Loan Forgiveness For Teachers: Programs and Qualifications.

Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding professions around. It is one of the few jobs that allow you to not only interact with, inspire, and mold the lives of kids. Unfortunately a great deal of training and education is required to become a licensed educator, and often so too comes the burden of student loan debt. Luckily the federal government recognizes this and offers different types of loan forgiveness for teachers. 

Can Teachers Have Their Loans Forgiven?

Yes! Teachers can have their loans forgiven. This is great news if you have accumulated a high degree of student loan debt and struggle to make payments on a teacher’s salary. Loan forgiveness for teachers is offered through the federal government through three main programs:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a program of loan forgiveness for teachers that has the broadest scope. This is because with other loan forgiveness programs that have specific qualifications regarding the type of subject you teach and the type of school you teach in, public service loans allow all teachers to qualify. The waiting period to obtain this particular forgiveness is 10 years, which can be a long wait and the qualifications which are found further below can make this a steep hill to climb. 

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program is one of the oldest offerings of loan forgiveness for teachers. It offers up to $17,500 in forgiveness of Direct or FFEL Subsidized or Unsubsidized loans. It is also one of the fastest ways to acquire teacher student loan forgiveness as you can apply for forgiveness after your first 5 years working at a qualifying school. The qualifications are a lot less stringent than the Public Service Loan Forgiveness as well.

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Author – Andrew Schmidle

US Patriot Loans contributing authors are experienced in areas such as personal finance, legal writing, or technical writing. Contributed articles are intended to provide a wider spectrum of views that help readers like you find the information that you’re looking for.

Perkins Loan Forgiveness

Like the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, the Perkins Loan Cancellation for Teachers offers loan forgiveness for teachers that teach in certain low-income schools or certain subject areas. This program offers up to 100% forgiveness of Federal Perkins loans for those teachers who qualify. 

Fortunately for teachers, there is a plethora of loan forgiveness programs available so that you can worry less about paying your bills and focus more on inspiring your students. The qualifications for these programs are simple but can be tricky to navigate at the same time. 

Who Qualifies For Loan Forgiveness?

The good news is all teachers qualify for some type of loan forgiveness for teachers program. The bad news is they don’t qualify for all of them and you must closely pay attention to the details of the qualification requirements laid out for each program or you will easily get rejected upon application. Below is a cut and dry explanation of the qualifications for each program.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Qualifications

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was designed during the Obama administration and was targeted at all individuals working in public service and for non-profits. The qualifications for this program are as follows:

  • Be employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or non-profit organization and work full-time
  • Have Direct Loans or consolidate loans into a Direct Loan (You cannot have private bank loans forgiven under this program
  • Repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan (not all repayment plans qualify so be careful what you choose)
  • Make 120 qualifying payments ON TIME!

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program Qualifications

Directed solely toward teachers to encourage them to go into high demand areas (science, math, and special education) and to teach in low-income schools this teacher loan forgiveness program is generous with very specific qualifications including:

  • Teaching in a qualifying low-income school for 5 consecutive years
  • Teaching in a high demand area can get you up to the full $17,500 or $5,000 if you are not in a high demand area.


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Perkins Loan Forgiveness Qualifications

Targeted toward teachers with Perkins Loans and to encourage individuals to teach in low-income schools and high demand areas. To qualify for up to 100% forgiveness in the program you must:

  • Teach in a low-income eligible school for 1-5 years (the longer you teach the more is forgiven)
  • Teach in high need area if not in a qualifying school (math, science, foreign language, special education)


How do I apply for loan forgiveness for teachers?

Despite the stringent guidelines, rules and qualifications applying for anyone of these loan forgiveness programs is easy and is as follows:

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness starts by filling out this form
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness requires filling out this form
  • You must contact your school that issued your Perkins Loan for forgiveness as each school has different rules for this program.


Fortunately, there are several options of loan forgiveness for teachers. Although generous, it is important to follow all the guidelines and stay on top of your finances to make sure you remain in compliance and qualified for these great programs. 

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