Teaching can be a very rewarding profession, yet it usually does not pay well compared to other career fields. However, there is good news. School debt help for teachers is available.
Teachers who currently have balances on their Federal Perkins or Stafford loans are eligible to have their loans forgiven. Loans are typically forgiven for teachers who are considered highly qualified or teachers who teach in designated low-income schools. Additionally, teachers who instruct in Title 1 schools or who work in hard to staff content areas such as science or math usually qualify for these forgiveness programs, too. Currently, special education teachers can have as much as $17,500 forgiven on Stafford loans for five years of teaching service.
Teachers who want to have their loans forgiven can follow a simple process. First, contact the lender to check the program’s exact requirements and to get the necessary forms. Then, fill out the paperwork, have it signed by the building principal, and return the documents to the lender. The lender will then contact the loan holder in writing showing the amount forgiven – if in fact any of the debt will be forgiven.
If teachers do not qualify for loan forgiveness through one of the federal loan programs, there are alternate forms of assistance. Most lenders will allow borrowers to defer payments in times of recession or unemployment. Deferment can also be granted for military service or temporary disability cases. Returning to school is another reason some teachers are granted deferment. Loans can also be discharged under special circumstances, which are usually listed on a lender’s website.
Options do exist for teachers who find themselves with student loan debt. Knowing this help exists can often save those professionals in the field of education from money stress. All educators should take advantage of the resources available to them in this particular area.