Illinois offers several state-specific student loan forgiveness programs to help ease the financial burden of student debt. These programs are designed to support professionals in vital education, healthcare, and mental health sectors. By participating in one of these programs, you can make a meaningful impact on your community while receiving financial assistance to pay off your student loans.
John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program: Supporting the Pursuit of Justice
The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program is dedicated to state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors who commit to at least three years of service. This program requires eligible candidates to have:
The award, up to $4,000 per year, can be received multiple times, with an aggregate limit of $60,000. Be mindful that any unfulfilled employment commitments will necessitate repayment.
Program Details: John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program
Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program
Teachers in Illinois with Federal Stafford Loans can benefit from the Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program by working in a qualifying low-income area, as determined by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory.
Eligible teachers can receive matching forgiveness funds of up to $5,000 from the state in addition to the federal loan forgiveness program.
Program Details: Illinois Teacher Loan Repayment Program
Veterans’ Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program
Medical professionals working in veterans’ homes can apply for the Veterans’ Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program to receive an annual award of $5,000 to repay their student loans. Eligible professionals include:
Certified nurse practitioners
Registered professional nurses
Certified nursing assistants
Licensed practical nurses
To receive the award, a 12-month service commitment in a veterans’ home is required, with the option to renew up to four times.
Program Details: Veterans Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program
Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program
The Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program aims to support the long-term careers of nurse educators.
If you are currently instructing practical or professional nurses for at least 12 months at an approved institution, you may qualify for an annual award of up to $5,000 to repay your student loan debt.
The award can be received for a maximum of four years.
Program Details: Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program
Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program
The Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program, administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), offers loan repayment support for mental health and substance abuse professionals in underserved community mental health centers.
Eligible applicants must:
Be US citizens or eligible noncitizens
Be Illinois residents
Have a student loan balance
Have worked at least 12 consecutive months in a qualifying behavioral health role
Not have defaulted on a student loan
The award amount is based on your position and remaining loan balance, with funding available for up to four years. A 12-month work commitment in an underserved area is required for each year of loan repayment assistance.
Applications for the 2022-2023 cycle began in November 2022 and will be accepted as long as funding is available.
Program Details: Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program