Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers

June 25, 20220

Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers


Welcome to the world of student loan forgiveness! If you qualify, it can be a great way to reduce the burden of your student debt. But most teachers are eligible for some form of forgiveness. And if you don’t have private loans, you may be able to have all or part of your federal student loan balance canceled after a certain number of years in public service work. There are specific conditions that need to be met, but many teachers will find that they qualify for some kind of relief. In this post, we’ll cover how to apply for Teacher Loan Forgiveness and what you can do if you’re rejected, as well as other programs available for educators who make significant contributions to their communities.

What Is Student Loan Forgiveness?

Student loan forgiveness is a program that allows you to have your loans forgiven, or discharged. To be eligible for student loan forgiveness, you must meet certain criteria. You must also be in the right program and profession, as well as in the right situation.

Who is Eligible for Forgiveness?

Teachers who work in a low-income school, teach a high-need subject, or teach in a high-need school are all eligible for forgiveness.

What does “teaching a high-need subject” mean? The federal government defines it as one of the following: math, science (including technology), modern foreign languages; bilingual education; and special education teachers who have been teaching for at least five consecutive years in an elementary or secondary public or private school that serves students from low-income families and whose annual family income is not greater than 100% of the poverty level.

If you’re interested in finding out if your field qualifies as “high need,” check out this website:

Perkins Loan Cancellation

A Perkins Loan Cancellation is a type of student loan forgiveness for teachers. If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, you can get up to 100% of your loans canceled if you work full-time in an eligible school or university (including colleges, universities, and career or technical schools) in a low-income area. This program has been around since 1995 and it’s designed to help improve education in areas where there’s a shortage of teachers.

To be eligible for this program:

  • You must have received at least $5,000 in qualifying Federal Perkins Loans (no private loans are eligible)
  • Your school meets the definition of “low-income” (see below)
  • You must teach full-time at an eligible school or university within one year after receiving your cancellation check

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you have federal student loans, and you’ve been working in public service for at least 10 years, then you may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is available to borrowers who have made 120 qualifying payments on their federal Direct Loans and meet other specific requirements.

You must meet several criteria to qualify:

  • Your loans must be made by the federal government—this includes Perkins loans made directly by the government or Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) that are held by a third-party servicer. You can’t get PSLF if your loans were issued by a private lender (or parent).
  • Your field of employment must qualify as “public service”—this includes teaching at an elementary school through high school level, working in public health services or serving full time as an AmeriCorps member under VISTA or NCCC programs. You can also get PSLF if your employer participates in one of these programs: AmeriCorps State and National; Peace Corps; Volunteer Generation Fund; Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA); NCCC; Teach for America; Reading is Fundamental; City Year; Any AmeriCorps program approved by OPM including Learn & Serve America

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness is for teachers who teach in low-income schools or who teach in a shortage area.
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness is for teachers with Federal Direct Loans only.

You can have your student loans forgiven, if you meet certain conditions.

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program is a federal initiative that enables full-time teachers to have their student loans forgiven if they meet certain conditions. The program allows you to receive up to $17,500 of your debt forgiven each year and $5,000 per loan forgiveness. You must be a full-time teacher in an eligible school in order for your student loans to qualify for this benefit; the schools must be low-income and located in areas with high numbers of children living below the poverty line.

You must have Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loans, or Perkins Loans as well as at least one other type of qualifying federal loan in order for your student loans to qualify for forgiveness under this program. In addition, you need 120 qualifying monthly payments before any amount can be forgiven on those specific types of educational debts.


As a teacher, there are many different ways you can get student loan forgiveness. There are several programs that specifically forgive teacher loans and Perkins loans. You can also choose to work for a public service organization and have your loan forgiven by the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. All of these options can help you pay off your loans faster and avoid accruing more interest over time.