These States Will Pay Your Student Loans if You Move There

Young mixed race woman moving, writing checklist stock photo
kali9 /

The legality of President Biden’s broad federal student loan forgiveness program now rests with the Supreme Court, leaving borrowers waiting to see whether they need to resume payments when the current loan pause extension expires 60 days after June 30, 2023.

With all the hoopla surrounding blocking Biden’s plan, it’s easy to forget about the various types of loan forgiveness, cancellation and discharge options already offered by the federal government (Public Service Loan Repayment Forgiveness, Teacher Loan Forgiveness, Perkins Loan Cancellation, income-driven repayment plans, etc.).

Most, but not all, states offer a number of student loan repayment assistance programs, as well. The goal of these programs is to recruit and retain in-demand workers in the health, education and law employment fields. However, there are a few states trying to entice new residents to their cities and towns by wiping out remaining student loan balances as incentives.

The following four states currently have programs in place that will pay your student loans if you decide to move there:

Save for Your Future


Illinois has created programs to encourage teachers, nurses and state and public offenders to maintain their careers by paying off parts of their outstanding student loans. However, as Forbes reported, its Smart Buy home buying program “may provide real, meaningful assistance to borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt and cannot purchase a home as a result.”

Although there are income limits and other conditions, the program will pay off a student loan balance of 15% of the home purchase price — up to $40,000 — for new homebuying borrowers (second homes are not eligible).


The Rural Opportunity Zones Student Loans Repayment Program (ROZ) is currently open for enrollment and provides income tax waivers for up to five years or student loan repayments up to $15,000 for new full-time Kansas residents living in one of the state’s designated and participating rural counties.


Residents of Maine who meet certain graduation requirements may be eligible to receive up to $25,000 in lifetime student loan forgiveness though the Maine Opportunity Tax Credit. For those with an associate or bachelor’s degree, it must have been in Maine from 2007-2015 or anywhere in the United States after 2015. For those with a graduate degrees, it must have been earned at a Maine school after 2015.

Save for Your Future

To qualify for the credit, you must:

  • Be a full-time Maine Resident
  • Work in Maine for at least 9 months

Student Loan Forgiveness: Timeline of Events From August 2022 to the Supreme Court Review
Explore: Warren Pushes Sweeping Overhaul of College Debt and More Forgiveness


Through its SmartBuy 3.0 program, Maryland gives homebuyers the opportunity to purchase any eligible Maryland Mortgage Program while paying off student debt, up to 15% of the home purchase price for the borrower to pay off their outstanding student debt with a maximum payoff amount of $50,000.​ Homebuyers wishing to take advantage of this assistance/forgiveness program require a down payment of at least 5%.

More From GOBankingRates

Save for Your Future

About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
Learn More


See Today's Best
Banking Offers