How to Get Forgiveness for Federal Student Loan Debt

UPDATED Tuesday March 24th, 2020

There has literally never been a better time to pursue Federal student loan forgiveness benefits, because we’ve never had so much access to so many different types of programs offering effective relief from Federal student debt.

Some of the best Federal forgiveness benefits programs around today include the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which offers complete forgiveness benefits to Non Profit Employees, and Government Employees, and is certainly the most powerful, fastest, and best student loan forgiveness program on offer.

But even if you don’t qualify for PSLF benefits, the good news is that there are a whole host of other excellent options for getting rid of your Federal loans based on your job, with programs like the many Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Programs, multiple Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness Programs, the Debt Forgiveness Program for Doctors & Dentists and a variety of Military Student Loan Forgiveness Programs as well!

It honestly doesn’t even really matter where you went to school, how much you owe, or what you’re currently doing for work, because the good news about these programs is that even if you don’t qualify for them at the moment, you may be able to qualify if you make a job or career change.

In this Guide, I’ll explain how to qualify for each of these programs, giving you the details you need to determine which one will work best for you and explaining how to apply for the benefit. If you have questions after reading through this Guide, please feel free to post them in the Comments section below and I’ll do my best to get you a detailed response within 24 hours!

Do YOU Qualify for Federal Loan Forgiveness Benefits?

Virtually everyone who’s ever taken out a Federal student loan will qualify for some amount of forgiveness via one of the many programs on offer, programs which typically hinge on your job, and which offer benefits based on how valuable your job has been deemed to be to society.

But the list of forgiveness programs I posted above is just a highlight of some of the largest and best forgiveness programs on offer, so if you don’t work in one of the fields mentioned above, don’t give up quite yet!

Whether you owe a few thousand dollars, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, there’s bound to be a program that can help you personally, so be sure to read through this entire page, then visit the other pages of my site for additional details on how to gain access to these tremendous Federal forgiveness benefits.

But Before I Explain All the Details of Federal Forgiveness…

Let me offer you a quick word of advice – most of the forgiveness benefits currently on offer can take years to deliver real relief, so they may not be your best option for dealing with student debt if you’re experiencing a financial crisis right now.

If you're truly struggling with student debt, then you should also consider paying a Student Loan Debt Relief Agency for help. Why? Because the people working at these companies deal with student loans all day, every day, and they're your best chance at figuring out how to get your loans back under control.

I've interviewed all sorts of debt relief agencies over the past 10 years, talking to all sorts of so-called "experts", and I can tell you that in all honesty I've only found two companies I trust to offer actual financial relief to people struggling with student loans.

For help with FEDERAL Student Loans: Call the Student Loan Relief Helpline at 1-888-906-3065. They will review your case, evaluate your options for switching repayment plans, consolidating your loans, or pursuing forgiveness benefits, then set you up to get rid of the debt as quickly as possible.

For help with PRIVATE Student Loans: Call McCarthy Law PLC at 1-877-317-0455. They will negotiate with your lender to settle your private loans for much less than you owe, then get you a new loan for the much lower, settled amount. NOTE: McCarthy Law can ONLY help with Private student loans.

If you do decide to call one of these companies and you have a bad experience with either of them, PLEASE make sure to come back and let me know about it in the Comments!

2020’s Best Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Benefits Programs

Currently, the Federal Government offers significant loan forgiveness benefits to anyone who:

  1. First borrowed on or after October 1st, 2007 (via the Obama Loan Forgiveness Program and the Pay As You Earn Student Loan Repayment Plan)
  2. Is willing to enroll in one of the Income-Based Based Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans, like the Income-Based Repayment Plan, Income-Contingent Repayment Plan or REPAYE Student Loan Repayment Plan)
  3. Works in Public Service (via the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program)
  4. Works as a Nurse (via PSLF, the Nurse Corps Loan Forgiveness Program, or the Perkins Loan Forgiveness for Licensed Medical Technicians Program)
  5. Works as a Doctor or Dentist (via the NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program)
  6. Works as a Teacher (via PSLF, Federal TEACH Grants, Perkins Loan Forgiveness & Stafford Loan Forgiveness Programs)
  7. Works for the Government (via the Government Employee Loan Forgiveness Program)
  8. Works at a Non-Profit (via Non-Profit Student Loan Forgiveness Program)
  9. Serves in the Military (via a suite of Military Student Loan Forgiveness Programs)
  10. Serves in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps (via the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program)
  11. Is permanently disabled (via the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program)
  12. Holds debt from a school that closed before they could finish (via the Closed School Discharge Program)
  13. Can prove that they were lied to, promised something they did not receive, deceived or legally taken advantage of in some way (via the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program)

As you can see, there are all sorts of options for pursuing Federal student loan forgiveness, and the hard part isn’t qualifying for one of these programs, but deciding which one of the programs will work best for you.

