Becoming a teacher requires several years of education and specialized training, which can be very expensive! Some students may find it necessary to borrow student loans to help cover the costs of their college education. Then, after finishing school, students can expect to be bombarded with student loan payments. Luckily, there are several student loan forgiveness programs to help reduce the costs of student loan repayments and make becoming a teacher more affordable. Because many of the loan programs are designed to entice students to become teachers and/or stay in the teaching profession, there are some special stipulations. Here is a brief look at some of the possible student loan forgiveness programs available to qualifying teachers.
Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program
Do you have a Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan? Are you a teacher who would like to have up to a combined total of $17,500 of your student loan debt forgiven or canceled? A highly-qualified math teacher teaching full-time for at least five consecutive years in a school serving low-income families may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 worth of debt on his or her Stafford Loan. There are certain requirements and qualifications that must be met, so be sure to read up on the necessary steps and get the proper forms. You can also go here to find out if the school you teach at, or plan to teach at, qualifies you for the program.
Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge
Here is another option for math teachers working in schools serving low-income communities. If you borrowed a Federal Perkins Loan, you may be eligible to have portions of your student loan debt canceled for each year of full-time teaching at a qualifying school serving low-income children. In addition, you may also qualify for deferment, which means you can postpone your payments while getting settled in your new position. You could save up to 15 percent for the first and second years, 20 percent the third and fourth and 30 percent during the fifth year. Applications to this program must be made to the school that made the loan or the school’s designated loan servicer.
Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Are you looking at more than 10 years of student loan repayments? If so, this program may help. After making 120 on-time, scheduled, monthly payments in the full amount through a repayment plan, while also teaching full-time at an eligible school, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining amount owed under the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). This loan forgiveness program applies only to William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans (“Direct Loans”).
State Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Becoming a math teacher is not just an incredible opportunity to teach what you love, but it can also lead to opportunities to have at least part of your college expenses forgiven. In turn, this makes becoming a teacher all the more beneficial to you and your students!
Learn about more financial assistance for both current and aspiring math teachers! Read about national grants, awards, fellowships and scholarships here.