Michigan Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

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Updated on April 22, 2023

Student loan debt in Michigan is a pressing issue for its 1.412 million borrowers, who collectively owe a staggering $51 billion.

With an average debt of $36,116 per borrower, Michigan ranks 19th in the nation for average student debt per borrower – $1,671 below the national average. Despite being below the national average, many Michiganders still face substantial student loan debt. Michigan ranks 9th in total student loan debt and has the 8th highest number of student loan borrowers per capita, placing it between Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

Ahead, we’ll explore various Michigan-specific programs and federal programs designed to help reduce or eliminate student loan debt. These programs target specific fields or professions, aiming to alleviate the burden for residents of the state of Michigan struggling with student loan debt.

Related: State Programs for Student Loan Forgiveness

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Every Michigander Needs to Know

Before exploring Michigan-specific programs, let’s discuss the federal student loan forgiveness programs the US Department of Education offers to all Americans, including Michigan residents.

These programs provide relief based on factors such as your profession or income.

Here are three key programs:

  1. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. PSLF is designed for individuals working in qualifying public service jobs with Direct Loans. If you’ve made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer, such as a government or nonprofit organization, you might be eligible for the PSLF program.

  2. Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness. IDR plans adjust your monthly student loan payments based on your income and family size, making your payments more manageable. They also promise debt forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of qualifying payments (depending on the plan). Explore our comprehensive guide on income-based repayment forgiveness and the looming IDR Waiver.

  3. Teacher Loan Forgiveness. This program supports educators working in low-income schools or educational service agencies. Eligible teachers can have up to $17,500 of their loans forgiven. If you’re a teacher seeking loan relief, check out our detailed guide on Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

Additionally, President Joe Biden’s broad debt cancellation plan offers another opportunity for forgiveness. 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.

“Nearly 700,000 Michiganders will have their debt cut in half or eliminated entirely, lifting a huge burden off their backs. People can use these savings to buy a home, start a business, get married, or start a family,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a statement last month.”

At present, the federal government stopped accepting applications for the program as the Supreme Court is assessing the program’s legality. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has prolonged the pandemic-related payment pause and interest rate freeze. This extension lasts 60 days after the Court’s decision or until June 30, whichever occurs first.

Michigan State-Specific Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Michigan offers a variety of student loan forgiveness programs for its residents, catering to professionals in public service jobs such as healthcare, law, and education.

In this section, we’ll explore these programs, detailing their eligibility criteria, forgiveness amounts, and service requirements to help you determine if you qualify for these loan relief opportunities.

Medical, Dental, and Mental Health Professionals Michigan State Loan Repayment Program (MSLRP)

The MSLRP aims to help medical, dental, and mental healthcare providers working in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) at not-for-profit health clinics.

  • Eligibility: Must be a qualified professional working in an HPSA. Review the MSLRP guidelines.

  • Forgiveness amount: Up to $200,000 in tax-free loan repayment over a period of up to eight years.

  • Service requirement: Minimum two-year service commitment.

  • Application: Apply online if you’re eligible.


John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

This program provides loan repayment assistance for state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors who commit to working in their roles for at least three years.

  • Eligibility: Review the detailed requirements on the program information page.

  • Forgiveness amount: Up to $10,000 per year, maximum of $60,000.

  • Service requirement: Minimum three-year commitment.

  • Program Details: JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program

Law School Graduates University of Michigan

Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

The LRAP supports the University of Michigan Law School graduates pursuing modest-paying law positions. Graduates must enroll in an eligible Income-Driven Repayment Plan before applying for LRAP benefits.

  • Eligibility: Must be a University of Michigan Law School graduate and enrolled in an eligible IDR plan.

  • Forgiveness amount: Varies based on income; the program covers all or part of your IDR payments each year you qualify. If your IDR payment is too low to cover the annual interest accrued, Michigan’s Law School will cover this amount after two consecutive years in the program.

  • Service requirement: Apply for LRAP each year to receive benefits the following year

  • Program Details: Michigan Law’s Income-Debt Management Program

Bottom Line

Michigan provides various state-specific student loan forgiveness programs for professionals like teachers, nurses, doctors, and lawyers.

These programs offer valuable financial relief to those who qualify and serve their communities in crucial roles.

While the fate of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan for millions of Americans remains uncertain, keep in mind that these state-specific programs are still accessible to eligible borrowers in Michigan.

Stay informed about the latest developments in debt cancellation, both in Michigan and at the federal level, by subscribing to our newsletter.

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