With education costs skyrocketing, consider programs that offer some type of student loan forgiveness. Typically, loan forgiveness programs center on volunteer, medical, legal, educational, and military duties.
PUBLIC SERVICE Although there are many restrictions to qualify, the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 established programs that forgive loans after 10 years of full-time employment in public service. Public service workers include police, social worker, child-care providers, and librarians.
VOLUNTEER WORK AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and Volunteers in Service to America are examples of organizations that offer stipends and forgiveness programs.
MILITARY AID The Army National Guard offers student loan repayments of up to $10,000 to those who qualify. The Navy, Air Force, and other branches of the armed services offer similar opportunities.
TEACHERS Full-time elementary teachers who instruct low-income students may qualify to have a portion of their federal Perkins loans forgiven. In Kentucky, teachers who work with special-needs students may also receive loan forgiveness.
MEDICAL AND LEGAL Equal Justice Works provides information on loan forgiveness for law students who serve in public interest or nonprofit positions. The National Institutes of Health offers similar programs for medical students interested in practicing in specific areas that lack adequate care.
For more information, go online to www.finaid.org/loans/forgiveness.phtml.