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Student Loan Forgiveness: These 7 Professions Will Forgive Your Student Debt

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BraunS / Getty Images

Are you familiar with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program? Federal Student Aid, an office of the United States Department of Education, said on its website that the PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan. 

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Those eligible for the PSLF Program must work full time for a qualifying employer. Let’s look at the types of organizations and jobs that qualify for PSLF for student debt relief.

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Attorney

Individuals working as attorneys may be eligible for loan forgiveness through the Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP). Any Justice employee serving in or hired to serve in an attorney position is eligible for ASLRP consideration. Each spring, new attorneys are selected by The United States Department of Justice during the annual open season for participation on a competitive basis. 

Attorneys who qualify for ASLRP benefits must qualify as an attorney with a three-year service obligation to Justice, have qualifying student loans and meet all statutory requirements. Individual attorneys do not receive ASLRP benefits as these benefits are paid directly to the loan holder.

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Veterinarian

Veterinarians working in public health, public service or private nonprofits may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). 

Beyond PSLF, there are additional financial resources available for veterinarians. Qualified student loans of eligible veterinarians may receive up to $25,000 a year from the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP). These veterinarians must work in areas designated by the federal government as having veterinary shortages and serve in these areas for at least three years.

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Doctor

Doctors who work for a qualifying nonprofit or public hospital for 10 or more years are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. 

Additionally, doctors may review a wide range of medical school loan forgiveness programs. Qualifying doctors who work in underserved areas and specialize in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics and gynecology may be eligible for $50,000 in tax-free student loan repayments from the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program. Doctors who have worked at least three years in substance abuse treatment at an approved site may be eligible for up to $75,000 in student loan repayments from the National Health Service Corps Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program. There are also National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs available for eligible doctors in biomedical or biobehavioral research careers that offer up to $50,000 in student loan repayments.

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Nurse

Nurses have several student loan forgiveness programs options besides Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Two popular options include the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (NCLRP) accepts applications once a year from registered nurses who work in underserved communities and at critical shortage facilities. Up to 85% of unpaid nursing education debt may be paid by the NCLRP. Eligible nurses who work at a qualified facility may get 60% of their student loans paid off over two years of employment. The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, also available to doctors, may be offered to eligible nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and other types of primary care clinicians who work at least two years in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

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Dentist

Dentists, dental hygienists and allied dental providers are eligible for a wide range of state and federal loan forgiveness programs. The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) provides an interactive chart of all eligible programs on its website for dentists to explore. Programs will vary due to state legislation so review the map to learn more about the programs where you may be eligible.

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Teacher

Certain teachers are eligible for student debt forgiveness. Teachers who teach full time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency may be eligible for forgiveness up to $17,500 on Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans as well as Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. 

Eligibility requirements include being a full-time, qualified teacher. Qualified teachers have attained at least a bachelor’s degree and received full state certification. Teachers interested in the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program must have been employed at an elementary school, secondary school or educational service agency that serves low-income students. Loan(s) in which teachers seek forgiveness must have been made before the end of the teacher’s five academic years of qualifying teaching service.

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Federal Agency Employee

Employees who are employed by federal agencies, including civilians who work in government jobs like law enforcement, public health and science and engineering, may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Learn more about the PSLF form process and how to submit your PSLF form by visiting the Federal Student Aid website.

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