To encourage people to work in public service and teacher professions, Congress enacted special loan forgiveness programs. These programs have very specific eligibility requirements. For that reason, it is best to consult a qualified student loan attorney to determine if you qualify for the program.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
This program is available to borrowers who work in public service jobs (government entity or 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) for 10 years and repay their loans through an eligible repayment plan. The remaining balance is then forgiven after the 10 years of service is completed and the forgiven balance is NOT taxed.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Teacher loan forgiveness includes forgiveness of up to $5000 to individuals who are full-time teachers over 5 consecutive years in certain schools that serve low-income families. For borrowers who teach 5 consecutive years as math or science teachers in eligible secondary schools or as special education teachers in eligible elementary or secondary schools, the forgiveness limit is $17,500. Borrowers with a loan balance prior to October 1, 1998 are not eligible.