Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program was created by Congress to
encourage individuals to enter and remain in the teaching profession.
Forgiveness Amounts — (Maximum amount per borrower)
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.
- To qualify for loan forgiveness, you must not have had an outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL program loan on October 1, 1998, or on the date that you obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL program loan after October 1, 1998.
- 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.
- 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
- A defaulted loan cannot be cancelled for teacher service unless
you've made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of
- You have not received a benefit for the same teaching service
through the AmeriCorps Program.
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
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
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.
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