Financial Resource Center


Are You Eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness?

by Tracy Curtis / June 14th, 2018

Student loan debt in the U.S. stands at approximately $1.4 trillion. Many have difficulty paying off their loans or realize that their student loan debt may prevent them from getting other loans to help them buy a home or start a business.

Historically, some workers have been eligible for loan forgiveness. Here’s a list of jobs that may qualify you to apply. Keep in mind that your profession could place you in more than one of these categories.


  • Public school teachers and some other public education employees


  • Must work on animals raised for food or teach veterinary medicine

Health professional 



Military Service           


Public Service              

  • Federal, state, and local government workers and some not-for-profit workers


  • PeaceCorps, AmeriCorps, VISTA volunteers, and others are eligible for loan forgiveness.

Victims of the following kinds of fraud or deceptive behavior can apply to have student loans discharged.

School Closing             

  • School closed during your enrollment or within 120 days of your withdrawal

False Certification       

  • Someone used your identity to enroll or borrow school accepted financial aid on your behalf without your permission school falsely claimed you could benefit from enrollment certification from the school was not valid in your profession school inaccurately declared you eligible for its programs

Unpaid Refund                 

  • You left school early and the school failed to refund the financial aid balance

Borrower Defense          

  • School violated laws or misled you about typical student outcomes

Student loans are forgiven in the cases of total, permanent disability and are discharged upon the borrower’s death. Income dependent repayment could lower monthly payments and reduce your total outlay. If you can prove that repaying the loans would cause extreme financial hardship, you might be able get them discharged under some forms of bankruptcy. Your financial situation may allow you to get free legal assistance, or you could hire a student loan lawyer.

To quality for debt relief, pay attention to the rules. The programs listed above are limited to specific loan types, and you must apply.  Be sure to double check requirements and your paperwork to remain qualified once you’re accepted to a plan.

This list doesn’t include all the possible roads to debt relief. Some employers offer student loan repayment assistance, and some professional positions offer signing bonuses that could go toward reducing your debt. Your state may offer its own plans. Use this information to springboard your research. 

Student loan policies are shifting.  Apply for forgiveness as soon as possible and keep your eyes on news about changes in the scope and requirements of repayment programs.

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