There is a huge misconception that student loan forgiveness does not exist. Simply not true actually! Although the balance may seem intimidating, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Most students are actually able to qualify to have their Student Loans Forgiven.
One important aspect of being able to qualify for student loan forgiveness is enrolling in a Qualifying Student Loan Forgiveness Repayment Plan. With these repayment plans, the monthly payments are pretty manageable, and sometimes even $0 per month! The outstanding balance would then be forgiven after the repayment plan period. Phew!
There is a huge misconception that students are completely stuck with their student loans. Loan forgiveness does exist!Tweet
1. Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
With this plan, only 10% of your discretionary income is used to determine what your monthly payment would be. Depending on your income, it might even turn out to be $0 per month! With this payment plan, the amount will never exceed 10% of your discretionary income.
So if you did the math, in most cases with a high student loan balance, you will only end up paying part of your interest in your monthly payments. The entire balance of your student loans would be forgiven after 20 years! The catch is that only student loans originated on or after 2007 would qualify for this payment plan.
For this plan, you’d also need to File your taxes as Married Filing Separately to qualify.
2. Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (RePAYE)
Similarly to how the PAYE payment plan is structured, the RePAYE is a revised version of PAYE. It was introduced after PAYE and it also uses 10% of your discretionary income to determine what your monthly payment amount would be.
RePAYE is also available to all borrowers regardless of when the actual loan was taken out, and as such would be beneficial for older loans. The student loans balance is also forgiven after 20 years.
3. Income Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
With this repayment plan, there are a few differences unlike the first two described above. For loans that were originated on or before July 1, 2014, your monthly payment amount does not exceed 15% of your discretionary income.
On the other hand, if your loan was originated after July 1, 2014, your loan payments will not exceed 10% of your discretionary income. The loan balance will also be forgiven after 20 years.
4. Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)
With this repayment plan, your income plays a much higher factor in determining what your monthly payment amount would be. In typical cases, your payment amount would be the lesser of the following:
- 20% of your discretionary income
- What you would pay on a repayment plan with a fixed payment over the course of 12 years, adjusted according to your income
With this plan, your loan balances would be forgiven after 25 years. You would have to submit your income on an annual base, and your payment amount would adjust accordingly based on your income.
5. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a program that is intended to forgive some of your federal student loan debt if you meet all the requirements. This program was created to benefit individuals whose debt would be unaffordable without loan payments tied to income because they are working in lower-paying jobs such as government service or non-profit work.
With this forgiveness program, your Employer must qualify for the Loan Forgiveness Program. After 120 consecutive payments, you would qualify for the loan forgiveness. This is the only plan that is also eligible to have taxes forgiven, whereas, with the other repayment plans, you might have to pay taxes on all amounts forgiven.
What about Private Student Loans?
Unfortunately, private student loans do not qualify for loan forgiveness. Only Federal loans have the option of being forgiven after a certain payment period. If this is you, there are ways to pay off the student loan balance faster. If you realize that you cannot afford payments, you can also opt to consolidate your loans, or refinance and get better payment options. These are both very good options for lowering your monthly payment.
I highly recommend checking out Credible for comparing the best rates when it comes to student loans and refinancing them for a much lower rate.