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Complete list of federal student loan forgiveness and discharge programs

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) 
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness 
  • Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD) 
  • Death Discharge 
  • Closed School Discharge 
  • False Certification Discharge 
  • Unpaid Refund Discharge 
  • Borrower Defense to Repayment 
  • Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge 
  • Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness 
  • Loan Repayment Assistance for Health Professions 
  • Military Service and Related Discharges 
  • National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program¬†

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) – This program forgives the remaining balance on eligible Direct Loans for borrowers who have made 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for a qualifying employer, such as a government organization or a non-profit. To be eligible for PSLF, borrowers must have Direct Loans, be employed in a qualifying public service job, and make payments through an income-driven repayment plan. After 10 years of qualifying payments, the remaining balance on the loans will be forgiven. 

Teacher Loan Forgiveness – This program provides loan forgiveness for teachers who work in low-income schools or educational service agencies. Eligible teachers may receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness for their Federal Direct or Stafford Loans. To be eligible, teachers must have at least 5 years of service in a low-income school or educational service agency and meet other criteria. 

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD) – Borrowers who are completely and permanently disabled may be eligible for TPD, which forgives the remaining balance on their federal student loans. To be eligible, borrowers must submit a TPD discharge application and provide documentation to prove their total and permanent disability. 

Death Discharge – In the event of a borrower’s death, their federal student loans will be discharged and the remaining balance will be forgiven. A loan discharge application and a certified copy of the borrower’s death certificate must be submitted to the loan servicer to have the loans discharged. 

Closed School Discharge – Borrowers who were unable to complete their program of study due to the closure of the school they were attending may be eligible for a closed school discharge, which forgives the remaining balance on their federal student loans. To be eligible, borrowers must have been enrolled at the school or have withdrawn no more than 120 days before the school closed. 

False Certification Discharge – Borrowers who were falsely certified as eligible to receive a loan, such as due to a school’s misrepresentation of the borrower’s ability to benefit from the program of study, may be eligible for a false certification discharge, which forgives the remaining balance on their federal student loans. Borrowers must provide evidence of the false certification and may need to show that they would not have taken out the loan if they had known the truth. 

Unpaid Refund Discharge – Borrowers who withdrew from school before completing their program of study and did not receive a refund of their federal student loan funds may be eligible for an unpaid refund discharge, which forgives the remaining balance on their federal student loans. Borrowers must have withdrawn from school within a certain timeframe and meet other criteria to be eligible. 

Borrower Defense to Repayment – Borrowers who were defrauded by their school may be eligible for borrower defense to repayment, which forgives the remaining balance on their federal student loans. Borrowers must provide evidence of the fraud and may need to show that the school’s actions caused them financial harm. 

Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge – Certain categories of borrowers, such as teachers, may be eligible for partial or full cancellation of their Perkins Loans based on their occupation and/or service. To be eligible, borrowers must have a Perkins Loan and meet certain criteria based on their occupation and/or service. 

Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness – Borrowers who enroll in an income-driven repayment plan may have the remaining balance on their federal student loans forgiven after 20-25 years of qualifying payments, 

Loan Repayment Assistance for Health Professions – A federal program aimed at providing financial assistance to individuals working in certain health professions. The program helps repay education loans in exchange for a commitment to work in underserved or high-need areas. Eligible individuals can receive up to $50,000 in loan repayment assistance, based on their occupation and length of service commitment. 

This program helps address workforce shortages in areas where access to healthcare is limited and encourages individuals to pursue careers in the health field. The program is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Military Service and Related Discharge Programs provide benefits to eligible individuals who have served in the military and are facing student loan debt. These programs may provide loan forgiveness, discharge, or deferment options for individuals who have served in the military and are struggling with their student loan debt. 

Examples of Military Service and student loan related discharge programs include the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program and the Military Service Cancellation program. The Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program provides loan forgiveness for individuals who have been determined to be permanently disabled, while the Military Service Cancellation program provides loan forgiveness for individuals who have been called to active military service. 

The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC) – A federal program aimed at addressing workforce shortages in primary care and mental health services in underserved communities. Eligible individuals who commit to working in these areas for at least two years can receive loan repayment assistance of up to $50,000 in exchange for their service. 

The program is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is designed to encourage individuals to pursue careers in primary care and mental health and provide access to care for communities in need. 

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