Those who have large student debts may be interested in the student loan forgiveness public service program. Congress passed an act in 2007 that makes it possible for those who work in the public service sector to be forgiven a large portion of their student loans. While there are a number of stipulations and conditions, this act makes it easy for those who hold a low-income public service job to repay their student loans in full.
What type of loan one has taken out has a bearing on whether or not the individual may qualify. Federal loans such as Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans and Federal Direct Consolidation Loans can all be forgiven under this program. Those with FFEL loans can qualify for student loan forgiveness if the loan is consolidated into a Federal direct loan.
Once a person who holds a public service job has made 120 payments on one of the loans mentioned above, he or she would then be forgiven the remainder of the loan. Public service jobs that qualify one to partake of this loan forgiveness program include serving in the army or the police force, working at a government job (besides serving in Congress or in the Senate), working in a public health or public education job, and working for social services or public interest legal services. Working as a librarian for a public school or library, being employed full-time at a nonprofit foundation or organization and working for a tribal college would also qualify an individual to obtain student loan forgiveness once the necessary payments have been made.
Payments would only be counted if they have been made after October 1st, 2007. One would not be able to use either an extended repayment plan or a graduated repayment plan in order to qualify for student loan forgiveness, although income based repayment, income contingent repayment and standard repayment can all be used. It is also very important to realize that all 120 payments must be made while the person is still in public service; if a person does not continue on in public service while making the above mentioned payments, he or she would not qualify for student loan forgiveness.
Loan forgiveness for those employed in the public service sector can be a great boon to those who do not receive a large salary. While the above mentioned rules and stipulations do apply, it is not overly hard to qualify for this program, as long as one continues to work in the public sector for an extended period of time. Obtaining student loan forgiveness under the Student Loan Forgiveness Public Service Program can help one to be freed from a difficult financial obligation that could otherwise cause financial difficulties.