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.
Works with 275+ not-for-profit community lenders for higher approval chances
LendKey operates student loan programs for over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders across the country. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.
Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking
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.
For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need
CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.
Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.
Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.
Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.
Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.
Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.
Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender
Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.
Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products
Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.
Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.