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Repayment Options | Deferment | Forbearance | Loan Forgiveness |
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Federal Loan Forgiveness

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 created two new programs for loan forgiveness that are not yet funded.

  • Loan Forgiveness for Service in Areas of National Need
  • Loan Repayment for Civil Legal Assistance Attorneys

Please check back later or contact the U.S. Department of Education for updates.


Stafford Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

The Stafford Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program was created by Congress to encourage individuals to enter and remain in the teaching profession.

General Requirements

  • At least one of the five qualifying years of teaching must have occurred after the 1997-98 academic year.
  • The loan must have been made before the end of the fifth year of qualifying teaching.
  • You must have been employed as a full-time teacher for five consecutive academic years in a public or private nonprofit elementary or secondary school that has been designated as a “low-income” school by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • A defaulted loan cannot be cancelled for teacher service unless you've made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of the loan.
  • You have not received a benefit for the same teaching service through the AmeriCorps Program.

Forgiveness Amounts

You may receive up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness if:

  • Your five years of qualifying teaching service began before October 30, 2004, and you were a full-time elementary school teacher who demonstrated knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of elementary school curriculum; or you were a full-time secondary teacher who taught in a subject area relevant to your academic major.
  • Your five years of qualifying teaching service began on or after October 30, 2004, and you were a highly qualified full-time elementary or secondary school teacher.

You may receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if you were:

  • A highly qualified full-time mathematics or science teacher in a secondary school; or
  • A highly qualified special education teacher whose primary responsibility was to provide special education to children with disabilities. In addition, you must have taught children with disabilities that corresponded to your area of special education training and demonstrated knowledge and teaching in skills in the content areas of the curriculum that you were teaching.

Low-Income Schools

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education publishes a list of low-income elementary and secondary schools. To find out if a school is classified as a low-income school, check the online database for the years you have been employed as a teacher. Questions about the inclusion or omission of a particular school must be directed to the state education agency contact in the state where the school is located and not to the U.S. Department of Education.

How to Apply

If you believe you qualify, complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application.

Please note: In Section 6, an educational service agency is now defined as "as regional public multiservice agency authorized by state statute to develop, manage, and provide services."

You can also obtain a forbearance on your loan(s) while you are providing qualifying teaching service as a teacher in an eligible elementary or secondary school. Complete and return the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance form.

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Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program

The Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program is a demonstration program that is intended to bring more highly trained individuals into the early child care profession and to retain them in the profession. Under this program, individuals who work full-time in certain child care facilities that serve low-income families and who meet other qualifications may be eligible to have up to 100 percent of their FFEL program loans forgiven.

While the U.S. Department of Education is not accepting new applicants into the program because no additional funding has been provided, applications for renewal benefits are available for those borrowers who have previously been granted forgiveness under the Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program. The U.S. Department of Education's Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Processing Unit handles the distribution and processing of these applications for the Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program.

If you have any questions with regard to the Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program or the Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Application, you can contact the Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Unit at 1-888-562-7002 (TDD: 1-800-877-8339) You can direct any correspondence to Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program applications to the following address:

Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program
P.O. Box 4639
Utica, NY 13504-4639

If you believe you qualify for renewal benefits, fill out the Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Application. You can also obtain a forbearance on your loan(s) while you are providing full-time child care services for the next year. Complete and return the Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program Forbearance form to your lender. You may also contact your loan holder, who can provide the forbearance form and determine your eligibility.

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Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program

The federal Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program addresses the shortage of registered nurses at some types of nonprofit health care facilities by helping nurses repay their federal student loans.

In exchange for two years of service, participants receive 60 percent of their total qualifying nursing education loan balance. For an optional third year of service, participants may receive 25 percent of their original total qualifying nursing education loan balance.

Find more information and the application here.

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Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (CLAARP)

The Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (CLAARP) repays a portion of federal student loan debt for civil legal assistance attorneys who are employed full–time. Benefits are provided to borrowers on a first–come, first–served basis. Loan repayment commitments are limited to the amount appropriated for the program for a given fiscal year by Congress and a loan repayment commitment to a borrower in one fiscal year does not guarantee a commitment for the remainder of the years covered by the borrower's Service Agreement.

A qualifying borrower may receive repayment of up to $6,000 of the outstanding balance of the borrower's eligible student loans for each year of completed service, subject to the availability of funds for the fiscal year, and not to exceed a total amount of $40,000.

Find more information and the application here.

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Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

If you are unable to work and earn money because of an injury or illness that is expected to last indefinitely or result in death, you may be eligible for a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD).

Effective July 1, 2013 please contact the Department of Education's Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Servicer for information regarding total and permanent disability discharge. You may go online at www.disabilitydischarge.com to initiate your intent to apply for TPD discharge. In addition, you may call the TPD Servicer seven days a week at 888-303-7818 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) or send an email to disabilityinformation@nelnet.net.

Updated: 9/24/2013

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