Banner Image

Information for parents

Saving for college

With the cost of a college education rising yearly, it’s very important to start saving for your child’s education as early as possible. Having a savings account will help when it’s time to start paying for college expenses. It’s never too early to start saving or to encourage your child to save for his or her education.

There are tax free savings plans available for college such as the 529 College Savings Plan and the Coverdell Education Savings Account. For information on these savings accounts, please visit the following websites:

To see how beneficial a savings account can be and how quickly even saving a small amount can add up, please click on the savings growth calculator.

Tax benefits

There are two tax credits that may help offset the cost of your child’s college expenses by reducing the amount of income tax you pay:

  • The American Opportunity Credit allows you to claim up to $2,500 per student per year for the first four years of college.
  • The Lifetime Learning Credit allows you to claim up to $2,000 per student per year for college tuition and fees, books, supplies, and equipment required to be purchased from the school.
     

Another tax benefit for college is withdrawing money from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to pay for qualifying higher education expenses. You will owe Federal income tax on the amount withdrawn, but you will not be required to pay an early withdrawal penalty.

If you take out a student loan for your child (Federal or nonfederal), you may be able to take a tax deduction for interest paid. The maximum deduction is $2,500 a year.

Always check with your tax advisor to verify the tax benefits available and how they will affect your financial circumstances. 

Federal Direct PLUS Loan for parents

Overview

A Direct PLUS Loan is a Federal student loan that is made to the parents of a
dependent undergraduate student to help pay for his or her college expenses. It can also be made to graduate or professional degree students. This section concerns Direct PLUS Loans made to parents. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

Characteristics of a Direct PLUS Loan include:

  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is the lender.
  • The borrower (parent) must not have an adverse credit history.
  • The maximum loan amount is the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) as determined by the school minus any other financial aid received.
  • A Direct PLUS Loan is made to the parent and cannot be transferred to the child. The parent is responsible for repaying the loan. 

Eligibility

To receive a Direct PLUS Loan, you must:

  • Be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student who is enrolled at least half time at a participating school;
  • Meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
    • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
    • Have a valid Social Security number
    • Not have an adverse credit history
    • Not be in default on a Federal student loan or owe a Federal grant overpayment or Federal loan overpayment; and
  • Your child must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
    • Demonstrate financial need (for most programs)
    • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
    • Have a valid Social Security number
    • Be registered with the Selective Service, if he is a male
    • Have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent of a high school diploma such as a General Educational Development Certificate (GED) or complete a high school education in a home school setting approved under state law
    • Be enrolled as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program at an eligible institution
    • Be enrolled at least half time to be eligible for Direct Loan program funds
    • Make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), as determined by the college; and
    • Not be in default on a Federal student loan or owe a Federal grant overpayment or Federal loan overpayment 

Apply using the FAFSA

To apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, your child must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Your income and asset information will be required for the FAFSA. The information listed on the application will help determine the amount of grants, work study, Federal student loans, and some types of state aid that your child may be eligible to receive. Once that amount is determined, the maximum amount of your PLUS loan can be set. The school’s financial aid office can provide instructions about their process for requesting a Direct PLUS Loan. 

Adverse credit

One of the eligibility requirements to receive a Direct PLUS Loan is that you must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check is performed during the application process.

You are considered to have an adverse credit history if:

  • You have one or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent as of the date of the credit report, or that have been placed in collection or charged off (written off) during the two years preceding the date of the credit report; or
  • During the five years preceding the date of the credit report, you have been subject to a
  • Default determination,
  • Discharge of debts in bankruptcy,
  • Foreclosure,
  • Repossession,
  • Tax lien,
  • Wage garnishment, or
  • Write-off of a Federal student aid debt.

If you have an adverse credit history, there are two ways that you may still be able to qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan:

  • You can receive a PLUS Loan if you obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. A credit check will be performed on the endorser. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the PLUS Loan if you do not repay it. The endorser cannot be the child on whose behalf you are borrowing
  • You have the option of trying to qualify for a PLUS Loan by documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.

If you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan and are notified that you have an adverse credit history, you will be given detailed information on the options for qualifying by obtaining an endorser or submitting documentation of extenuating circumstances. If you then qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan, you will be required to complete PLUS loan counseling before you can receive the loan.

If you do not qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan, your child may be eligible to receive additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds to help pay for his or her education. Contact the financial aid office at your child’s school for more information.

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

After you have qualified for a Direct PLUS Loan, you will be required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) in which you are agreeing to the terms of the loan. Contact the financial aid office at your child’s school for details regarding this process.

