For FFEL borrowers left out of the president’s student loan forgiveness plan, there’s still hope for removing the burden of grad school loans. Through different programs offered by the Department of Education, those with graduate school debt can find relief.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program offers a way for borrowers to have their Direct Loans forgiven tax-free by simply working full-time for a government or nonprofit organization and making 120 qualifying payments under an income-driven repayment plan.
And for those who don’t meet the PSLF eligibility requirements, there’s still a path to forgiveness through income-driven repayment plans. By making student loan payments for 25 years, a borrower can have their remaining loan balance wiped clean.
Related: How Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness Works
But you might not need to wait two decades for forgiveness. The Department of Education has plans to fast-track this timeline. The department is reviewing borrowers’ accounts to give them retroactive credit towards IDR forgiveness for monthly payments made under different repayment plans and time spent in long forbearances and some deferments.
Related: When Will the IDR Adjustments Be Made
Will graduate student loans be forgiven if I teach in a low-income school?
Yes, your graduate student loans may be forgiven if you teach in a low-income school. The Department of Education has two loan forgiveness programs for educators, the PSLF program and the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program.
PSLF offers more substantial relief by forgiving the entire loan balance of eligible borrowers, while the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program provides less than $20 thousand in loan forgiveness.
Keep in mind that you cannot qualify for both programs simultaneously. So if you have a higher loan balance, consider applying for the PSLF program for maximum relief.