Here’s what you should know about student loan forgiveness

The federal money direct loan program is nicknamed student loan forgiveness program. Originally named William D Ford loan program, it is commonly referred to as Obama student loan forgiveness program. All these programs and its benefits are only for the federal loan borrowers and not for private loan borrowers.

Having a person co sign your student loan can get you lower interest rates. There are options for student loans without consigner. Federal student loans do not require a consigner. The student can take it without a parent’s help or without a credit history. Private student loans usually require a consigner, especially if the applicant is below 21 years of age.

To procure a student loan without consigner apply for federal loan. Federal student loans do not require a co-signer, thus allowing a student borrower to avail a loan with having a credit history or a parent’s help. Fill out the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) to find out if you are eligible for federal grants or scholarships. This application also lets you know if you are eligible for federal loan. Other than not requiring a cosigner, this loan also has lower interest rates and forgiveness programs.

Private loans do not offer forgiveness. To qualify for forgiveness, your loan should not have gone unpaid for more than nine months. Federal loan balance can be forgiven or reduced.

Public service loan forgiveness – If you work full time in public service (firefighters, teachers, nurse etc.), your student loan balance will be forgone or reduced. Only federal loans are eligible for this program.

Teacher loan forgiveness – Direct loans and Stafford loans are applicable for this program. Teachers who work full time for five consecutive years, can have up to 17,500$ in direct and Stafford loans forgiven (applicable only to teachers working in low income public elementary or secondary schools). This program eliminates your loan in half the time i.e. 5 years instead of 10 (compared to public service loan forgiveness).

Perkins loan cancellation – Borrowers of federal Perkins loan, who have worked in public service jobs, usually for more than five years, can have up up 100% of their loans cancelled. In many cases, your loans will be forgiven incrementally for each year you serve. However you must show proof of working in a qualifying public service job (i.e. teachers, firefighter, nurse, librarian etc.).

Income driven repayment – This program allows you to pay a percentage of your monthly income towards your loan, automatically forgiving your remaining loan balance after 20-25 years.

The popular 5 student loan agencies are the Federal Government, SallieMae, PNC Student loans, Wells Fargo and College Avenue.

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