Again, this is where the Student Loan Relief Helpline can come in, and this is why I highly recommend that you call them for help. To reach the Helpline, call 1-888-906-3065.

1. Obama Loan Forgiveness (via PAYE) – for Recent Borrowers

Anyone who first took out Federal student loans after October 1st, 2007 is eligible for the benefits enacted in what’s been called the Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

Originally announced in October of 2001, President Obama promised to initiate major reforms to Federal student loan debt laws, including a massive overhaul of the existing Federal forgiveness programs, and the introduction of a brand new, much more lucrative Federal student loan repayment plan, called Pay As You earn.

When people refer to Obama Loan Forgiveness, they’re actually talking about this suite of reforms that were put into law over the past couple years, including:

  1. The Know Before You Owe Initiative – To ensure that graduates aren’t saddled with excessive monthly payments that would surely put them in the bread line, President Obama committed to offering them the ability to cap monthly student loan payments at just 10% of discretionary income, a move that would save some borrowers hundreds to thousands of dollars per month
  2. Introduction of the Pay As You Earn Student Loan Repayment Plan – This new Income-Based Federal Student Loan Repayment Plan limits monthly payments to just 10% of discretionary income, and offers complete loan forgiveness once borrowers have made 20 years worth of monthly payments, regardless of how much they still owe
  3. Updates to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program – While previous law stipulated that PSLF loan forgiveness could be earned by making 20 years worth of payments, President Obama’s update now offers eligible participants to discharge their entire remaining student loan debt after making payments on it for just 10 years

There is a major caveat to President Obama’s updates, however, in that the extremely popular Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan is still currently only available to those borrowers who first received Federally-funded student loans on or after October 1st, 2007.

Fortunately, the President later expanded availability of the Obama Student Loan Debt Reforms to all borrowers, and now anyone with Federal Student Loan Debt can enroll in the REPAYE Student Loan Repayment Plan, which offers similar benefits to Pay As You Earn.

2. Income-Based Repayment Plans Forgiveness (REPAYE)

As mentioned above, the Obama loan forgiveness benefits offered under PAYE were expanded and made available to everyone via the introduction of the REPAYE Program, which allows everybody with Federal student loans to start working toward earning forgiveness benefits.

The way that REPAYE works is that you have to agree to make monthly student loan payments in an amount based on your annual income (the more you make, the more you pay), and after you’ve made 240 payments on time, and in full, you’ll be offered complete forgiveness on whatever amount of money you still owe.

This plan is an excellent option (and the only option) for people who don’t qualify for any of the other forgiveness benefits offered below, but the biggest downside to it is that you WILL OWE TAXES to the IRS on whatever amount of debt you get forgiven.

For details on how that works, see the section below titled Federal Forgiveness Benefits and Taxable Income Laws, or visit my page on the same topic, here.

3. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Abbreviated PSLF, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is simply the best federal forgiveness benefit available, because it offers 100% forgiveness, no tax liabilities, and it’s open to anyone who serves in a field that counts as “Public Service”, which is a pretty loose definition.

PSLF offers complete Federal student loan forgiveness once you’ve made 10 years (120) monthly payments on your debt, which means it’s twice as fast as the standard Obama loan forgiveness plans (PAYE and REPAYE).

Also, there’s no cap on the amount forgiven, so no matter how much you still owe, and no matter how much you’ve actually paid, this program will wipe out whatever amount you still owe once you’ve made those 120 monthly payments in full, and on time.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness benefits are available to anyone who works full time in one of the following positions:

  • Government Employees (State, Federal, Local, etc.)
  • Non-Profit Organizations, including all 501(c)(3) Organizations
  • Teachers (at public schools)
  • Military personnel (all branches, including Reservists)
  • Emergency management personnel (FEMA, etc.)
  • Public safety and law enforcement personnel (Police, Firefighters, Park Rangers, etc.)
  • Public health services workers (Doctors, Nurses, Medical Records people, etc.)
  • Public interest law services (Lawyers, Attorneys, Paralegals, etc.)
  • Early childhood education workers (Daycare and Preschool teachers, etc.)
  • Public service workers for individuals with disabilities (Social Workers, Speech Therapists, Psychologists, Counselors, etc.)
  • Public service workers for the elderly (Home Health Aids, Nursing Home Personnel, etc.)
  • Public service volunteers (Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, etc.)

