One of the most pressing financial situations regarding Americans today are student loans. How are we going to repay them? Beyond that, how can you get student loan help when you need it?
The truth is most borrowers actually qualify for some form of student loan forgiveness. If you don’t qualify for an upfront forgiveness option, you may still be eligible for a program that forgives your student loans over time regardless of how much you owe
With interest rates skyrocketing, debt growing, and some people being unsure of their direction, it’s understandable that you’d want to know your options when it comes to student loan repayment and forgiveness.
Curious if you qualify? Keep reading to learn more.
President Trump has proposed an income-based plan regarding student loans. This plan allows those with loans to cap their payments depending on their income.
It also has the added benefit of giving them the chance to have their loans forgiven after a certain length of time. This is fantastic student loan help.
According to Trump’s plan, student loan borrowers’ loans would be capped at 12.5% of whatever your current income is. Pay them monthly for 15 years, and your student loan debt would be forgiven.
It’s important to note that this repayment plan does raise the current cap of income-based payments. Currently, it sits at 10%. However, it also has the added benefit of forgiving the payments about a decade sooner.
Income-driven repayments are an option currently offered by lenders to give borrowers student loan help. As mentioned above, the cap currently sits at 10% of your monthly income.
Income-driven repayments allow you to apply for a lower monthly payment if you don’t make enough to make your payments, but payment is still required. Your monthly payment can also change along with your income, to ensure that you’ll still be able to pay.
While applying over and over again for lower payments may result in paying more to your lender because of interest, the current plan allows you to apply forgiveness after 20 to 25 years of repayments.
Public service loan forgiveness
The Department of Education has stated that those who are employed by the government or non-profit organizations may be eligible for student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
However, this won’t wipe the loans off your record immediately: you’ll still be required to make the payments for 10 years, or for 120 payments. Another caveat is that you have to have an income-based repayment plan.
Also, if you work for the government or a non-profit part-time, you may not be eligible for loan forgiveness through this program. This form of student loan help is geared toward people who work at least 30 hours a week.
To find out more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness plan, check out the information here.
As a benefit to our nation’s servicemen, you may be eligible to receive student loan help through the Department of Education and the Department of Defense.
Depending on what branch of service you chose, you can select an array of options, including the opportunity to defer your payments during active duty.
To receive student loan forgiveness through AmeriCorps, you’ll need to be serving a full-time term of national service, and that service will need to be completed within 12 months.
Afterward, you’ll be eligible for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, and you’ll be able to use that to pay for educational costs. If you’re already out of school, there’s no need to worry: you can use the award to help repay your student loans which qualify.
Teacher loan forgiveness
Teacher loan forgiveness requires that borrowers have a Direct Loan or a Federal Perkins loan. In addition, you must be a teacher in a low-income area.
The Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness program offers student loan help to full-time teachers who have taught consecutively for 5 complete years. The school level itself doesn’t matter, only the income level of the families it services.
If you’re a math or science teacher in a secondary school, you may be eligible to have up to $17,500 forgiven, provided your qualifications are high and you’re full-time.
Those who teach in elementary schools, or if you teach a subject related to your major are eligible for up to $5,000 in student loan forgiveness.
Please note that if your student loans originated before October of 1998, they are not applicable to this program.
Student loan refinancing
It may be a little more covert than traditional forgiveness methods, but student loan refinancing is a valid way to have your student loans forgiven – almost.
When you initially took out your student loans, there’s a chance you didn’t have a credit profile. This, in turn, raises your interest rate, causing you to pay more in the long run.
However, once you develop credit history (usually after graduating and joining the workforce), there’s a chance private lenders may be able to offer you student loan help.
While this doesn’t wipe your student loans clean, it can give you the flexibility of a lower payment, particularly if you plan to repay your loans over a significant length of time
How to claim student loan help
To claim your student loan help, you can contact us today to discuss your best options. As with most financial things, this will involve quite a bit of discussion, paperwork, and following up that we can handle all for you
You may be given forms for your employer to sign as well, just adding to the tedium. Additionally, if you have loans through more than one lender, you’ll need to repeat the process for each lender.
Student loans are stressful and sometimes frightening, but sometimes there’s nothing more you can do than suck it up and pay them.
However, if you’re one of the lucky few who qualify for government-sanctioned repayment options, absolutely take advantage of it!
While navigating the financial waters can be tricky and tedious, it’s a comfort to know that with diligence and strategy, you’ll be able to have your debt wiped away soon.
If you need help determining whether you are eligible for student loan forgiveness, don’t hesitate to contact us.