Military Forgiveness Of Student Loan
If you’re a member of the military, then you know that signing up for active duty is serious business. You have to give up a lot: the comforts of home, your own life and identity, and even your education. Fortunately, there are ways to get some of those things back. If you’ve been working on paying off your student loans since joining the military (or even before), it might be time to explore some opportunities for discharge or forgiveness.
Total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge
If you’re totally and permanently disabled and unable to work, you may be eligible for a discharge of your student loans. The U.S. Department of Education has a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge application that borrowers can submit to request an exception to their student loan debt.
If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that prevents you from working full time and can’t find another job within your field, the TPD discharge could be an option for you. This article will explain how it works, what are the eligibility requirements, what are the benefits of total and permanent disability discharge and what are the requirements for re-applying for total and permanent disability discharge?
If you are an eligible borrower, your student loans may be discharged if you die or become totally and permanently disabled. If a borrower dies before his or her loans are repaid, the loan holder (the Department of Education) can discharge the loan balance.
If a borrower is enrolled in school at least half-time when he or she becomes totally and permanently disabled, his or her Title IV federal student loans may be discharged without going through the disability discharge process. This provision does not apply to Perkins Loans (Direct Loans), Health Professions Student Loans (FDSL) or Nursing Student Loan programs unless they were consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
With some exceptions, borrowers who did not receive their disbursement prior to October 7th 2003 will also qualify for this type of discharge if they meet certain eligibility requirements:
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a federal government program that forgives the remaining balance on your federal student loans if you work full-time for a qualified employer and make 120 qualifying monthly payments on your loan.
It’s important to note that this forgiveness does not apply to private student loans, which we’ll discuss in more depth later.
Perkins Loan cancellation and discharge
Perkins loans are federally guaranteed loans for students with exceptional financial need. These loans can be used for undergraduate and graduate study and are available to both part-time and full-time students, who must be enrolled in an eligible postsecondary education program.
Perkins loan cancellation and discharge is granted to certain individuals who were forced out of their degree programs due to military service. If you were unable to complete your studies due to being called up for active duty before completing a bachelor’s degree, you may be able file a claim for a Perkins loan cancellation/discharge if one or more of the following circumstances apply:
- Your military service lasted more than 30 days
- Your military service was extended by an additional period equal in length or longer than that required by law (i.e., 90 days)
Teacher loan forgiveness
Teacher loan forgiveness is a program that forgives federal student loans for teachers who work in low-income schools or educational service agencies. To qualify, you must be a new borrower as of Oct. 1, 1998, and have a federal loan disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 1998.
If you’re eligible for teacher loan forgiveness, payments will be canceled for up to five years after entering the teaching profession. During this time period your loans will not accrue interest or become due.
Other circumstances that may qualify you for a student loan discharge or forgiveness
The following are some circumstances that may qualify you for student loan forgiveness or discharge:
- You’re serving an internship or residency program. If you’re engaged in a medical or dental internship or residency program and meet the requirements of the Health Education Assistance Loan Forgiveness Program (HEAL), your college loans could be forgiven after meeting certain criteria. You must provide service at an eligible site for two years and work at least half-time in this capacity for each year during which you receive any amount of loan forgiveness.
- You’re serving in AmeriCorps under Section 1122(a)(5) of Title 36, U.S Code, as amended by Public Law 109-163.*
This law was passed on January 28, 2006, to allow people who served with AmeriCorps NCCC to receive cancellation of their federal student loans if they complete their service requirement satisfactorily within five years after completing their term.*
Find out how to get student loan forgiveness through military service.
If you have a federal student loan, you may be able to apply for student loan forgiveness through military service. To learn more about this program, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website at www.studentaid.ed.gov/military-forgiveness/index.html
If you’re a teacher or other public servant who works full-time in an elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students, you may qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP). Under this program, teachers can receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if they work five consecutive years as a full-time teacher at an eligible school after making 120 qualifying monthly payments on their loans while employed by an eligible school.*
- Visit www1tloanservicingcom2to learn more about how many payments must be made before TLFP begins and other details about eligibility requirements and benefits available under this program.”
Military service can be a great way to secure student loan forgiveness. The two main forms of discharge or forgiveness available through the military are Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) and Death, but there are also some other circumstances that might qualify you for a discharge or forgiveness.