3 Programs That Can Help Reduce Your Student Loan Debt
Whether you’ve only just begun your career or have been working quite some time, your student loans are probably one of the largest debts you have to your name. Unfortunately, this also means your student loan payments are likely one of, if not the, largest of your expenses month-to-month. And, you wouldn’t be alone. As of 2019, Americans have a collective $1.5 trillion in student loan debt.1
If you are one of the many Americans struggling to repay your debt and regain a stable financial footing, consider contacting American Financial Solutions. Our certified counselors are dedicated to helping people like you eliminate all types of debt and discover a future free from undue financial stress.
The following programs are some of the most frequently used options for eliminating or reducing student loan debt. All these loan forgiveness and repayment options have qualifications that must be met, so contact an American Financial Solutions student loan counselor today to find out if you may qualify.
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Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The public service loan forgiveness program is offered by the federal government to discharge student debt for those who choose to pursue one of a number of positions in the public service field.
What does it mean to work in public service? In short, public services are those that are provided by the local, state or federal government, either directly or indirectly. Those who qualify for this loan forgiveness program can earn a reduction in their overall student loan principal after ten years of public service work. However, during those ten years, they must remain current on their loan repayment.
The public service loan forgiveness program spans a large variety of careers and industries, from administration to law enforcement. Some of the most popular jobs include:
- Police officers
- Social workers
- Public defenders
- Non-profit workers
- And more!
Peace Corps or AmeriCorps
These service organizations provide more than just warm fuzzy feelings for many volunteers. If you complete a term of service with either AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, you could qualify for student loan reduction or cancellation. AmeriCorps awards an amount of money equal to any Pell Grants you received while in school to help you pay them back. Service with AmeriCorps also allows you to defer your student loan repayment.
The Peace Corps can help you cancel some of your federal Perkins loans at the end of your service. If you don’t have Perkins loans, your loans can be deferred. Once you’ve finished a term of 27 months with the Peace Corps, you may be granted up to $7,425 to spend or save as you’d like.
State Loan Forgiveness
If you don’t qualify for the federal loan forgiveness programs, you may be able to take advantage of state programs that will help you pay off, reduce or cancel your student debt. Although the requirements are similar to the federal public service loan forgiveness program, you don’t have to work in public service for nearly as long – just one to five years. The state forgiveness programs may also expand the list of eligible occupations to include professionals like nurses, veterinarians, physician assistants, pharmacists, lawyers and engineers.
Alternatively, if your career is not on the designated list of eligible occupations, some states also offer unique forgiveness programs that simply require you to live in a certain county or city, usually a rural one.
Manage Your Debt and Prepare for the Future With American Financial Solutions
Managing your student debt can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you happen to have more debt than most. In addition to seeking out government forgiveness programs, you may need the help of a financial professional to successfully pay down your debt and save for your future at the same time.
At American Financial Solutions, we know that debt can make it difficult to save for the goals you’ve set for yourself and your family. That’s why we offer financial counseling in-person or over the phone to assist you with budgeting your finances and prioritizing financial goals. We’ve helped more than 400,000 people pay off more than $8 billion in debt over the last 18 years and would love to help you get out of debt. Contact us online or call (888) 864-8548 to begin your financial counseling today.
Published May 18, 2018.