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Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for an upfront reduction of your principal balance between $5,000 to $17,500. Along with this upfront forgiveness or loan balance principal reduction, teachers can also qualify for full forgiveness  where any remaining balance at the end of the 10 years would be completely forgiven.

Teacher loan forgiveness, law school loan repayment assistance programs and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program are not taxable.

 

See If You Qualify For Teacher Loan Forgiveness

What Are The Requirements To Qualify?

  • You must not have had an outstanding balance on Direct Loans or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans as of Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date that you obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998.
  • If you are in default on a subsidized or unsubsidized loan, you are not eligible for forgiveness of that loan unless you have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of the defaulted loan.
  • The loan(s) for which you are seeking forgiveness must have been made before the end of your five academic years of qualifying teaching service.
  • Any time you spent teaching to receive benefits through AmeriCorps cannot be counted toward your required five years of teaching for Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
  • You must have been employed as a full-time teacher for five complete and consecutive academic years, and at least one of those years must have been after the 1997–98 academic year.
  • You must have been employed in an elementary or secondary school that
    • is in a school district that qualifies for funds under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended;
    • has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education based on a determination that more than 30 percent of the school’s total enrollment is made up of children who qualify for services provided under Title I; and
    • is listed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits. If this directory is not available before May 1 of any year, the previous year’s directory may be used.Note: All elementary and secondary schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)—or operated on Indian reservations by Indian tribal groups under contract with BIE—qualify as schools serving low-income students. These schools are qualifying schools for purposes of this loan forgiveness program, even if they are not listed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.
  • Your teaching service may qualify if the consecutive five-year period includes qualifying service performed after the 2007–08 academic year at an eligible educational service agency.If your school meets the above requirements for at least one year of your teaching service, but does not meet these requirements during subsequent years, your subsequent years of teaching at the school may be counted toward the required five complete and consecutive academic years of teaching.

Who Is Considered A Teacher ?

A teacher is a person who provides direct classroom teaching, or classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting. Special Education teachers are considered teachers.

How Long Must I Teach?

You must teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years after the 1997-1998 academic year

Service Completed Before Oct 30. 2004

If your five complete and consecutive years of qualifying teaching service began before Oct. 30, 2004, please note the following:

    • You may receive up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness if you were:
      • A full time elementary school teacher in mathematics, reading or writing or other areas of the schools curriculum
      • A full-time secondary school teacher, teaching in a subject that was related to your academic major.
    • You may receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if you were:
      • A highly qualified full-time mathematics or science teacher in an eligible secondary school; or
      • A highly qualified special education teacher whose primary responsibility was to provide special education to children with disabilities, and you taught children with disabilities that corresponded to your area of special education training and have demonstrated knowledge and teaching skills in the content areas of the curriculum that you taught.

Service Beginning On Or After October 30, 2004

If your five complete and consecutive years of qualifying teacher service began on or after Oct. 30, 2004, please note the following:

      • You may receive up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness if you were a highly qualified full-time elementary or secondary school teacher.
      • You may receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if, as certified by the chief administrative officer of the school where you were employed, you were
        • A highly qualified full-time mathematics or science teacher in an eligible secondary school; or
        • A highly qualified special education teacher whose primary responsibility was to provide special education to children with disabilities, and you taught children with disabilities that corresponded to your area of special education training and have demonstrated knowledge and teaching skills in the content areas of the curriculum that you taught.

Unable To Complete An Academic Year

If you were unable to complete an academic year, that year may still count to your Teacher Loan Forgiveness five consecutive years if:

      • Half of the academic year was completed;
      • You employer considers you to have completed your contract requirements for the purposes of salary increase, tenure and retirement
      • You were unable to complete the academic year because
        •  You returned to college, on at least half time credits, in an area that is directly related to your teaching position and or to better your performance in said position; or
        • You had a condition covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA); or
        • You were called into active duty in the Armed Forces for more than 30 days.

Am I Considered A Highly Qualified Teacher Under The Program?

To be a highly qualified teacher, a public elementary or secondary school teacher must

      • Have obtained full state certification as a teacher; or
      • Passed your state teaching license examination, and hold a license to teach in that state
      • Have not had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis.

In addition to the above—

You may be qualified as an Elementary school teacher who is new to the profession if you:

      • Have at least a bachelor’s degree; and
      • Have shown to have adequate teaching skills by passing any state tests, or having subject knowledge of reading, writing, mathematics and other basic areas of elementary education.

A middle or secondary school teacher who is new to the profession is highly qualified if the teacher also

      • Holds at least a bachelor’s degree; and
      • Has demonstrated a high level of competence in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches by
      • Have shown to have adequate teaching skills by passing any state tests, or having subject knowledge of reading, writing, mathematics and other basic areas of elementary education.; or

An Elementary, Middle, Or Secondary School Teacher Who Is Not New To The Profession Is Highly Qualified If The Teacher Also

      • Holds at least a bachelor’s degree; and
      • Meets the applicable standards of an elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is new to the profession; or
      • Demonstrates competence in all the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches based on a high objective uniform state standard of evaluation that
      • Is set by the state for both grade-appropriate academic subject matter knowledge and teaching skills;
      • Is aligned with challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards and developed in consultation with core content specialists, teachers, principals, and school administrators;
      • Provides objective, coherent information about the teacher’s attainment of core content knowledge in the academic subjects in which a teacher teaches;
      • Is applied uniformly to all teachers in the same academic subject and the same grade level throughout the state;
      • Takes into consideration, but is not based primarily on, the time the teacher has been teaching in the academic subject;
      • Is made available to the public upon request; and may involve multiple, objective measures of teacher competency.

Is The School At Which I Teach A Low-income School?

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education publishes a list of low-income elementary and secondary schools. 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.

What If I Teach At An Educational Service Agency?

If you teach at an educational service agency, your teaching service may qualify if the consecutive five-year period includes qualifying service at an eligible education service agency performed after the 2007–08 academic  year.

How Do I Apply For Teacher Loan Forgiveness?

As with all these Federal Sponsored Student Loan Repayment programs, you can do all the research and work yourself. If you prefer to retain our services and have us do all  the work on your behalf,   give us a call and we will go over your specific circumstances to get you enrolled under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

Give us a call at  (954) 780-8266

There are no obligations or commitments. YOUR ASSESSMENT IS ABSOLUTELY FREE
Call 954-780-8266 today to go over your options.