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Repayment Assistance Programs, Part 3
 
Quasi-federal agencies include the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and the Smithsonian Institution. The LSC, established by Congress in 1974, is a private, nonprofit corporation designed to make sure all Americans have equal access to justice under the law, regardless of their income. The LSC offers legal help to Americans who otherwise couldn't afford it.

The Smithsonian Institution, as you probably know, is an educational and research institute and museum complex. It's funded by the U.S. government and by money from its own endowment, private contributions, and profits generated from its shops and its magazine. Although most Smithsonian facilities are located in Washington, DC, it also has 19 museums and 7 research centers elsewhere, including New York City, Virginia, and even Panama.

No matter whether you work for a federal agency that's under the executive branch, or an independent agency or a quasi-government organization, any federal employee is eligible to benefit from the Student Loan Repayment Program—with the exception of so-called Schedule C appointees, because their jobs are often confidential and policy-making in nature.

Under this program, your loans aren't considered "forgiven," rather, your employer will make payments on your behalf directly to the holder of your student loan(s). Your employer can make up to $10,000 in student loan repayments per employee, per calendar year, up to a maximum of $60,000 per employee. If you're currently job-hunting, or are willing to switch jobs, all you have to do is land a job with a federal agency and advise your prospective employer that the way to get you to accept their employment offer is to sweeten their package by providing you with the Student Loan Repayment Program as a benefit.

If you already work for a government agency, half the battle is won. Now you just have to convince your boss to either create a Student Loan Repayment Program or let you take advantage of an existing program that may already be in place. Mercifully, the federal government hasn't made it difficult to do this. You can readily win your employer's support for this program by showing them how easy the program is to create and how little work is required on their behalf.

The hard part, if there's anything difficult at all in this process, will likely be in getting your employer to agree to shell out the extra dollars to your loan holder. But if you can make a case for why you deserve to have this benefit—adding, of course, that it will help retain you as an employee, in keeping with the purpose of this program-then you're well on your way to being financially liberated from as much as $60,000 worth of student loans.

By now, some of you are probably wondering, what's the catch? Well, yes, there is a catch. In fact, there are a few catches you need to know about. First, in exchange for your employer paying off your hefty student loans, you'll be required to sign an employment contract pledging to remain in the employment of the federal agency you're with for at least three years. If you quit, or if you get fired for cause or poor performance, you must reimburse your employer for all the benefits you received under the Student Loan Repayment Program. (If you jump ship for another federal job, however, there's no law that says you have to repay the money, unless that was specifically written in your agreement with your employer.)




 


Article Title : Repayment Assistance Programs, Part 3
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Related articles
• Repayment Assistance Programs, Part 4
• Repayment Assistance Programs, Part 1
• Repayment Assistance Programs, Part 2
• Money Management Basics, Part 3
• Free Yourself from Financial Plague, Part 3

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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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