April 26, 2007

Am I eligible for Loan Forgiveness?

Posted in FAFSA, Graduate Students, The Financial Aid Process at 2:03 PM by kpops

See below for a detailed Stafford and Plus Loan Discharge and Cancellation Summary Chart….

Discharge/Forgiveness Condition




Borrowers total and permanent disability or death*

100 Percent

Plus Loans may be discharged in the event of a death but not the disability of a student for whom the parents borrowed.

Full time teacher for 5 consecutive years in a designated elementary or secondary school serving students from low-income families.

Up to $5,000(up to $17,500 for teachers in certain specialties) of the total loan amount outstanding after the completion of the fifth year of teaching.

Under the Direct and FFEL Consolidation Loan Programs, only the portion of the consolidation loans used to repay eligible Direct Loans or FFEL Loans qualifies for Loan Forgiveness.

Plus Loans are not eligible for teacher loan forgiveness. At least one of your five consecutive years of teaching must occur after the 1997-1998 school year.

Bankruptcy (Rare Cases)

100 Percent

Cancellation is possible only if the bankruptcy court rules that the repayment would cause undue hardship.

Closed School (before the student could complete course of study) or False Loan Certification

100 Percent

For Loans received on or after January 1, 1986.

Identity Theft

100 Percent

Effective July 1, 2006

School does not make requires return of loan funds to lender.

Up to the amount that the school was required to return.

For Loans received on or after Jan. 1, 1986.

Questions….Contact the Department of Education at 800-433-3243. You may also find additional information on http://www.StaffordLoan.com.

The Student Loan Network: Stafford Federal Student Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, Student Loan Consolidation, Private Student Loans


  1. TermPapers said,

    Student Loan Info for Parents are really a good thing to have for many of students and for parents also this is a thing that have so much good in its self and make good to the students and the parents.

  2. Christie said,

    My husband served his country in the military for four years and worked as a land surveyer for 22 years, very hard, dedicated worker. He lost his job a year ago and was unemployed for a year. We had to use all of our retirement money to live and put food on the table for a family of four. He didn’t know about the gi bill or assistance for college at the time he was in the military because he knew he wanted to be a land surveyor. He paid his own way thru college for that back then. Right now we are having a hard time recouping from losing our home, retirement and just trying to pay for our present mortgage, food on the table. How could he get a grant or help for loan forgiveness. we already are paying the lowest amount a month on the loan but we sure could use the 200.00 extra a month for food. He got this loan of 25,000.00 by learning a skill or trade as a computer tech. He doesn’t make much and I can’t work because of a disability. What can we do? The college loan is a big stress to our family and we are in our mid forties having to start from square one. Thanks, Christie

  3. Christy S. said,

    My physician is fed up with the way the disability office considers disability. He has sent in a multitude of paperwork that shows definitive proof, with exceptional details about the disorders of his patients, but it’s never enough. He finally told me, that unless he tells them I will die soon, they will never approve your claim…in other words, you have to be practically dead in order to be approved for a loan discharge due to disability. One part of the contention, is that he is a very honest fellow, besides an exceptional physician. He feels like he would need to lie to get what the patient deserves, and he isn’t willing to do that. When the paperwork asks if someone can do ANY work at all…and when I say “any,” I mean a half hour…then that person will not qualify for loan discharge. The problem with this, is that most people that are disabled, CAN do a little work now and then…not much, but a little. The flip-side then, is when the patient does do this little work, they pay for it dearly…meaning a half hour of work on Monday morning, gets them heating pads and narcotics for the remainder of the day and on Tuesday & Wednesday, the patient is in misery. The disability determination office feels that if a patient can do that half hour of work, then they aren’t disabiled enough to qualify. They will not take into consideration what happens to that patient afterward. They will not allow anything on the forms other than what they’ve asked…so there’s no way to even explain to them WHY and WHAT happens to the patient if they do a half hour’s worth of work. My doctor has had it & he and his staff refuse to waste their valuable time playing games such as this. It’s outrageous and something needs to be changed. Unfortunately, I live by myself, and there’s things I try to do like my activities of daily living, but then I always hurt myself and sometimes I can’t get up to get something to eat for 24-48 hours because of the swelling that comes up, or the pain meds have made me so lethargic I just can’t do it. But see, they don’t want to know all about that part..they just want to know if I CAN take care of myself. Yes I can take care of myself, but it’s not as good as if I were well. I used to take a bath everyday and wash my hair, but I’m happy if I can do this once a week. It’s horrible, but because I can do these things at all, a couple times a month, I don’t qualify because I can do some of them. They don’t care that it takes me hours to do something a well person only takes a few minutes. All they hear, is that I can do it. Case Closed. I don’t know what the solution is. I just don’t understand.

  4. Ronneisha said,

    HI Monique

    I’m currently working as a medical assistant for a podiatrist in Louisville, KY and was interested in the NHSC loan forgiveness program. I checked out the web site and searched for a job with them. They currently do NOT have any poistions in my area. What should i do now? Is there another web site i should checkout. I’m a single mother and can’t afford to pay back my loans. PLease HELP


    • Hi Ronneisha,

      If there are no positions available in your area, would you consider moving to where there are positions?