Loan amount, interest, and fees

The maximum Direct PLUS Loan amount you can borrow is the Cost of Attendance (COA) as determined by the school minus any other financial aid received. A PLUS Loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. There is also a loan fee on all PLUS Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount received and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement.

The chart below lists the current interest rates and loan fees.

Direct PLUS Loan Current Interest Rate and Loan Fees

Current Interest Rate

Loan first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019

7.60%

Current Loan Fees

First disbursement date on or after October 1, 2017, and before October 1, 2018

4.264%

First disbursement date on or after October 1, 2018, and before October 1, 2019

4.248%

Receive loan

When the Direct PLUS Loan is received by the school, the school will first apply the funds to your child’s school account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. Generally, the loan will cover a full academic year and the school will disburse the funds in at least two payments called disbursements within that academic year. If the loan disbursement amount exceeds your child’s school charges, the school will pay you the remaining balance of the disbursement. In some cases, with your permission, the school may send some of the PLUS Loan money directly to your child.

Before the funds are disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan by notifying your child’s school. After your loan is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of the loan within certain time frames. Your Master Promissory Note (MPN) and additional information you receive from your child’s school will explain the procedures and time frames for canceling your loan.

Repayment

Repayment of your Direct PLUS Loan begins once the loan is fully disbursed. You will be contacted by your loan servicer who will provide regular updates on the status of your PLUS Loan as well as information on how and when to repay your loan.

In-school deferment

 You may qualify for an in-school deferment under the following circumstances:

  • While you or your child are enrolled at least half time, or
  • For six months after your child ceases to be enrolled at least half time.
     

During the deferment, interest will accrue on your loan. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized when the deferment period ends. To apply for a deferment, contact your loan servicer. For more information, please see the loan servicer information listed below.

After you submit a deferment application and any required documentation to your loan servicer, be sure to follow up with them to verify that your deferment has been approved. If required, keep making payments on your loan until you receive a notice that the deferment has been granted. Also, it is important that you keep copies of all forms, documents, and correspondence concerning your deferment.

It is important to know when your deferment begins and ends. Generally, the first payment after a deferment will be due no later than 60 days after the date your deferment ends. You will receive notification from your loan servicer telling you the due date and payment amount. Be sure to keep the upcoming payment in your budget to help you stay on track when you resume making payments

Loan servicer

A loan servicer is an organization hired by a lender or the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to administer Federal student loans. If you do not know who your loan servicer is, please sign on to NSLDS. Once you have signed into your NSLDS account, click on each loan to find your loan servicer contact information.

Your loan servicer’s website will have very important information concerning your Direct PLUS Loan. When you visit their website, it may be possible to open an account online. Through this account, you may be able to make online payments, apply for a deferment or forbearance, and view updates concerning your loan. If you provide your loan servicer with your current email address, you may be able to receive timely notices concerning your account.

It is very important that you notify your loan servicer if your address, email, or phone number changes. Also, be sure to open any correspondence received from your loan servicer.

Repayment plans

There are several repayment plans available for repaying your Direct PLUS Loan. The availability of some repayment plans may vary depending on your outstanding loan balance, type of loan, and repayment term remaining.

The chart below lists the types of repayments plans available for all Federal student loans

Repayment
Plan
Eligible Loans Monthly Payment
and Time Frame
Quick Comparison

Standard Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

 

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

 

  • all PLUS loans

Payments are a fixed amount of at least $50 per month.

 

Up to 10 years 

You’ll pay less interest for your loan over time under this plan than you would under other plans.

Graduated Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

 

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

 

  • all PLUS loans

Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years.

 

Up to 10 years

 

You’ll pay more for your loan over time than under the10-year standard plan.

Extended Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

 

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

 

  • all PLUS loans

Payments may be fixed or graduated.

 

Up to 25 years

  • Your monthly payments would be lower than the 10-year standard plan.

 

  • If you are a Direct Loan borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loans.

 

  • If you are a FFEL borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding FFEL Program loans.

 

For example, if you have $35,000 in outstanding FFEL Program loans, and $10,000 in Direct Loans, you can use the extended repayment plan for your FFEL Program loans, but not for your Direct Loans.

 

  • For both programs you must also be a “new borrower” as of Oct. 7, 1998.

 

  • You’ll pay more for your loan over time than under the 10-year standard plan.

Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

 

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

 

  • all PLUS loans made to students

 

  • Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL) that do not include Direct or FFEL PLUS loans made to parents
  • Your maximum monthly payments will be 15 percent of discretionary income, the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150 percent of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence (other conditions apply).

 

  • Your payments change as your income changes.

 

Up to 25 years

  • You must have a partial financial hardship.

