Student loan cancellation programs
Aside from severe cases, such as the death or total and permanent disability of a borrower, there are other conditions in which you may be eligible to cancel all or a portion of your federal student loans. If you believe you may qualify for a cancellation program, call your school’s financial aid office and request additional information.
FFEL and Federal Direct Loans
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Eligible applicants can receive loan forgiveness for up to a combined total of $17,500 in principle and interest of subsidized and unsubsidized FFEL or Federal Direct Loans.
For more detailed information about the eligibility requirements for teacher loan forgiveness, visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This new program provides for the cancellation of the remaining balance due on eligible federal student loans after the borrower has made 120 monthly payments after Oct. 1, 2007, on those loans under certain repayment plans in the Direct Loan Program while employed in certain public service fields. For more information about the Loan Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Federal Perkins Loans
For all of the following loan cancellation programs, you will need to make a properly documented written request to the holder of the loan. Contact the holders of your loans for more information on the process. Perkins Loan cancellation provisions may be available for full-time employment in the following fields:
- Teacher in a public or nonprofit school (elementary or secondary level). The teaching must be in a school serving low-income students, in a field of expertise where the state education agency determines there is a shortage of qualified teachers, or in one of the following fields: mathematics, science, foreign language, or bilingual education.
- Teacher in special education for infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities. Your teaching can take place in a public or nonprofit school system (elementary or secondary level).
- Full-time staff member in a prekindergarten or child-care program that is licensed or regulated by the state.
- Full-time speech language pathologist with a master's degree working exclusively in Title I schools.
- Librarian with a master's degree in library science employed in a school served under Title I of the ESEA, or a public library serving a Title I school.
- Full-time faculty member at a tribally controlled university.
- Nurse or medical technician (or allied health professional).
- Full-time firefighter.
- Full-time employee in a child- or family-service agency (either public or private nonprofit) that is providing, or supervising the provision of, services to high-risk children who are from low-income communities, as well as to the families of these children.
- Full-time, qualified, professional provider of early intervention services in a public or other nonprofit program under public supervision by the lead agency, as authorized in section 632(5) of the Individuals with Disabilities Act.
- Law enforcement, public prosecutor, public defender, or corrections officer.
- Full-time staff member in a Head Start program.
- A member of the Armed Forces in an area of hostilities that qualifies for special pay under section 310 of Title 37 of the United States Code.
- Volunteer under the Peace Corps Act or the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (ACTION programs). Contact your school if you think you qualify.