Student loan forgiveness programs are one of the fastest and easiest ways to pay off your student debt, and can often save you hundreds of dollars per year. There are two main types of student loan forgiveness programs. The first is a government program that forgive some or all of your student debt if you qualify. The second is a private program that forgive a percentage of your student debt if you have a low enough GPA and are enrolled full-time at a college or university.
Student loan forgiveness programs are available to federal student loans only. Most student loan relief options are limited to federally held federal student loans, although some programs may also be available privately with private lenders. Forgiveness depends on a few factors including: the number of borrowed loans, how much debt you have and what your major field of study is. The six most common federal student loan relief options are: the Direct Loan Consolidation Program, the Perkins Loan Program, the Direct Plus Loan Program, the Subsidized Stafford Loan Program, and the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program. To find out which one will work best for you, a consultation with an experienced debt consolidation counselor or your school’s financial aid department should be helpful.
The second most popular student loan relief option is cancellation or forgiven. This option requires the borrower to cancel all federal student loans prior to entering into any government programs. However, this forgiveness does not come into play if you are in a public service job, as those jobs usually require some form of federal student loan relief. Those who decide to cancel their loans before going into the public service field may be able to do so by applying directly to the U.S. Department of Education for a cancellation. If you have applied directly, but were denied, you may still be eligible for federal student loan relief through other channels.
Cancellation begins after two years of payments end on your original federal government student loans. When this happens, the U.S. government assumes that your loans are paid in full and you will then be able to make regular payments to them. The two most common reasons to have this occur are that you were not able to receive a consolidation loan because you had defaulted on your previous student loans or that you left school before completing your student loans. Both of these situations have federal government forgiveness involved.
Student loan debt forgiveness can be obtained in a few different ways. If you are suffering hardship financially due to your student debt, the U.S. government may provide relief through the Direct Loan Consolidation Loan Program. The Direct Loan Consolidation Loan Program allows you to consolidate all of your federally guaranteed student loan debts into one easy monthly payment. In order to participate in this program you will need to contact your lender and see what type of relief they offer. If you do not qualify for relief, you will need to seek out other student loan debt relief options.
You can also work with your private lender directly to gain relief from your student loan debts. The U.S. government offers several different types of federal student loan forgiveness programs to help those who do not qualify for federal assistance. Some of these types of forgiveness programs include student loan debt forgiveness through the Public Service Loan forgiveness program, the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan forgiveness program, the William D. Ford Federal Perkins Loan forgiveness program, and the Direct Loan Consolidation Loan program. Private lenders will not offer federal forgiveness programs but will work with you to find a federal loan consolidation plan that will work for you.
There is also the Alternative Option for Federal Student Loan relief which allows you to choose between an income-driven repayment plan and a standard student loan consolidation plan. With an income-driven repayment plan, you agree to a set amount of forgiveness over the life of the loan, whereas with the standard loan consolidation plan you are required to make payments to the principal of the loan. You will find that with an income-driven repayment plan, there is forgiveness of up to two- thirds of your eligible loan balance. The downside is that in most cases, interest accrues faster on income-driven repayment plans.
A final option available to borrowers who are having difficulty making their monthly payments to the Department of Education is Loan relief with the help of private student loans. In this process, borrowers negotiate with their private lenders on their behalf to lower their monthly payments and lower their interest rates. However, while private student loans may prove to be an effective solution to some borrowers, there are also several limitations to federal student loan relief.