 

  • Your monthly payments will be lower than payments under the 10-year standard plan.

 

  • You’ll pay more for your loan over time than you would under the 10-year standard plan.

 

  • If you have not repaid your loan in full after making the equivalent of 25 years of qualifying monthly payments, any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven.

 

  • You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.

Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

 

  • Direct PLUS loans made to students

 

  • Direct Consolidation Loans that do not include (Direct or FFEL) PLUS loans made to parents
  • Your maximum monthly payments will be 10 percent of discretionary income, the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150 percent of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence (other conditions apply).

 

  • Your payments change as your income changes.

 

Up to 20 years

  • You must be a new borrower on or after Oct. 1, 2007, and must have received a disbursement of a Direct Loan on or after Oct. 1, 2011.

 

  • You must have a partial financial hardship.

 

  • Your monthly payments will be lower than payments under the 10-year standard plan.

 

  • You’ll pay more for your loan over time than you would under the 10-year standard plan.

 

  • If you have not repaid your loan in full after you made the equivalent of 20 years of qualifying monthly payments, any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven.

 

  • You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.

Income-Contingent Repayment Plan

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

 

  • Direct PLUS Loans made to students

 

  • Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Payments are calculated each year and are based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans.

 

  • Your payments change as your income changes.

 

Up to 25 years

  • You’ll pay more for your loan over time than under the 10-year standard plan.

 

  • If you do not repay your loan after making the equivalent of 25 years of qualifying monthly payments, the unpaid portion will be forgiven.

 

  • You may have to pay income tax on the amount that is forgiven.

Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

 

  • FFEL PLUS Loans

 

  • FFEL Consolidation Loans
  • Your monthly payment is based on annual income.

 

  • Your payments change as your income changes.

 

Up to 10 years

  • You’ll pay more for your loan over time than under the 10-year standard plan.

 

  • Each lender’s formula for determining the monthly payment amount under this plan can vary. 

Chart adapted from Studentaid.ed.gov

You can change your repayment plan at any time. You may be able to lower your monthly payment by changing the repayment plan to one that will allow you to have a longer repayment period. Forbearance and deferment time periods do not count against the repayment term on your student loan. To discuss repayment plan options or change your repayment plan, contact your loan servicer.

Before you contact your loan servicer to discuss repayment plans, you may want to use a repayment estimator to see which plans best meet your current financial situation. The estimator will also project your monthly payment amount, total interest paid, and total amount paid.

Trouble making payments

Overview

If you begin having trouble making your scheduled loan payments, contact your loan servicer immediately. You are considered delinquent the day after your payment is due. Once you become delinquent, your loan servicer will attempt to contact you to help you determine the best solution for getting back on track. Please do not ignore phone calls, emails, or letters from your student loan servicer.

Several options are available to help reduce or postpone your Direct PLUS Loan payments. You may be able to postpone your payment for a time period if you qualify for a deferment or a forbearance. If you do not qualify for a deferment or a forbearance, you may be able to lower your monthly payment by changing your repayment plan to one that will allow you to have a longer repayment period or to one that is based on your income. Check with your loan servicer and the information listed on your Master Promissory Note (MPN) for specific information concerning the type of deferment and forbearance you are eligible to receive

Deferment

A deferment is an authorized temporary suspension of repayment and may be granted under certain circumstances. You will be responsible for paying the interest that accrues on your Direct PLUS Loan, which will make the amount you pay in the future higher.

You must apply and meet certain eligibility criteria for a deferment to be granted. Your eligibility for a deferment depends on the loan type and when you received the oldest outstanding loan of that type. Some deferments have maximum time limits. If you use up the maximum amount of time for a deferment with a limit, you are no longer eligible for additional deferments of that type.

The following chart provides situations that may make you eligible for a deferment of your PLUS loan. 

Situations When You May Apply for Deferment Deferment Available? (and for how long, if applicable)
Direct Loans FFEL Loans Perkins Loans

During a period of at least half-time enrollment in college or career school

Yes

Yes

Yes

During a period of study in an approved graduate fellowship program or in an approved rehabilitation training program for the disabled

Yes

Yes

Yes

During a period of unemployment or inability to find full-time employment

Yes (for up to 3 years)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

During a period of economic hardship (includes Peace Corps service)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

Yes (for up to 3 years)

During a period of service qualifying for Perkins Loan discharge/cancellation

No

No

Yes

During a period of active duty military service during a war, military operation, or national emergency

Yes

Yes

Yes

During the 13 months following the conclusion of qualifying active duty military service, or until you return to enrollment on at least half-time basis, whichever is earlier, if

  • you are a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. armed forces and
  • you were called or ordered to active duty while enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school or within six months of having been enrolled at least half-time
Yes Yes Yes

If you are a Direct Loan or FFEL Program borrower who has a loan that was first disbursed (paid to you or on your behalf) before July 1, 1993, you may be eligible for additional deferments for such situations as teaching in a teacher shortage area, public service, being a working mother, parental leave, or temporary disability.

