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Learning About Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Student loan forgiveness programs can play a big part in helping students reduce college debt.

Important Information About Student Financial Aid for College

My website is dedicated to college scholarships, but I know that many families are forced to resort to borrowing money to help pay for their student’s higher education. 

Becoming informed about the types of student loans available is just smart college parenting and student loan forgiveness programs are something that all borrowers need to know about. Student loan forgiveness programs vary according to the state the student lives in and the type of loan he or she has taken out. 

College Parenting Expert, Wendy David-Gaines, breaks down the important details about student loan forgiveness programs and provides valuable insight for parents that needs to be understood before signing on the dotted line. 

Getting a student loan? Check out forgiveness programs

Before accepting student loans, the college-bound can check out loan forgiveness programs. These can turn all or a portion of borrowed cash into money that doesn’t have to be paid back. It is a powerful plan to use for considering college costs when starting a college search and comparing financial aid awards after receiving acceptance offers. The impact on the ability to afford a future lifestyle sought can be huge depending on the amount of student loans that have to be paid back.

Ordinarily, students must pay back student loans even if they don’t earn their degree, can’t find a job in their field, or are dissatisfied with the education they paid for. However, federal and state governments can forgive or cancel all or part of loans via special programs. Meeting qualifications and applying are the keys to receiving the benefit of not having to repay borrowed funds.

The federal government has several different programs that apply to either FFEL or Perkins loans or both.

Some apply to working in certain professions for a period of time and others apply to being unable to work at all. There is also a loan discharge for the closing of a college. The federal website (https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation) has a list of its programs along with student qualifications and other program details.

Parents who have taken out a PLUS loan to help pay for their child’s education have fewer loan forgiveness programs. They do not include student failure to graduate, find a job, or be satisfied with their education. PLUS may be discharged under tragic circumstances when the parent borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled or dies. Check the federal website for more program information.

States can have loan forgiveness programs for their residents. For example, New York State may forgive via awards for not only their own state loans but federal student loans and those from commercial entities. New York’s programs exclude private loans from family or friends, student debt paid by credit cards, and Parent PLUS loans. Eligibility may include working for a specific interval of time in certain professions the state wants to increase. And award amounts may be capped and dependent upon available funding according to NYS HESC website.

Families can do the research now before accepting loans and continue to do so later because new programs can occur at any time. For example, New York State’s 2015-16 newly approved budget describes the brand new Get On Your Feet program to encourage residents to live and work in New York after graduation. Under the program, eligible students would not have to pay their government or government-backed student loans for the first two years out of school.

Parents and students considering loan forgiveness and cancellation programs should also consider any possible tax consequences because the forgiven/cancelled amount might be considered income.

Whether borrowing from the government or exploring a private student loan, parents need to know all their options. 

Learning About Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

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