Student Loan Forgiveness Programs California

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Updated on April 22, 2023

Since President Biden was sworn in, the U.S. Department of Education has temporarily overhauled its student loan forgiveness programs to deliver debt forgiveness to hundreds of thousands of federal student loan borrowers. Beneficiaries have included public servants like teachers, nurses, and military service members. Disabled borrowers and students who attended scam for-profit schools also benefited.

Tens of millions of borrowers will have their loan balances forgiven if President Biden fulfills his election promise to forgive $10 thousand in federal loans, including almost 4 million Californians.

In addition to those federal programs, the state of California offers loan repayment programs that help nurses, mental health workers, doctors, and other health professionals get rid of their federal and private student loan debt.

Ahead, learn how to get student loan forgiveness in California.


California’s Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

The eligibility requirements and forgiveness amounts vary by program. Here’s a list of nine programs that Californians can take advantage of to get their student debt forgiven:

  • California State Loan Repayment Program (LRP) provides healthcare providers up to $110 thousand in loan forgiveness after completing a multi-year service agreement.

  • Allied Health Care Loan Repayment Program offers up to $16 thousand in forgiveness for allied health care professionals who deliver at least 32 hours of direct patient care weekly at a County Medical Services Program for one year.

  • Bachelor of Science Nursing LRP gives nurses up to $10 thousand in loan forgiveness after they deliver at least 32 hours of direct patient care weekly at an eligible state site for one year.

  • California Dental Association Student Loan Repayment (SLRP) Grant gives recent dental school graduates an annual award of $50 thousand up to $250 thousand who provide dental services in one of California’s underserved communities.

  • CalHealthCares LRP offers dentists and doctors who recently graduated up to $300 thousand in loan forgiveness in exchange for agreeing to a five-year service obligation.

  • County Medical Services Program LRP awards physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dentists, and others up to $50 thousand in loan forgiveness after agreeing to work full-time at a designated site.

  • Licensed Mental Health Services Provider Education Program grants social workers and licensed mental health providers up to $30 thousand in student loan relief after agreeing to provide at least 32 hours of direct mental health care weekly at an eligible facility for two years.

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse LRP gives licensed vocational nurses up to $6 thousand in loan forgiveness in exchange for delivering at least 32 hours of direct patient care for one year at an approved site.

  • Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program provides California licensed physicians and surgeons up to $105 thousand in loan forgiveness after working three years full-time at an eligibility facility in a shortage area.

Related: Student Loan Attorney California

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

If you don’t qualify for the California student loan forgiveness programs above, there are a handful of federal loan forgiveness options to explore, such as:

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program promises tax-free student debt forgiveness to teachers, nurses, social workers, and other full-time government and nonprofit employees. To qualify, you normally have to make 120 qualifying payments on Direct Loans. But until Oct. 31, 2022, you can get credit for the payments you made on Federal Family Education Loans and Federal Perkins Loans. Read more about the PSLF Waiver.

Related: Student Loan Forgiveness for Healthcare Workers

If you have those types of loans, you’ll need to consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan before you qualify. You can do that on the Federal Student aid website,

Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness forgives borrowers’ remaining loan balance after they make at least 240 student loan payments under an IDR Plan. Most federal student loan borrowers are eligible for this forgiveness opportunity. But due to forbearance steering and other misconduct by student loan servicers like Navient, millions of borrowers were screwed out of gaining progress towards this option for debt relief. The Education Department plans to fix that issue by performing a one-time waiver later this year.

The IDR Account Adjustment credits borrowers for monthly payments they made under any repayment plan. It will also increase their payment count for periods their accounts were in long forbearances or in certain deferments. Most borrowers don’t need to apply for this relief — it will happen automatically. But if you have FFEL or Perkins Loans, you may need to consolidate those loans into a Direct Consolidation to be eligible.

Total and Permanent Disability discharges disabled borrowers’ remaining balances after they suffer a physical or mental impairment that leaves them unable to work. To qualify, you must submit proof from your doctor, the Social Security Administration, or Veterans Administration, that your disability prevents you from working.

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program gives teachers that spend five years working in a low-income school up to $17,500 in forgiveness. If your federal student loan balance is high, PSLF is a better option. There’s no cap on loan forgiveness. Your entire balance can be cleared after 10 years of working in a school district. Read more about PSLF for teachers.

Borrower Defense to Repayment writes off federal debt students borrowed to attend schools that lied to them about career services, job placement, educational services, and so on. Visit to apply for this relief opportunity.

Bottom Line

If you live in California and work in healthcare, there are a bunch of student debt cancellation opportunities you can take advantage of. And even if you’re not a nurse or a doctor, there are still many other forgiveness programs you can apply for.

For a personalized look at your student loan debt and eligibility for forgiveness, schedule a call to talk with a student loan attorney.

UP NEXT: How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness

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