10 May Student Loan Debt Relief Solutions for Teachers
Repaying Student Loans on a Teacher’s Salary
Entering the workforce as a teacher is an honorable action. Putting in the time and effort to shape the minds of America’s youth and educate the country’s youth does not go unnoticed, and your job is not without immense value. However, salaries for teachers do not reflect just how valuable teachers truly are.
There is a major salary gap between teachers and the average national salary, and it can cause serious problems for America’s educators, a career with graduating classes and new workforce members who are straddled with thousands of dollars of student debt, in addition to smaller amounts of personal debt as well.
Believe it or not, it is possible to manage debt on a teacher’s salary. There are a handful of federal programs which offer assistance and relief for teachers who are looking to pay off debt. Read on for our breakdown of the student loan forgiveness programs available to teachers.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
Under this program, you can have up to $17,500 in student loan debt forgiven, but the amount will depend on the grade and the subject matter that you teach. To qualify, you must teach full time at a low-income school and have completed five full and consecutive academic years.
If you are a secondary school math teacher, science teacher, or a special education teacher, you are eligible to receive up to $17,500 in student loan forgiveness. Elementary teachers and secondary teachers who teach other subjects are eligible for awards of up to $5,000. Any amount forgiven under this program does not count as taxable income.
The U.S. Department of Education keeps the list of eligible schools which meet this program’s qualifications updated annually. To find out if your institution qualifies as a low-income school, consult the Low-Income School Directory.
After you complete the required five full-time academic years of service, you can apply for Teacher Loan Forgiveness. You will need the chief administrative officer at your school or agency to complete the certification section of the application form.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Public Service Loan Forgiveness provides debt relief for teachers who qualify by working full time in a public service agency or institution, have direct loans, have enrolled in an IDR plan, and have made 120 qualifying payments under that IDR plan. If you meet this criterion, the remainder of your student loan balance can be forgiven, tax-free.
This loan repayment is not automatically forgiven, you must still complete a PSLF application for forgiveness, however, it can be good for teachers with a large debt balance, as your debt will be 100% forgiven after the first 120 qualifying payments are made.
Hire a Financial Professional
Eliminating debt, especially large balances of student debt, is tough. Our team of professional representatives at Appreciation Financial passionately believes that the true American Dream is finally living debt-free. Schedule a consultation with one of our financial agents to find out how we can help you reach that dream.