Find a Job with a Loan Cancellation Program

Facing a mountain of student loan debt after graduation can feel like an insurmountable task, but there are actually programs associated with certain professions or jobs that will cancel all or a portion of your loans. If you are considering one of these careers, check to see if you qualify for loan repayment assistance:

Teachers and Librarians

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) Program is designed to encourage people to enter and continue in the teaching profession. If you’re eligible, you can receive loan forgiveness for up to a combined total of $17,500 of subsidized and unsubsidized FFEL or Federal Direct Loans.

Teachers may also be eligible for a Federal Perkins Loan cancellation. You can find more information about this program on the Federal Student Aid website.

Government and Nonprofit Employees

If you work full-time for a federal, state, or local government agency or organization, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, or other qualifying public service organization in any capacity, you could qualify for loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. This new program lets you cancel the remaining balance of your loans after you have made 120 on-time monthly payments after Oct. 1, 2007 on direct loans under certain repayment plans.


Some postgraduate volunteer programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) let participants defer or cancel part of their loans. If you’re interested in working as a volunteer with one of these organizations after graduation, talk with a recruitment advisor about how you can handle your student loans during your service.

Military Personnel

While there are a lot of scholarships and tuition assistance programs for military personnel and veterans, you can also investigate the student loan repayment program available through the Army National Guard or ROTC, or programs available for members of the U.S. armed forces.


Firefighters can receive partial cancellation on existing qualifying loans for each year of full-time service after Aug. 14, 2008. Visit the International Association of Firefighters website for more information.


If you’re a law student, and you’re thinking about practicing law in a public interest or nonprofit position, contact Equal Justice Works for advice on applying for loan forgiveness. The American Bar Association also has a list of state loan repayment assistance programs you could qualify for.

Doctors, Nurses, Medical Researchers, and Veterinarians

Students pursuing careers in a health-related field can qualify for quite a few different loan assistance programs. Visit these resources for more information:

With help from a repayment plan or loan forgiveness program, your student loan debt won’t seem so daunting. Talk with your school’s office of financial aid, or with someone in your field or department for more information.

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