      Otherwise, your options are the standard 3: 1) consolidate to lengthen the repayment period and lower monthly payments; 2) deferment and 3) forbearance

      The latter two essentially put your payments on hold for a period of time, but are only available to eligible borrowers. Your chances of getting deferment or forbearance are greatly improved if you have federal loans versus private loans.

      Here’s an old post that explains them better: https://parentstudentloans.wordpress.com/2007/08/03/i-cant-afford-my-student-loan-payments-what-do-i-do/

  5. Lucy James said,

    I am recently disabled and receiving Social Security disability. I am a veteran. Even though I am receiving SS Disability, my VA Doctors refuse to complete the forms needed to have my school loans discharged for fear that if they do the Army will be responsible financially for me.

    I am unable to work and receiving Disability. How can I qualify for student loan forgiveness.


  6. Clara said,

    I got a grant in 1997, I got sick and could not finish school. The school changed the grant to a loan with out telling me and I did not find out about the outstanding bal. until 2008. What can I do about this?

    • Hi Clara,

      The post you commented on is two years old, so I recommend you contact the Department of Education directly. You can reach them at 1-800-USA-LEARN.

      Grants usually only turn into loans when you violate the contract you agreed to when you obtained the grant. Please call the Department of Education for help with your situation.

  7. Tom, please accept my sympathy for your loss.

    If the loans are federal loans, which I am guessing they are not, then they will be forgiven.

    For private loans, which I think your loans probably are, I am not certain. Do you still have your sons’ paperwork? It will definitely be in the fine print of the loan application or master promissory note. I suggest you call Sallie Mae, describe your circumstance and have a copy of the death certificate handy to mail into them. They will tell you what you need to do.

  8. Tom said,

    My question is, My sone recently passed away in an auto accident. He was attending a technical university with 6 months to go. He has about 30,000 in student laons in which I cosigned for. Is there any forgiveness for these loans in cases like this. The loans were taken out through Salliemae.

  9. HI Carol,

    I don’t know of any forgiveness programs for someone who doesn’t pay their loans. IF there were, everyone would sign up! 🙂

    If your parents are cosigners, or the loans are in their name, then they will have to keep paying. They should contact the lenders and explain their limited income and ask for an extended repayment plan. They’ll pay more in the long run, but the monthly burden will be less.

    If, however, they are not cosigners and the loans are not in their name (that is, they are paying your brother’s loans to be nice) – then there is no requirement for them to pay. The loans are your brother’s responsibility.

    You can try calling the Department of Education and asking about loan forgiveness programs. These are usually tied to a specific occupation with a lack of people (e.g. teachers in inner city schools) .

  10. Carol said,

    Does any one know?–My parents are both on social security which everyone knows means a very limited income. They have been trying to pay back my brother’s student loan because he simply doesn’t. Is there any possibility of loan forgiveness? Where would I find more information on this — forms to fill out, people to contact?

  11. David –
    This chart is well over a year old; things have changed and I don’t know the answer.
    If I were you, I would call the US Department of Education to find the answer to your question. You can also visit them on the web at http://www.ed.gov

  12. DAvid Watson said,

    In the income contingent repayment plan does an economic hardship deferment count toward the 25 year forgiveness? Thanks –DAve

    • myoung said,

      Ican you file the interest on student loans from sallie mae on income tax.

      • myoung said,

        can interest on loans be use on income tax

      • myoung said,

        can interest on loans be filed on income taxes

      • myoung said,

        can interest on loans be used on imcome taxes

  13. Another advantage student loan has over other loans is that the rates and terms are much more lenient. First of all, the interest rates for student mortgages are variable, much lower than other loans and at this moment there is a cap on the maximum interest you will pay. Secondly, depending on the repayment plan you choose, you can also take as much as 30 years to pay back your loans. Additionally, if your financial situation takes a nose-dive, you may also be eligible to defer repayment on your student mortgages up to three years and depending on what you do after school, some of the loan may be forgiven.

  14. HI MJ,

    I don’t have that information on hand. The best thing to do is contact your lender directly.

    If I had to guess, it sounds like you’re talking about temporary disability; you might want to research deferement and forbearance. You still have to pay your loans back with these cases, but they do give you a temporary reprieve.

    I’ve got a post devoted to these topics – you should read this post:

  15. MJ said,

    My comment is actually a question. Regarding the first term for Discharge/Forgiveness Condition, total and permanent disability, what constitutes “total and permanent disability”? If someone is recieving disability benefits but may be able to work in some capacity in the future would this constitute a “otal” disability eventhough the condition that affects them is permanent? Please give me some insight on this matter if you can. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.


  16. kpops said,

    Great Point, Lee! Although, this is true in most cases but there are some exceptions to the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. Additional details should be obtained from the Department of Education.

  17. kristin, this is very helpful information….students should also keep in mind that if they consolidate their stafford loans they will no longer be eligible for loan forgiveness.

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