Chart adapted from Studentaid.ed.gov

Your loan servicer will be able to help determine if you qualify for a deferment. To apply for a deferment, contact your loan servicer. If you do not know who your loan servicer is, please sign on to NSLDS. Once you have signed into your account, click on each loan to find your loan servicer contact information.

After you submit a deferment application and any required documentation to your loan servicer, be sure to follow up with them to verify that your deferment has been approved. Keep making payments on your loan until you receive a notice that the deferment has been granted. Also, it is important that you keep copies of all forms, documents, and correspondence concerning your deferment.

It is important to know when your deferment begins and ends. Generally, the first payment after a deferment will be due no later than 60 days after the date your deferment ends. You will receive notification from your loan servicer telling you the due date and payment amount. Be sure to keep the upcoming payment in your budget to help you stay on track when you resume making payments.

Forbearance

If you are unable to make your scheduled loan payments, but you do not qualify for a deferment, you may qualify for a forbearance. With a forbearance, you may be able to stop making payments or reduce your monthly payment for up to 12 months. Interest will continue to accrue on your Direct PLUS Loan during the forbearance period which will make your future payments higher.

There are two types of forbearance, discretionary and mandatory. Your loan servicer may grant a discretionary forbearance if you are willing but unable to make payments and do not qualify for a deferment. Instances in which a discretionary forbearance may be granted are:

  • Temporary financial hardship
  • Less than half-time enrollment
  • Unemployment (beyond maximum deferment time limit)
  • Reduction in work hours
  • Life-changing circumstances

In certain circumstances, your loan servicer must grant a mandatory forbearance. To see if you qualify for a mandatory forbearance for your PLUS loan, check with your loan servicer and the information listed on your Master Promissory Note (MPN) for specific information concerning the eligibility criteria. 

Your loan servicer will be able to help determine if you qualify for a forbearance. To apply for a forbearance, contact your loan servicer. You may be able to apply for a forbearance with your loan servicer over the phone. If you do not know who your loan servicer is, please sign on to NSLDS. Once you have signed into your NSLDS account, click on each loan to find your loan servicer contact information.

After you submit a forbearance application and any required documentation to your loan servicer, be sure to follow up with them to verify that your forbearance has been approved. Keep making payments on your loan until you receive a notice that the forbearance has been granted. Also, it is important that you keep copies of all forms, documents, and correspondence concerning your forbearance.

It is important to know when your forbearance begins and ends. Generally, the first payment after a forbearance will be due no later than 60 days after the date your forbearance ends. You will receive notification from your loan servicer telling you the due date and payment amount. Be sure to keep the upcoming payment in your budget to help you stay on track for when you resume making payments.

Discharge and forgiveness

In certain circumstances, you may have your Direct PLUS Loan discharged or forgiven. Discharge of your PLUS loan means that you are no longer expected to repay your loan. Forgiveness of your PLUS loan means that you may not be required to repay part or all of your loan depending on specific requirements. Check with your loan servicer and the information listed on your Master Promissory Note (MPN) for specific information concerning the type of forgiveness and discharge you are eligible to receive.

Your loan servicer will be able to help determine if you qualify for a discharge or forgiveness of your PLUS loan. If you do not know who your loan servicer is, please sign on to NSLDS. Once you have signed into your NSLDS account, click on each loan to find your loan servicer contact information.

After you submit a discharge or forgiveness application and any required documentation, be sure to follow up to verify the status of your request. Keep making payments on your loan until you receive a notice that the discharge or forgiveness has been approved. Also, it is important that you keep copies of all forms, documents, and correspondence concerning your request.

The chart below lists the types of discharge and forgiveness options available for all Federal student loans.

Discharge and Forgiveness Options Chart

Discharge 
Condition
Eligible Loans Eligibility 
Requirements
To Apply

Closed School Discharge

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 100% amount discharged
  • Direct Loans

 

  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans

 

  • Perkins Loans
  • Your school closes while you’re enrolled, and you do not complete your program because of the closure. If you were on an approved leave of absence, you are considered to have been enrolled at the school.

 

  • Your school closes within 120 days after you withdraw.

