Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

| January 2, 2012

Due to the demand for quality teachers in low income areas, the government has now started offering loan forgiveness programs for teachers. The Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers is one of the most generous in the country.

Under the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers, students can receive loan forgiveness for an amount up to $17,500. The main condition for receiving the $17,500 is that a student teach in a low-income school district for at least 5 years.

Applying for this student loan forgiveness program occurs after a person has taught for five years in a low-income school district. A Chief Administrative Officer of the school in which a teacher performed his or her service must complete the certification section of the loan application. If one taught at different schools during the five year period, then he or she must get certifications from all of the Chief Administrative Officers of the schools.

While a teacher is under consideration for the loan forgiveness program, he or she may request forbearance upon his or her loans. Forbearance essentially means that a person will not have to repay his or her loans during the period in which he or she is being considered for loan forgiveness. Under forbearance, one will have a 60 day grace period.

Typically, teachers are notified within 135 days of submitting their application for loan forgiveness as to whether or not they qualify for the loans.

If a teacher wants to participate in this loan forgiveness program, then there are some active steps he or she can take to ensure one qualifies for loans under this program. First, a teacher should be sure to pick a school district to teach within that is considered “low income.” Even if one thinks a school is low income, he or she should check with the U.S. Department of Education to see if the school meets the criteria for being “low income.” Some teachers spend years teaching at schools they think are “low income,” only to find out they are unable to ever receive their loans because the school lacks this status. It is truly important for teachers to be conscious of the school they decide to teach at.

In addition, a teacher should plan on living in an area for at least five years. This means a teacher should make sure an area offers affordable housing and transportation for this time period.

Category: Student Loan

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