An individual may qualify for student loan forgiveness of federal loans – not private ones – for public service and teaching. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is for people who work for 10 years or more in the government, for a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization or in the Peace Corps or Americorps. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program requires teaching for five consecutive years in elementary or secondary schools, or in educational service agencies, serving low-income families.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program only forgives Direct Loans from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Loans from other federal student loan programs only qualify if they are consolidated into the Direct Loan. The individual must make at least 120 payments under a qualifying repayment program on the loan for it to qualify for forgiveness. Payments made on other loans before they are consolidated into the Direct Loan do not count towards the 120 payments.
Up to $17,500 of a Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan and Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans may qualify for forgiveness under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. Teachers must provide direct classroom teaching or classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting. The loans themselves must meet a number of requirements related to when they were taken out to be eligible.
Loans may also be discharged or cancelled for reasons such as death, total and permanent disability,and closing of the school.