Colorado Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

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Updated on April 29, 2023

Colorado residents carry the nation’s 19th largest student loan debt, totaling a significant $28.5 billion. With an average debt of $36,822 per borrower, about 774,000 residents, or roughly 13.32% of the state’s population, are dealing with this financial burden.

Fortunately, various federal and state forgiveness programs are available to Colorado borrowers seeking relief from their student loan debt.

While President Biden’s debt cancellation plan remains on hold due to legal challenges and awaits a Supreme Court decision, Colorado borrowers can also take advantage of other federal forgiveness programs and state-based initiatives to alleviate their debt burden.

Ahead, we’ll cover the federal programs and state-specific student loan forgiveness programs tailored to the needs of Colorado borrowers.

Related: State-Based Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Colorado Residents

Before exploring Colorado-specific programs, let’s discuss the federal student loan forgiveness programs offered by the U.S. Department of Education to all Americans, including Coloradans. These programs provide relief for federal loans based on factors such as your profession or income.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

The PSLF Program is designed for individuals with Direct Loans working in qualifying public service jobs. To be eligible, borrowers must make 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer, such as a government agency, public school, or nonprofit organization.

Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness Waiver

Starting in spring 2023, most borrowers who have been paying their federal student loans for 20 years or longer will automatically receive relief, allowing the rest of their debt to be discharged.

This change results from a new IDR account adjustment announced by the Biden administration in April 2022. That fix gives borrowers credit toward income-based repayment forgiveness for the time spent in repayment, forbearance, and some periods of deferment.

It’s open to all federal student loan borrowers, but those with FFEL or Perkins Loans may need to be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Borrowers can consolidate their loans for free on the Federal Student Aid website,

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

Eligibility criteria include working full-time for five consecutive years in a low-income school or educational service agency and having taken out federal Direct or Stafford Loans after October 1, 1998.

Forgiveness amounts vary, with up to $17,500 for highly qualified math, science, and special education teachers and up to $5,000 for other eligible teachers.

President Joe Biden’s Broad Debt Cancellation Plan

This student debt relief program promises to wipe out up to $20,000 of debt for Pell Grant recipients who meet income criteria and up to $10,000 for other qualifying borrowers. Applications are on hold as the Supreme Court assesses the program’s legality after a challenge by six Republican-led states.

In the meantime, the Biden administration has extended the pandemic-related payment pause and interest rate freeze.

Unlock Financial Relief with Colorado Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Colorado features several state-specific student loan forgiveness programs tailored to help professionals in healthcare, legal, and rural service sectors. By joining one of these programs, you can contribute to your community while receiving financial aid to pay off your student loans.

Healthcare Professionals

Colorado Health Service Corps

This program grants up to $120,000 in student loan support for doctors and other eligible health professionals like physicians, dentists, psychologists, and nurse practitioners. Your received amount hinges on your position and work hours—full-time or part-time.

Commit to a three-year service in a health professional shortage area to qualify.

Rural Essential Access Provider (REAP) Loan Repayment Program

This program presents $7,500 to $30,000 in loan forgiveness for Colorado medical professionals like doctors, nurses, social workers, and pharmacists.

To qualify, work for a minimum of two years at an approved REAP site, either part-time or full-time.

Some non-REAP sites in rural or frontier areas may also qualify if they deliver primary care services to Medicaid, Medicare, or CHP+ patients.

Program Details: REAP Program

State Dental Loan Repayment Program

Colorado dentists can alleviate their student loans through this program, which provides up to $50,000 for general and pediatric dentists and up to $12,000 for dental hygienists.

Treat at least 80 patients monthly and commit to a two-year service in an underserved community to qualify. Submit your application through the Colorado Health Service Corps portal.

Program Details: Colorado Dental LRAP

Legal Professionals

University of Denver Sturm College of Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program

This initiative provides up to five years of loan assistance to Sturm College of Law alumni employed in public service, earning under $75,000 annually.

You must hold a J.D. law degree and have graduated post-2003. Awards typically range from 15% to 75% of your monthly student loan payments.

Applications open yearly, requiring documents like loan statements, employment verification, recommendation letters, and a personal essay.

Program Details: University of Denver LRAP

Colorado’s Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program Administered by the University of Colorado Boulder’s law school

This program offers up to $6,500 in loan repayment assistance yearly for five years to graduates working in public interest employment and earning below $67,000 annually.

You must clock at least 35 hours per week in a qualifying organization (e.g., nonprofit or government agency) or provide legal aid to underserved communities. Apply annually to maintain the award.

Program Details: Colorado LRAP

Bottom Line

In Colorado, various state-specific student loan forgiveness programs are available to taxpayers and professionals in essential fields such as teaching, dentistry, and public service. These programs offer crucial financial relief and support to those who qualify and are dedicated to serving their communities.

While the outcome of Biden’s debt forgiveness plan for millions of federal student loan borrowers is still unclear, it’s important to remember that these state-specific programs remain accessible to eligible borrowers in Colorado.

Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in debt cancellation, both in Colorado and at the federal level, and seize the opportunities available. Enhance your understanding of these programs and make informed decisions by subscribing to our newsletter today.

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