As you can see, that’s a pretty long list of eligible candidates. There are literally millions of people who qualify for PSLF benefits, many of whom aren’t even aware of it!

PSLF is especially valuable to people who took out massive student loans to go to school (like Doctors, Dentists, and Lawyers), but who graduate into jobs that aren’t paying them much each month, like for those healthcare personnel that choose to work in the public sector.

One of the downsides to PSLF is that it’s an all-or-nothing benefit, meaning that you don’t get incremental forgiveness, and that it will take 10 years of consistently working in an eligible position and making monthly payments to receive any forgiveness at all.

For full details on how PSLF works, please visit my page about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, here.

4. Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Nurses have access to some of the best forgiveness benefits available, via the Federal Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Programs that have been in place for several years now.

In fact, the Federal Government continues to offer at least three different avenues for Nursing loan forgiveness, including:

  1. The NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC) – This program was previously called the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP), and was created to help encourage RN’s to work in underserved hospitals and clinics, by offering them the chance to write off some of their student loans for qualifying service. The way it works is that RN’s will are able to have 60% of their Nursing loans written off for serving 2 years at a qualifying facility, along with 25% more for 1 additional year. That’s a pretty dang good deal, but it means you’d have to be willing to work at an underserved hospital or clinic, which could be a stressful, frustrating experience.
  2. Perkins Loan Discharges & Loan Cancellation for Nurses – Many people don’t realize it, but the “Teacher Loan Cancellation Program” also applies to Nurses, and allows full-time nurses (and medical technicians!) to write off 100% of their Perkins loans for five years of qualifying employment as a full-time nurse. The limitation on this program is that only Perkins loans are available for it, so you’d have to plan to use this one in advance of taking on debt.
  3. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program – Nurses have always been able to take advantage of the PSLF program, and for good reason! It was created specifically to help encourage people to take up work in public service positions, and no job defines public service better than that of a Nurse. Any Nurse who holds a full-time, qualifying position will be able to have the entirety of their student loan balance forgiven after they’ve made 10 years worth (120) of monthly payments on their debt, no matter how much is left when that 120th payment is made!

If you’re a Nurse, or planning on becoming one, the great news is that you have access to some of the best student loan forgiveness benefits available to anyone.

But these programs outlined here aren’t all that there is to offer Nurses, because several states also provide specific State-Based Loan Forgiveness Programs for Nurses as well, with California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas all offering significant assistance programs of their own.

5. Doctors & Dentists Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

The Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (often abbreviated S2S LRP) was created to provide Federal loan forgiveness benefits to Doctors and Dentists, and offers up to $120,000 in total forgiveness in return for a 3 year service contract.

This program requires you to work full-time, as a primary care provider in an approved NHSC facility within a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need, but it’s an awesome benefit for anyone willing to relocate, or who already plans on working on an HPSA.

There’s also a clause that lets you potentially re-up your service contract for one year increments if the initial $120,000 payment doesn’t cover the entire balance of your loan, and there’s no set cap in place, so you could potentially re-up each year until your entire loan balance has been forgiven.

For details on how the program works, please visit my page about Student Loan Forgiveness Benefits for Doctors and Dentists.

6. Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Teachers are another highly-valued member of society, and accordingly, the Federal Government has created several programs to help teachers get rid of their student loans.

Currently, there are three main forgiveness programs for teachers, including:

The Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program

The Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program was created to encourage “highly qualified” teachers to teach in impoverished areas, serving low-income families, so those families have access to educational resources which wouldn’t otherwise be available.

Stafford Loan Forgiveness benefits are pretty good too, but they do require a pretty substantial commitment, in the form of a five-year service commitment that requires you to teach in one of those low-income areas for five complete and consecutive years.

Eligibility for Stafford forgiveness is also restricted to certain types of loans, so you’ll only be able to take advantage of this program if you have an FFEL Stafford Loan, a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, or a Consolidation Loan.

For specific details on how the program works, please visit my page on the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program.

The Perkins Loan Forgiveness Program

The Federal Perkins Loan Forgiveness Program offers low interest rate loans to students in need of financial assistance.

This program was created to help economically underprivileged students obtain financing assistance to cover the costs of postsecondary education. 1,700 schools across the country participate in the Perkins Loan program, but applicants must first file a FAFSA as part of the application process.

Perkins loan recipients must also file a Perkins promissory note in order to be eligible to receive their loan. Perkins loan recipients are eligible to receive 15% loan forgiveness for their first and second years of full time teaching, 20% for their third and fourth years, and 30% for their fifth year of service.

For details on how this program works, please visit my page on the Perkins Loan Cancellation Program for Teachers.

