Requirements for Teachers for the Student Loan Forgiveness Program

The Student Loan Forgiveness Program for teachers is one of the most unique student loan programs available. If you qualify for the program, you can save a substantial amount of money. As a teacher, you could have up to $17,500 of your student loans forgiven. But, not every teacher will qualify for it. There are certain qualifications that you have to meet in order to get in the program. Here are a few things that it takes to get your loans forgiven. 


If you want to qualify for this program, the most important thing is that you are a teacher. You also have to teach in your school district for five consecutive years on a full-time basis. This is not for substitute teachers that only work for a few hours a week,  it is only for those that are completely devoted to teaching. The program is designed to encourage people to get into the teaching field.

Another requirement that you must meet is that you cannot have had a student loan balance before October 1, 1998. All of the student loans must have come after that point as it is meant to encourage new teachers to get into the field. In addition, you have to be in good standing with your current student loan lenders. Your loan can not be in default status. You have to have been paying on time, or have an arrangement with the lender.

When you want to have a certain loan forgiven, it also has to have been taken out before the end of your five years of service. You cannot wait until you have taught for five years and then take out a loan and expect it to be forgiven. 

The school district location where you teach must also meet certain requirements. The school that you work for has to qualify for funds under Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. It also has to be in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits. This means that the school that you work for has to classified as a low-income school. 


Regardless of what you teach, as long as you meet the requirements, you should be able to get some kind of help. There are special tier levels for the student loans:

  • If you are a full-time math or science teacher, you can get $17,500 towards your loans.
  • If you are a special education teacher, you will also be able to qualify for the maximum amount of $17,500.
  • If you teach any other subject, you will be able to get up to $5000 of loan forgiveness.

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