Student loan debt is growing at an alarming rate. From 2008 to 2012, debt at graduation increased 6 percent per year, and 71 percent of students who graduated last year had student loan debt — with an average of $29,400 per borrower. That’s a lot of money owed — and a huge burden to repay.
If you’re a recent grad left scratching your head and wondering “how do I apply for student loan forgiveness,” you’ve come to the right place. Start by reading the following:
1. Identify whether you need loan forgiveness or discharge
Generally the more common solution is student loan forgiveness, for those working in public service. Loan discharge is available when something bad happens and you’re unable to repay your debt — for example, if you become disabled or bankrupt.
2. Determine the type of forgiveness for which you qualify
Types of loan forgiveness mainly fall within the below categories:
- Community Service: Organizations like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and VISTA allow participants to apply for forgiveness.
- Military: You can talk to military recruiters about loan forgiveness once you’ve graduated — if you enlist, there are options available.
- Profession: Graduates who pursue careers in public service (think nurses, doctors, teachers or public defenders) can apply for forgiveness.
- State specific: It’s somewhat ambiguous, but you might be eligible for a state-specific program if you’re a resident of the state, work in a particular job/have a license for a job in the state, or went to school there.
3. Talk to your loan servicer
Call your lender for information specific to your situation. Your servicer should be familiar with the programs that exist and will be able to help you determine which you can apply for. Another option is to speak with a certified student loan counselor from Take Charge America, to get actionable and unbiased advice.
4. Prepare your application
While the idea of student loan forgiveness may seem desirable to most people, not everyone is eligible. To apply for forgiveness, you may need proof you worked the required number of years at your employer or are in the job that makes you eligible. To find out if you qualify to apply for student loan forgiveness, see what forgiveness options are available.
Start now! Call 877-784-2008 or schedule a call here.