core one for the loan forgiveness program yet each program has its advantage for the teachers. There several beneficial teacher loan forgiveness programs and one of them is The Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program.

According to this program, the teacher who serves five years to the members of low-income families can qualify for the program. Secondly, another teacher loan forgiveness program is called the Perkins Loan Forgiveness Program. Teachers who would like to work in elementary, secondary, early childhood education can get benefit from this program after completing the FAFSA. Federal Teach Grants are among reliable and mostly applied teacher loan forgiveness programs. The program provides money for the college courses for student and student is required to become a teacher serving in low-income areas after graduating. The benefit of this program is that even if you fail to work as a teacher after graduating your Federal Teach Grant becomes the Federal Student Loan Program.


Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Government Employees

One of the most popular and applied student loan forgiveness programs is government employee student loan forgiveness program. To qualify for the program student only need to work for one of the governmental organization and pay monthly based on his income. Most advantageous side here is the payment based on the income as government jobs are not one of the high paying ones, the borrower can be assigned 0$ monthly payment and still be qualified for the program. As a result, paying 0$ within ten years borrower can get his loan canceled.


Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Non-Profit Organization Employees

Beside with government employees, there is a student loan forgiveness program that considers non-profit organization employees as well. This program has even fewer requirements than other federal student loan forgiveness programs as it requires 30 working hours which is different from other programs that require 40 working hours per week. This requirement has an advantage in terms of monthly payments because as the student works less, he pays less and it leads to canceling student loan with less monthly payment within ten years.


Federal Loan Service Program for Military Workers

federal student loan forgiveness

Military workers also have access to federal student loan programs and pay their student loans with continuous monthly payments. The Military Service Loan Program which is also called the Military College Loan Repayment Program has different programs for different branches like the army, air force, navy, and for others and each program has its requirements. For more information refer to the Military College Loan Repayment Program.



There is a long list of student loan programs available for borrowers to pay their loan. The article described some of them for you to get a better understanding of federal student loan forgiveness programs and tried to help you to choose the most suitable program for you. Searching and exploring the student loan forgiveness programs and their requirements every student could easily find the appropriate program.