Under certain circumstances, your federal student loans may be eligible to be fully or partially cancelled or forgiven.
Some of the most common types of loan forgiveness include:
If you are unable to work due to a physical or mental disability, you may be eligible to have your federal education loans discharged. Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) is the condition of an individual who (1) is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death, has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 60 months, or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 60 months; or (2) has been determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be unemployable due to a service-connected disability. An individual who has a condition that meets this definition is considered totally and permanently disabled.
Effective 7/1/13, regulations will provide for a new option by which an individual can demonstrate he or she is totally and permanently disabled. An individual can qualify for TPD discharge if he or she is receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, and submits a Social Security Administration (SSA) notice of award for SSDI or SSI benefits stating the individual’s next scheduled disability review will be within 5 to 7 years from the date of the individual’s most recent SSA disability determination.
Click here to learn more about total and permanent disability loan discharge.
If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Loan or FFEL program loans. See StudentAid.gov/teach-forgive for more information and a form you can fill out when you have completed your teaching service.
If you get a job at a government or not-for-profit organization and repay your loans based on your income, you may qualify for forgiveness of your Direct Loans after 10 years of payments and employment. See StudentAid.gov/publicservice for more information and for a form you can fill out when you start working to receive confirmation that your employment qualifies for the program.
To learn more about other types of federal loan forgiveness or cancellation programs, please refer to the federal student aid website.
Information on Federal Student Loan Benefits for members of the U.S Armed Forces is available here: U.S. Armed Forces Federal Student Loan Benefits