Texas Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: How They Work

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Updated on July 2, 2023

Texas residents owe a staggering $120 billion in student loan debt, placing the state second in the nation for total student debt.

With an average debt of $32,920 per borrower, Texas has 3.7 million residents carrying student loans. This places the state second in the nation for all borrowers. But those Texans account for only 12.34% of the state’s population, ranking Texas 35th in student loan borrowers per capita.

Despite the relatively low percentage of borrowers per capita, student loan debt remains a significant burden for many Texans, particularly those under 35.

To help alleviate this burden, it’s crucial to understand the loan forgiveness and relief options available.

Ahead, we’ll explore various Texas-specific programs designed to reduce or eliminate your student loan debt.

Related: State Programs for Student Loan Forgiveness

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs You Need to Know

Before diving into Texas-specific programs, let’s discuss the federal student loan forgiveness programs available to Texas borrowers. These programs provide relief based on factors such as your profession or income. Here are three key programs:

  1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness. PSLF is designed for individuals working in qualifying public service jobs. 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 agency, you might be eligible for this program.

  2. Income-Driven Repayment Plans. These plans adjust your monthly 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). While income-based repayment plan forgiveness takes a while to get to, it’s worth the wait because it wipes out your entire loan balance.

  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 further relief. This plan 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. More details about this plan are below.

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Texas-Specific Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs

In this section, we’ll discuss various Texas-specific student loan forgiveness and repayment programs organized by profession. These programs aim to support professionals in education, healthcare, and legal fields by offering financial help in exchange for service in high-need areas or populations.


Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program (TFTLRAP) addresses teacher shortages in Texas by recruiting and keeping certified teachers in high-need fields and communities. Eligible teachers can receive up to $2,500 per year for five years.

Program Details: Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program

This program incentivizes math or science majors with strong academic records to teach in Title I public schools in Texas for at least four years. Eligibility requirements and more details about the Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program can be found here.

Program Details: Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program

Border County Doctoral Faculty Education Loan Repayment Program

This program aims to recruit and keep individuals with doctoral degrees as full-time faculty with instructional duties at Texas higher education institutions in counties bordering Mexico.

The maximum annual award is $5,000, with up to $50,000 in total loan forgiveness. This program is suspended due to a lack of state funds.

Program Details: Border County Doctoral Faculty Education Loan Repayment Program


Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Program

This program encourages qualified nurses with master’s or doctoral degrees in nursing to serve as faculty at eligible institutions. Eligible nurses can receive up to $7,000 in loan forgiveness over five years.

Program Details: Nursing Faculty LRAP

Dental Education Loan Repayment Program (DELRP)

DELRP recruits and keeps qualified dentists to provide dental services in Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (DHPSAs) in Texas. Licensed dentists working in a DHPSA can be eligible for up to $10,000 of loan forgiveness annually.

Program Details: Dental Education Loan Repayment Program

Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals

This program provides financial help to mental health professionals practicing in Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas (MHPSAs) and serving Texas medical assistance or child health plan program recipients. The amount of loan forgiveness depends on the professional title and ranges from $10,000 to $160,000. Visit the THECB website for full eligibility requirements and application instructions.

The 2022-2023 application period has closed. Check back for updates related to the 2023-24 application.

Program Details: Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals


The Texas Access to Justice Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Funded by the State Bar of Texas, this program offers student loan forgiveness to attorneys working with low-income citizens as part of a legal aid program.

The amount awarded is based on need and determined after applying. Applications can be submitted quarterly.

Program Details: Texas Access to Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

Texas-Specific Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1 – Find the right program for your profession

  • Research Texas loan forgiveness and repayment programs for your specific profession, such as teachers, dentists, mental health professionals, doctors, or attorneys.

  • Review each program’s eligibility criteria, benefits, and service requirements to determine the best fit for your circumstances.

  • Consult with colleagues or professional organizations for advice on the most beneficial programs.

Step 2 – Apply and provide necessary documentation

  • Visit the program’s website or contact the administering agency for information on the application process, deadlines, and required documentation.

  • Gather necessary documentation, including proof of employment, income verification, professional licenses, and student loan statements.

  • Complete the application form accurately and thoroughly, providing all requested information.

  • Submit your application and documentation by the specified deadline.

Step 3 – Monitor your progress and meet program requirements

  • Regularly check the status of your application and respond to any requests for more information promptly.

  • Fulfill all service requirements, such as working in a designated shortage area or providing services to low-income populations.

  • Maintain your professional standing by keeping licenses and certifications up-to-date.

  • Stay informed about program requirements or deadlines changes, and adjust your plans.

By following these steps and staying informed, you can achieve student loan forgiveness or repayment through Texas-specific programs tailored to your profession. Don’t let student loan debt hold you back – start exploring your options today!

Related: How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness

Did Texas Stop Student Loan Forgiveness?

No, Texas alone did not stop student loan forgiveness. But a Texas judge ruled in favor of two students who challenged the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan, which temporarily halted the program. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear this case and another legal challenge filed by six Republican-led states.

Background on the Legal Challenge

Two Texas students, Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor, challenged the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan in court, arguing that the administration did not go through the proper process in enacting the plan.

District Judge Mark Pittman ruled for the students and temporarily halted the program, stating that the administration did not have clear authorization from Congress to start it.

A federal appeals court left the federal judge’s ruling in place, and the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case and another legal challenge to President Joe Biden’s student debt relief program.

The Biden Administration’s Reliance on the HEROES Act

The Biden administration relied on the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act to cancel student loan debt.

This law, originally enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack, was intended to help service members financially affected by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The law allows the secretary of education to waive or modify the terms of federal student loans in connection with a national emergency. Before the Supreme Court, the Justice Department, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education, argued that the COVID-19 pandemic was a national emergency that affected millions of student borrowers who might have fallen behind on their loans during the crisis.

Timeline for Resolution and Potential Outcomes

The Texas case might take a while to resolve, but the Supreme Court usually wraps up decisions by June’s end, just before their summer break. Whatever the outcome, it’ll bring changes.

Right now, federal student loan payments are paused, but they’ll start again 60 days after the case is settled, but no later than June 30.

So, keep an eye on the updates and be prepared for what’s coming!

Bottom Line

Texas provides a variety of 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 Texas.

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

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