What is Student Loan Forgiveness for Graduate Students?


Student loans are a type of debt. They will also assist you in achieving your educational goals, but repaying them can be a significant financial responsibility. Currently, 66 percent of college graduates have student debt, with the average debt amount above $25,000 as they graduate. There are a variety of things that borrowers can do to help relieve the burden of student loans.

You’re left with a student loan until you’ve paid money out. Student debt is impossible to be forgiven even after a creditor files for bankruptcy. That is why forgivable student loans are so tempting. These schemes, which are offered by both the federal government and individual states, enable qualified borrowers to pay off their debts. Forgiveness plans are becoming more appealing to a rising number of borrowers as tuition prices rise faster than incomes. A note of caution: As long as you follow the requirements for loan forgiveness schemes, you will be required to make regular contributions on your loans. Typically, you would be required to serve for years in a specific job category.

In addition, forgiveness schemes are designed to encourage borrowers to pursue socially desirable goals such as teaching, working as a doctor in underserved areas, or serving in the military. You’re in luck if one of those options looks like your ideal career. However, borrower beware: It is not a simple or fast method to gain forgiveness. Borrowers must wade into a maze of idiosyncratic rules on things like the overall amount of debt forgiven and the actions a creditor must take to apply for redemption.

While the most popular debt repayment plans aim to wipe out the debt in a decade or two, there are other options if disaster strikes. When a borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled, the federal government “discharges” the loan. If the school where you racked up debt closes — like some failing for-profit colleges have done — you will file for a closed school discharge from the federal government.

What is Student Loan Forgiveness?

At the most basic, student loan forgiveness is literally being advised that you should stop repaying your loans without penalty. Whether or not you have made any contributions, the remainder of the debt is forgiven, and you owe none. Loan forgiveness is not the same as bankruptcy in that it has no effect on your credit score. You really should not have to pay for what you owe.

Student loans are only forgiven in certain circumstances, but you must be aware of them in order to decide if you are entitled to make a case and what formal action you must take to do so. Any of the most important grounds for a debt waiver are:

  • If the school is forced to shut down.
  • If you are disabled in a “total and permanent” manner.
  • If you’ve done volunteer work for organizations like the Peace Corps or the US military.
  • And there’s more.

Differences between Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge

While the words forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge have similar meanings, they are used in different contexts. If you are no longer expected to make debt contributions because of your career, this is known as forgiveness or cancellation. Discharge occurs because you are no longer required to make contributions on your loans due to unexpected conditions, such as complete and permanent disabilities or the closing of the school where you got your loans.

Types Of Student Loan Forgiveness

1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness

After working full-time at a public service agency for at least ten years and making 120 qualified monthly payments after October 1, 2007, eligible borrowers will cancel the remaining balance of their Direct loans.

Know more about public service loan forgiveness

2. Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

The underlying goal of the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is to help the teaching profession by making it easier for individuals to become and remain teachers. Individuals who teach full-time in designated schools or educational service providers for five years in a row will be eligible for up to $17,500 in interest-free grants under the scheme.

Know more about teacher loan forgiveness

3. Perkins Loan for Masters Program

A Perkins loan was a low-interest loan option made available by the federal government’s Perkins Loans Program to both undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate an exceptional need for financial assistance.

The program first started in 1958. Eligibility was determined based on information provided by the student in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and loans were disbursed directly from the school’s financial aid office. This implies that the school was the lender, with the government acting as the subsidizing body. The state made interest payments to the borrower when he or she was in school.

Know more about Perkins loan cancellation

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

If you are found to be completely and indefinitely disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Veterafoundfairs (VA), you may be entitled to get all of your student loans forgiven.

Death Discharge

This is one choice that you should never have to use. However, once you or one of your parents who take out a PLUS loan for your education dies, your student loans are usually forgiven to save any hardship.

Bankruptcy Discharge (in rare cases)

Student loans are typically not used in bankruptcy cases. However, in some circumstances, you will be forced to show in bankruptcy court that faand program financial bts will result in extreme hardship. A bankruptcy judge will be able to cancel the student loans as a result of this.

Student loan repayment plans are typically very flexible, but this is rarely an option.

Closed School Discharge

In certain circumstances, your school can close when you are still enrolled or soon after you withdraw. In certain cases, this is grounds for a student loan discharge.

If your school is closing, make sure to get all of your academic and program financial documents because they would almost certainly be useful in filing for a qualified debt discharge proceeding.

Do Graduate Students qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness?

Graduate students have fewer subsidies and grants available to them, and there are more high-cost programs available to them. According to the CBO report, graduate students on income-based repayment programs owe an average of $92,000. This is five times the amount owed by an undergraduate with the same program. The number of graduate students enrolled in the program has increased sixfold in the last decade. Although the service was intended to be a safety net for students, Justin Draeger, president, and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators believes that more students are in need of it. According to Antoinette Flores, director of Postsecondary Education at American Progress, part of the problem is that many graduate programs do not contribute to high-paying careers.

Borrowers on income-based repayment schemes normally use 10% to 15% of their net income per month to pay off their debts. According to Jason Delisle, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, that’s just not enough to put a dent in their debt. According to the CBO, graduate students will receive 81 percent of the government’s $200 billion in student loan forgiveness by the end of the decade.

Ins and Outs of Student Loan Forgiveness

Pros of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

 Some of the advantages of student loan forgiveness programs include:

  • It assists you with repaying your student loan debt. If you want the Public Service Debt Forgiveness scheme, you can get your student loan forgiven if you make 120 regular installments for a 10-year term. Following that, the outstanding debt balance will be forgiven. The Teacher Debt Forgiveness Program also assists you with repaying your loan. There is, though, a limit on the amount that can be forgiven.
  • Several jobs are eligible for the scheme. You may not have to work in the public sector to be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness scheme. The program considers the employer more than the kind of work you do. So, as long as the employer is acceptable to the scheme, you will work at a career you enjoy.
  • You should not have to pay tax on the balance forgiven. Any student loan reimbursement programs are taxed because the IRS considers the deferred balance to be taxable revenue. This is not the case for the schemes for Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. As a result, you have nothing to be concerned about. Essentially, the IRS would not slap you with a massive tax bill until the debt is repaid.

Cons of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Knowing the disadvantages of student loan waiver schemes is just as critical as knowing the advantages. Understanding the disadvantages allows you to make an educated decision about whether you can apply for a student loan repayment program and which one is better for your situation.

Some of the disadvantages of these forgiveness programs include:

  • The eligibility conditions are very strict. To be eligible for the benefits of a forgiveness scheme, you must first be hired by a reputable employer. Following that, before the student loan balance is repaid, you must follow a strict set of conditions to guarantee your continued participation in the scheme. For example, in order to be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you must provide annual documentation and documents. If you are not, you will be removed from the program.
  • Job opportunities are limited. If you wish to participate in a federal student loan waiver scheme, your career options are limited. Although it is ideal for graduates who choose to serve in the public sector or who are excited about education, these careers may not be everyone’s first, second, or even third option. It may be a major compromise.
  • You would be expected to agree to a long-term career. To apply, you must serve in your chosen field for at least 5 to 10 years. This can be difficult if you are not involved in serving in relevant positions.


About Sana

Sana has been working in the higher education field for the past 5 years. She has been a passionate reader, has written numerous publications, and published a book on Graduate education. She is a huge Harry Potter fan and can watch the Harry Potter movies anytime.

Leave a Reply