Still paying off your student loans?
Good news is on the horizon for school counselors and college admission professionals: Public service employees are eligible to have their debt wiped off the books starting this year under a new federal loan forgiveness program.
Not sure if you’re eligible?
– Do you work for the government or a not-for-profit organization?
– Are you a full-time employee?
– Do you have a direct loan?
– Do you have a qualifying repayment plan?
– Have you made at least 120 monthly payments since Oct. 1, 2007?
If you answered “yes” to those questions, you’ll likely qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
Of course, there are plenty of caveats. Even if you answered “no” to one of the questions above, it’s possible that with a few adjustments, you can take advantage of the program.
If you don’t have a direct loan, for example, you can consolidate your federal student loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan in order to qualify, according to Homeroom blog writer Ian Foss. He also suggests switching to an income-driven repayment plan.
“If you’ve been making payments under the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan, those qualify, but you still need to get on an income-driven repayment plan or your loan will be paid off before you can get forgiveness,” Foss writes.
Applicants should submit the necessary paperwork to the federal government at least “once per year or when you change jobs.”
“Why? Because it means you won’t have to submit 10 years’ worth of forms when you ultimately want to apply for forgiveness,” Foss writes. “It also means that you can apply for forgiveness with confidence.”
Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.