If you live in Idaho, you have access to a student loan forgiveness program just for people in your state. It’s the Idaho State Loan Repayment Program.
The Idaho State Loan Repayment Program is for medical, mental health, and dental professionals who work for nonprofits or public entities in regions the federal government designates as Health Professional Shortage Areas.
This program bears some resemblance to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which also determines your eligibility depending on where you work. For this program, however, you qualify if your employer gives discounted or no-cost services to people at or below 200% to 100% of the federal poverty level.
Under this program, you can receive an amount that varies widely—from $2,500 to $12,500 per year, with a cap of $10,000 to $50,000 total—if you commit to working for a qualifying employer for at least two years.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the program is currently not accepting applications due to lack of funds; however, it expects to open again in 2019. Tip: Set a calendar reminder to check on this program in a month.
You can find out more information about the program here.
In addition to the Idaho State Loan Forgiveness Program, you have access to public service loan forgiveness programs at the federal level. These include:
If you work for a qualifying employer, you could get your loans forgiven under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program after making 120 qualifying payments (which usually takes about 10 years).
Qualifying employers include government agencies, 501(c)3 nonprofits, non-501(c)3 nonprofits with a public service mission, and organizations such as AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps.
This program is known for being very difficult to qualify for, and has been embattled lately. However, if you’ve recently applied for forgiveness through this program and been denied, you may be able to get that decision reconsidered under a new program.
These programs reset your monthly payment according to your income—usually between 10 and 20% of your disposable income, as determined by the federal government.
There are four income-based repayment plans, each with slightly different terms and qualification requirements. You have to be enrolled in one of these plans to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
These programs last between 20 and 25 years, and at the end of that period, your loans will be forgiven.
There are a number of other student loan forgiveness programs you may qualify for.
Some are tied to your job, and are designed to encourage people in certain professions—teachers, doctors and other medical professionals, scientists, lawyers, veterinarians and so on—to work in underserved areas.
Others are for people who work for specific organizations, such as the U.S. military or nonprofits. Some corporations also offer student loan forgiveness to their employees or help with reimbursement.
For a complete list of grant opportunities, see The Ultimate List of Grants to Pay Off Student Loans.
Want to see how much money you could save by refinancing? Check out Refi Ready.
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SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.
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