 

For more information and to apply, contact your loan servicer.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD)

 

 

 

 

 

  • 100% amount discharged

 

 

  • Direct  Loans

 

  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans

 

  • Perkins Loans
  • If you are a veteran, submit documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) showing that the VA has determined you are unemployable due to a service-connected disability.                              
  • If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, submit a Social Security Administration (SSA) notice of award for SSDI or SSI benefits stating that your next scheduled disability review will be within five to seven years from the date of your most recent SSA disability determination.
  • You may submit certification from a physician that you are totally and permanently disabled. Your physician must certify that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that
  • Can be expected to result in death,
  • Has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 60 months, or
  • Can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 60 months.

For more information and to apply for a TPD discharge, go to Total and Permanent Disability Discharge.

 

Death Discharge 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 100% amount discharged

 

  • Direct Loans

 

  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans

 

  • Perkins Loans
  • If you, the borrower, die, then your Federal student loan will be discharged.

 

  • If you are a parent PLUS loan borrower, your loan may be discharged if you die or if the student on whose behalf you obtained the loan dies.

For more information, contact your loan servicer.

Discharge in Bankruptcy (in rare cases)

 

 

 

 

 

  • 100% amount

 discharged

  • Direct Loans

 

  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans

 

  • Perkins Loans
  • If you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may have your Federal student loan discharged in bankruptcy only if the bankruptcy court finds that repayment would impose undue hardship on you and your dependents.

 

  • To determine hardship, you must meet each of the following criteria:

 

  • If you are forced to repay the student loan, you would not be able to maintain a minimal standard of living.
  • There is evidence that this hardship will continue for a significant portion of the loan repayment period.
  • You made good faith efforts to repay the student loan before filing bankruptcy (usually this means you have been in repayment for a minimum of five years).

 

For more information, contact your loan servicer.

False Certification of Student Eligibility

or

Unauthorized Payment Discharge

 

 

  • 100% amount discharged
  • Direct Loans

 

  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans
  • Your school falsely certified your eligibility to receive a Federal student loan based on your ability to benefit from its training, and you did not meet the ability to benefit student eligibility requirements.

 

  • The school signed your name on the application or promissory note without your authorization or the school endorsed your student loan check or signed your authorization for electronic funds transfer without your knowledge, unless the proceeds of the loan were delivered to you or applied to charges owed by you to the school.

 

  • Your student loan was falsely certified because you were a victim of identity theft.
  • The school certified your eligibility, but because of a physical or mental condition, age, criminal record, or other reason, you are disqualified from employment in the occupation for which you were being trained.

For more information and to apply, contact your loan servicer.

Unpaid Refund Discharge

 

 

 

 

 

  • Discharge amount is up to the amount that the school was required to return.

 

  • Direct Loans

 

  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans
  • If you withdrew from school, but the school did not pay a refund that was owed to the U.S. Department of Education for a Direct Loan or to the lender for a FFEL Program loan.

 

For more information and to apply, contact your loan servicer.

Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge (includes Teacher Cancellation)

 

  • The total percentage that can be canceled depends on the type of service performed.

 

  • Perkins Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program cancellations apply to individuals who perform certain types of public service or are employed in certain occupations.

 

  • For each complete year of service, a percentage of the loan may be canceled.

For more information and to apply, contact the school that you were attending when you received the student loan. 

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

 

 

 

 

 

  • The total amount that can be forgiven depends on the type of teaching service performed.

 

  • Direct Loans

 

  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans
  • If you teach full time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your Federal student loan.

 

  • You must not have had an outstanding balance on Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans as of Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date that you obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998.

 

  • If you are in default on a Federal student loan, you are not eligible for forgiveness of that loan unless you have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the loan servicer of the defaulted loan.

 

  • The student loan for which you are seeking forgiveness must have been made before the end of your five academic years of qualifying teaching service.

 

 

  • Your teaching service may qualify if the consecutive five-year period includes qualifying service performed after the 2007–08 academic year at an eligible educational service agency.

 

  • If your school meets the above requirements for at least one year of your teaching service, but does not meet these requirements during subsequent years, your subsequent years of teaching at the school may be counted toward the required five complete and consecutive academic years of teaching.

 

For more information and to apply, contact your loan servicer. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

 

  • Discharge amount is 100% of the remaining outstanding balance on an eligible Direct Loan.

 

  • Direct Loans
  • You must work in public service and make 120 qualifying payments while employed full time by a public service employer.

 

  • Your required 120 payments must be made under one of the following repayment plans:

 

  • Income-Based Repayment Plan
  • Income-Contingent Repayment Plan
  • Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan
  • Standard Repayment Plan 

 

For more information, please click here. 

Chart adapted from Studentaid.ed.gov