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Loan Forgiveness for Volunteer Work and Government Service |
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Loan Forgiveness for Volunteer Work and Government Service
By Shaileja Mammen
The federal government will cancel all or part of an educational loan under certain conditions. This benefit is available provided the borrower has not defaulted on his or her loan. Student loan cancellation is also called loan forgiveness.

Education loans may be cancelled when a borrower undertakes volunteer work. Volunteer organizations that offer loan forgiveness include:
  • AmeriCorps
  • The Peace Corps
  • Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA)
When a borrower works for AmeriCorps for a period of 12 months, he or she is entitled to receive a stipend of up to $7,400 plus $4,725 toward repayment of education loans.

Volunteers in the Peace Corps can apply for deferment of Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, and consolidation loans. Up to 70% of the total amount of a Perkins Loan can be forgiven; 15% increments are forgiven annually until 70% of the original amount has been forgiven.

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members serve private, nonprofit, public interest groups that work to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, homelessness, and hunger. If a volunteer provides 1,700 hours of service, he or she receives $4,725 toward educational loans.

Government service or other types of public service can also cancel a borrower's education loans.

Military Service

A student who works for the U.S. Armed Forces can have 50% of his or her loans forgiven if he or she works in a hostile or imminently dangerous area.


Perkins Loans can be cancelled entirely if students become full-time teachers:
  • in elementary or secondary schools for students from low-income families.

  • in special education programs, including programs that teach children with disabilities in public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary schools.

  • of math, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or other subjects in fields designated as teacher-shortage areas.
Other Types of Public Service

A Perkins Loan can be cancelled up to 100% if the borrower is a full-time:
  • qualified professional provider of early intervention services for the disabled.

  • employee of a public or nonprofit child or family-services agency providing assistance to high-risk children and their families in low-income communities.

  • nurse or medical technician.

  • law enforcement or corrections officer.

  • staff member in an education department of a Head Start program.
Additionally, many law and medical schools have instituted loan repayment assistance programs.

Loan repayment programs (LRPs) are sponsored by national, state, and local governments. Some private organizations and non-governmental organizations also sponsor such programs.

A typical LRP provides living stipends and funds to repay educational loans to participants. Two- to four-year commitments are generally required under such contracts, but individual programs differ. Scholarship opportunities and tax relief are two other benefits that may be available to participants.

Some types of professionals eligible for LRPs are lawyers, nurses, nursing faculty members, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, speech pathologists, physician assistants, teachers at designated schools, and teachers with certain certifications.


Article Title : Loan Forgiveness for Volunteer Work and Government Service
Comments :
Are there loan forgiveness programs for Firefighters and Paramedics?

Posted By : Dale LeCesne

Comments :
are there any loan forgiveness programs for fire fighters?

Posted By : octavia conrad

Comments :
are there any loan forgiveness programs for correctional officers with Stafford
or Direct Loans besides that of a Perkins Loan? If so please advise..

Posted By : Andre Mayfield


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Education is one of the most basic right of any human, but with the increase in prices and the costs involved in education this has made these rights turn into a privilege which very few can enjoy. Any normal person today in the whole of United States has to take an education loan at one point of time to pay for their education fees.

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