5 Student Loan Forgiveness Options for Illinois Residents

Jen Williamson Updated: April 30, 2019

If you live in Illinois, you’re in luck. You have access to five student loan forgiveness programs specifically for residents in your state—across a range of professions. They are:

  • The Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program
  • The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program
  • The Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program
  • The Public Interest Attorney Loan Assistance Program
  • Veterans' Home Medical Providers' Loan Repayment Program


The Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program

This program is designed to encourage talented teachers to work in low-income schools throughout Illinois.

The deal is this. If you’ve already qualified for the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, this program will match up to $5,000 in funds toward your student loan debt.

But to qualify, you need to:

  1. Have already qualified for teacher student loan forgiveness at the federal level
  2. Be a resident of Illinois and a U.S. citizen
  3. Have spent at least five years teaching in a low-income elementary or secondary school in Illinois

You can download the application here

The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

This program is for lawyers who agree to live and work in Illinois as public defenders or prosecutors in the state for a minimum of three years.

The amount you can get depends on the program’s funding. It may be up to $4,000 a year, up to as much as $60,000 total, toward your loans. 

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have an existing FFELP, Direct, Graduate PLUS or Perkins loan
  • Be a licensed attorney working for the state of Illinois or a qualifying nonprofit, as either a prosecutor or defense lawyer
  • Not be in default on any federal loans

You can download and print the application here.

Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program 

This program is dedicated to encouraging nurse instructors to stay and teach in Illinois. You can earn as much as $5,000 per year toward your loans, up to four years maximum.

To be eligible, you must: 

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, and an Illinois resident
  • Have a qualifying loan, including Stafford loans, Grad PLUS loans, Direct Consolidation loans and other types of loans (for a complete list, go here).
  • Meet the licensing requirements for nurse educators in the state of Illinois
  • Have worked for at least 12 months as a nurse educator in an approved school in Illinois
  • Not be in default on any student loans

To download the application, click here.

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Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment Assistance Program

This program is designed to encourage recent law school grads to enter into careers working with the state of Illinois. Qualifying professions include:

  • Assistant State’s Attorneys
  • Assistant Public Defenders
  • Civil legal aid attorneys
  • Assistant Attorneys General
  • Assistant public guardians
  • Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission attorneys
  • Legislative attorneys

The idea is to encourage people in the legal field to work for the state of Illinois in protecting the rights of the state’s most vulnerable citizens and promote equal enforcement of the law.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a licensed member of the Illinois bar
  • Have eligible debt currently in repayment or a grace period
  • Be employed as an attorney with a qualifying Illinois attorney

You could stand to earn as much as $6,000 per year, up to $30,000 total, and you must work for at least one year with a qualifying employer.

For more information or to download an application, click here. 

Veterans’ Home Medical Providers’ Loan Repayment Program

This program will help you repay educational loans as an incentive to attract medical providers to work in veterans’ homes in the state of Illinois. You get up to $5,000 per year for a maximum of four years to repay your student loan debt.

The following professions qualify for this award:

  • Physicians
  • Certified nurse practitioners
  • Registered professional nurses
  • Certified nursing assistants
  • Licensed practical nurses

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen, and an Illinois resident
  • Have a qualifying loan (click here for the complete list)
  • Be a medical professional who meets Illinois licensing requirements, or a certified nursing assistant, whose employment is in good standing with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Meet the requirements for employment with an approved State of Illinois veterans’ home

For more information or to download an application, go here

As a resident of the State of Illinois, you also have access to all the student loan forgiveness programs available at the federal level—and we’ve collected all that info for you. Give it a read—hopefully you’ll be able to find a student loan forgiveness program that’s tailor-made for you.

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