Health care professionals have a variety of specialized loan repayment and loan programs available to them. In addition to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, health care professionals may be eligible for the following loan forgiveness programs:
Faculty Loan Repayment Program
The Faculty Loan Repayment Program provides recipients with a $40,000 payment for a two-year work commitment as a faculty member at an accredited and approved health professions institution.
National Health Service Corps
The National Health Service Corps offers a loan repayment program that provides dental, medical and behavioral/mental health clinicians up to $50,000 to repay student loans in exchange for a two-year employment commitment at a low-income, high-need service area.
NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program
For qualified and eligible nurses, including registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing faculty, the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program covers 60% of the nurse’s unpaid student loans for a two-year commitment and an additional 25% payment on their original loan balance for a third-year commitment to working in a Nurse Corps-eligible location.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
There are two types of loan forgiveness programs and a specialized lending program available to teachers that can be used to discharge or avoid student loan debt.
Teacher Education Assistance for College Education and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
The TEACH grant provides up to $4,000 in college tuition assistance for students planning to pursue a career in teaching. In exchange for funding, future teachers agree to a work commitment:
- In a high-need subject area of study
- At a school or educational agency that serves students in low-income areas
- For four academic years within eight years of completing an academic program of study
Teachers that fail to adhere to the grant’s regulations will have their grant funding converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan and will be responsible for repaying those funds with interest.
Teacher Loan Cancellation Program
Teachers who have a loan from the Federal Perkins Loan Program may be eligible to have up to 100% of their loan cancelled for teaching in a full-time capacity in a low-income school or for teaching in specific subject areas.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
For educators that teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years may be eligible to have up to $17,500 forgiven on their Direct Student Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized). Applicants must meet eligibility requirements, such as teaching in specific elementary and secondary schools in low-income areas.
Military Loan Benefits and Forgiveness
The US Department of Defense and US Department of Education provide a range of educational benefits to members of the US Armed Forces, including special loan interest rates, deferment programs, and loan forgiveness.
- Public Loan Forgiveness: Service members who have made 120 qualifying student loan payments after October 1, 2007 while in military service may qualify for the forgiveness of the loan’s remaining balance of a Federal Direct Loan.
- Military Service Deferment: While serving in periods of active duty, such as national emergencies or war, service members may postpone their federal student loan repayments.
- Deferment After Active Duty Service: Following a tour of active duty, service members may postpone the repayment of their student loans while they return to school.
- 0% Loan Interest Rates: Service members serving in hostile areas that qualify them for special pay do not have to pay interest on their Direct Loans for up to 60 months if the loans were made on or after October 1, 2008.
- Department of Defense Loan Repayment: In some cases, the Department of Defense may pay a portion or the entire balance of a service member’s student loans.
- Income-Based Repayment: Service members may access repayment plans that are based on their income and, in some cases, may qualify for plans with a zero payment amount.
- Veterans Disability Discharge: Veterans with a service-connected disability may qualify for a complete discharge of the remaining balance of their student loans.
- Service Members Civil Relief Act Interest Rate Cap: Service members serving on active duty may have the interest rate of their student loans capped at 6%, which applies to both private educational loans and loans secured prior to military service.