College is super expensive in the country, and it’s a known fact.
It is also very common for people to purchase student loan options to pay through college. While it looks easy to have a loan pay for your education, the payback process is daunting. Because of the interest rate, the repayment amount becomes almost impossible to pay back.
Not being able to pay for loans has major consequences for students- the biggest one being a stain on their record. The credit scores take a big hit when it comes to not being able to pay student loans, and in the future they might not be able to apply for mortgages, leases or even credit cards.
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How to stop paying Student Loans- legally?
Well, there are a couple of ways you can get out of paying student loans, and that too, legally. Governments understand that repaying student loans is not an easy task, so the government of the US has suspended all loan repayments from the time period of March 2020-September 2020 on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
Several people have been laid out of their jobs or have faced losses in their jobs and businesses, so this initiative has actually eased down student loan debt on borrowers.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
A Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is specifically designed to ‘forgive’ student loans of borrowers. But you won’t be able to use this program to completely waive off the debt, this program requires borrowers to have made 120 months of successful payments and the remaining is then forgiven.
Qualifying for the PSLF program requires borrowers to:
- Complete 120 months of successful repayments
- Be working in a US federal, State, Local government or an NGO
- Full-time employment
- Have direct loans
- Repayment of loans under an income-driven repayment plan
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Form
When you apply for PSLF, you are also required to fill in a form. This form will ask you for information like your personal data, student loan information etc. Once you’re through with the process, the next step is sending it and your employment certification on the following address:
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
The form is then reviewed and verified, and all documents are also checked. Only complete applications are processed and if yours gets selected, you will be notified of the status. For more information, you can visit Federal Student Aid.
Income-Driven Repayment Plan
An income-driven plan is another great option to apply for if you’re looking for options to stop paying the loans. Around 10% of your income goes to repaying the loan for the first 20 or 25 years, whatever the loan is paid is done, after that time period the remaining loan amount is automatically forgiven.
This is another student forgiveness plan that works really well for people who have had an unstable financial condition or people who still have low-paying jobs.
To be eligible for such forgiveness plans, you have to prove to the company that you can’t maintain the basic standard of living because of monthly payments of the loan.
Jobs that qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness
Other than these programs, there are a couple of jobs that help you get out of paying a student loan.
- Public Service: Having full time employment in the public services sector like a government agency or an NGO. To be applicable for student loan forgiveness, you will have to complete at least 10 years of service there. This is considered a major risk because working in the services sector gives you an incentive, so such jobs are low-paying jobs.
Can you really be stuck in a job for 10 years? Many people don’t consider this option because working the same job for a longer period of time can limit their growth and potential.
- Federal Employee: Working in a federal agency can help you with loans, however, you will have to sign a contract that you will work with them for three years minimum. Moreover, there is also a limit to how much an employee can get for student loans. It doesn’t exceed $10,000 per year for federally insured loans, but the total an employee gets cannot be more than $60,000.
- Lawyer: Anyone who is a lawyer is given an option to enrol in student forgiveness programs designated especially for lawyers. One of these options is the Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP) which allows recruitment of applicants.
- Nurse: There are many programs of student loan forgiveness for nurses that help with paying off student loans. If you’re a registered nurse, you are eligible to apply for student loan forgiveness through the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program. The nurses receive assistance of 60% of their qualifying student loan balance forgiven, in exchange for a minimum two-year service commitment. Also, qualifying participants may receive an additional 25% off their original loan balance if they complete a third year of service. It is important to note that all of the amount is taxable.
- Dentist: There are many programs assigned to forgive student loans for dentists such as the Ohio Dentist Loan Repayment Program and Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program. Even though dentists today earn a lot per annum, their student loans are also very big. These are some of the programs specifically designed to ease the burden of dentists.
- Pharmacist: Just like dentists, pharmacists or other healthcare workers take a lot of debt to put them through medical schools. This is why the government offers them several plans to get ahead of student loans. If you’re a pharmacist and have a huge amount of loan on your head, think of applying to programs like California State Loan Repayment Program, and they will waive off a significant portion of your loan if you practice in a qualifying area.
- Vet: Being a vet and practicing with animals is not only great, but also helps you in having your student debt waived off. Vets today graduate with more than $200,000 in student loans, and their jobs may not be able to pay back the loan. Programs such as North Dakota State Veterinarian Loan Repayment Program help vets waive off full, or portion of their student loan if they agree to work in remote areas, or where there is a shortage.
If you have relevant degrees or work experience, these are some of the qualifying jobs that can help you waive off your student loan debt.
Applying for jobs and qualifying for student loan forgiveness is an amazing way of getting ahead of student loans, because let’s face it, no one has enough money simply lying around (or you wouldn’t have to ask for a loan in the first place).
But, as easy as it sounds, it has its own share of complications and legal requirements. Every job in every state may have an eligibility criteria that you’re not fit for, for this you will have to thoroughly scrutinize the website or talk to experts to see how you can be involved.
For conditions where you have to give 2-3 years of your professional life to a qualifying job, the deal doesn’t seem bad, because the result is satisfying. By only giving a few years to a job you’re getting away with the entire or a major portion of your student loan debt.