Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: Easing the Financial Strain on Graduates
The financial pressure on students after graduation can be extreme, but through student loan forgiveness programs the burden is eased. All that is needed is a willingness to contribute to public or charity service.
It would be a mistake to believe that these programs are all about letting students off the hook. It would be more accurate to describe them as alternative loan repayment options, and a way that allows a contribution to be made to the community at large in return for a lowering the existing debt. These contributions can range quite widely, from military service to volunteer work.
Crucially, however, the pressure created by student loans is lifted, and since the government repays a percentage of the loans, lenders do not lose our and society gains a little too.
Amongst the more beneficial student loan forgiveness programs is volunteer work, which can be done with a small number of government sponsored charity organizations. They include the Peace Corp, Americorp and VISTA.
The amount of loan written off depends on which of the three is chosen. For example, with Americorp up to $4,700 can be written off for every 12 months of volunteer service that is provided. A popular alternative loan repayment option, it can make a huge impact on the total debt due.
Volunteering with the Peace Corp, meanwhile, can result in as much as 70% of the debt removed, with a minimum of 15% for each year of service given. And with VISTA, a total of $4,700 can be written off student loan debt if as many as 1,700 hours have been volunteered.
Military and Law Enforcement Service
Understandably, committing to military service will result in a much bigger slice of the student debt being accounted for. The student loan forgiveness program allows for as much as $10,000 to be taken from the total student debt for serving with the Army National Guard, though this sum can vary depending on the term and specific details of the service.
It is also possible to serve in law enforcement to repay loans that were taken to finance studies in the law enforcement field. These include law, parole, probation and penology and is specific to the State of Alaska, offering an alternative loan repayment option to students who take out a Michael Murphy Loan. In return, the state will write off 20% of the loan for each year served as an Alaska State Trooper.
Meanwhile, law students nationwide are also entitled to a reduction in the debt created by student loans if they work for a non-profit organization or in public interest law.
Finally, for students who graduated as teachers, there is a student loan forgiveness program that permits a percentage to be forgiven off their loans. This is specific to those who took out Perkins loans to cover their college fees, and involves teaching in schools that have a given number of low-income students.
The benefits are staggered to reflect the degree of commitment that graduates show to the teaching program, with 15% taken off their total debt for each of the first two years in the classroom. The alternative loan repayment option can be taken for a further two years with 20% reduced from the debt for each year. Finally, in the fifth year, 30% of the debt is written off.
So, after 5 years the entire student loan can be completely cleared, while a contribution to the education of young low-income students can help to make a difference to their lives.
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Devora Witts is a certified loan consultant who helps people get approved for Loans for People with Bad Credit and Bad Credit Mortgage Loans. To get aid with your financial situation you can visit her at http://www.badcreditloanservices.com