Student Loans: Nonprofit and Government Aid

If you have student loans after you graduate, you are in good company because most Americans have debt after they finish school. Most students graduate with some degree of student debt. The key difference is the size of the debt and the resources a person will have to repay them. In particular, a student entering a low-paying industry may find challenges paying off the debt with a reasonable schedule. For these individuals, there are options for government and non profit assistance.

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

Students with federal loans have the option to achieve loan forgiveness by entering a service career. Careers can include low-paid teaching jobs, social work jobs and working in the military. It is important to realize that not all service jobs qualify. For example, a teacher must be placed in a low-income school for a low pay in order to meet the requirements. It is also important to note these individuals will still pay a portion of their loans. Typically, loans must be paid for 6 years in order to receive the forgiveness on remaining debt. Loans must be in good standing for the student to qualify. 

Federal Student Loan Refinancing and Consolidation

You may qualify for assistance to a smaller degree even if you are not in a low-income service career. All federal student debt can be consolidated and refinanced fairly easily if it is in good standing. Upon graduation, tracking and paying for all of the loans is both expensive and difficult. You can consolidate these loans into one debt. The federal government often offers the lowest possible interest rates on the market, making consolidation with the US Department of Education a good option for those who took their loans through the department.

State Forgiveness Programs

Certain states offer incentives by offering loan forgiveness on the state level as well. For example, New York offers a Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program to recent medical students who will become licensed to practice in the state. An applicant agrees to serve an area that is otherwise under-served by physicians. The physician agrees to do this for two years and receives two year's repayment on loan in exchange. For each year thereafter, the student receives another year of repayment on the debt. New York also offers a forgiveness program for those entering the social work field with similar options.

New York is not the only state with these opportunities. Pennsylvania offers The Agriculture Education Loan Forgiveness program. Residents of Pennsylvania with a degree in agriculture or veterinary medicine can return to work in the state. If they have federal direct or federally insured loans, they can receive up to $2,000 each year of repayment on the loan simply by agreeing to work in the state of Pennsylvania. You must be making loan payments in order to receive the benefit. However, this can reduce your loan balance by $10,000, at no charge to you, in just five years of service to the state of Pennsylvania.

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