The federal government offers assistance with educational loans through two programs: the federal student loan repayment program and the public service loan forgiveness program.
Federal Student Loan Repayment program
Through the Federal Student Loan Repayment program, participating agencies may award $10,000 a year, up to a total of $60,000, towards the payment of your student loans. In return, you have to work at that agency for at least 3 years.
All 15 cabinet-level departments participate in the program, plus more than 20 independent agencies. Many agencies specify the types of degrees necessary to qualify for the program and will tailor their plans to recruit highly qualified candidates for hard-to-fill positions.
The most common educational loans which qualify for repayment include:
- Federal Family Education Loans (such as subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans)
- Direct Loans, such as the Direct PLUS Loan
If you are interested in applying, contact an individual agency to find out more about their specific loan repayment program. Many agencies also include information about loan repayment on their websites.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
Through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, the government will forgive the remaining balance on your eligible student loans if you have worked in a public service job for at least 10 years.
To qualify, you must have already made 120 monthly payments and you must be employed full-time in AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps position or another public service organization, such as:
- Federal, state, or local government
- A public child or family service agency
- A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
- A private organization that provides public service, such as public safety, public interest law services, public health, or law enforcement