Federal TEACH Grants

The Federal TEACH Grant Program isn’t technically a loan “forgiveness” program, since these grants are applied for and used before loan debt has been accumulated, they’re still worth mentioning here.

TEACH Grants provide up to $4,000 a year in tuition assistance for students who promise to become teachers in high-need subjects working in low-income areas.

Receiving a TEACH Grant requires completing an applications process that involves signing the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and formally accepting the requirements called for by the TEACH Grant Service Obligation, which states that you must teach low-income children in a high-need area for at least 4 total years within 8 years of receiving your TEACH Grant money.

This program is relatively easy to qualify for, and it can provide a great deal of value (at $4,000 per year, if it takes you 4 years to complete your undergraduate degree, then you could stand to receive $16,000 in TEACH Grant loans just for your undergraduate education), so it’s more than worth looking into if you’re interested in becoming a teacher.

To find out how you can get a TEACH Grant for yourself, please visit my page on the Federal TEACH Grant Program.

7. Government Employee Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Anyone who works for the Government (at any level, including Federal, State and even Local-levels) is eligible for Federal student loan forgiveness benefits via the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which is literally the best, biggest, and fastest loan forgiveness program around.

That means that whether you’re a local City Assemblyman, a Police Officer, a Firefighter, a Park Ranger, or a DMV Employee, you’ve got an avenue to having your entire student loan debt forgiven after making just 10 years of payments, and payments set based on your monthly income.

For most Government employees, the income-based part is a huge plus, because typically Government jobs pay lower salaries, and you could even end up getting an assigned monthly payment of $0 if your income is low enough to qualify for that.

In fact, it’s actually possible to qualify for a $0 monthly payment, make that $0 monthly payment for a period of 10 years, and have the entire balance of your student loan forgiven, WITHOUT having to pay taxes on the amount that’s discharged!

For details on this program, please visit my page on the Government Employee Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

8. Non-Profit Worker Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Just like PSLF benefits are available to Government employees, they’re also extended to anyone working in the Non-Profit sector, meaning anybody working for a 501(c)(3).

Technically, you don’t even have to work for a 501(c)(3) to qualify for Non-Profit Forgiveness benefits, because the official rules of the PSLF program state that anyone who counts as a non-profit worker is eligible for the benefit.

This program even relaxes some of the conditions for qualification, as it still requires working full-time while making your income-based monthly payments, but only requires you to work at least 30 hours per week (rather than the typical 40 that we’d expect).

And that’s a big deal, because working 10 fewer hours per week means earning less income, which reduces your monthly payments, making it even more likely that you’ll end up writing off a ton of debt when all is said and done.

Also, since the benefit is offered under PSLF, this Non-Profit forgiveness is another of those magic programs that doesn’t require you to pay taxes on the amount of money you get forgiven, making it extremely powerful.

For details on how it all works, please visit my page on Non-Profit Employee Student Loan Forgiveness Benefits.

9. Military Loan Forgiveness Programs

Military personnel continue to have access to some of the best Federal student loan forgiveness benefits, with options for using programs like the incredible Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (which they qualify for as Military Personnel, or Government Employees), or the amazing College Loan Repayment Programs, which offer up to $65,000 in forgiveness to eligible service members.

The one trick to military forgiveness benefits is that they’re different for members of each service branch, with the Army, National Guard, Navy, Air Force and the Reserves all offering completely different programs of their own, with wildly varying benefits, requirements and eligibility conditions.

Fortunately, it’s not that hard to figure out, and you can get the details on all of these programs by continuing to read the high-level details below, or by visiting my page on Military Student Loan Forgiveness Benefits Programs.

The Army Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

The Army Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is available to new enlistees who are deemed to be “highly qualified” as a means for enticing them into joining the military.

Individuals who qualify for the Army’s LRP are eligible to have up to $65,000 worth of qualifying student loans fully paid off.

Qualifying for Army SLRP benefits requires requesting participation in the program during the enlistment process, having participation in the program annotated in writing on your enlistment contract, enlisting in an MOS eligible to participate in the program and a variety of other qualifications.

To get the details on how this program works, check out my page on the Army Student Loan Repayment Program (Army SLRP).

The Navy Student Loan Repayment Programs (SLRP)

The Navy Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) covers the cost for up to $65,000 worth of loans acquired from pursuing a post-secondary education program (any level of education higher than high school).

Navy LRP is available to all active duty enlisted personnel, but requires that enlistees must sign up to serve for a minimum of at least four years.

The Navy reserves currently offers up to $10,000 for Navy Reserve enlistments, which is significantly lower, but still a great benefit for those reserve personnel who require financial assistance.

To qualify for eligibility for the Navy Reserve LRP program, enlistees must agree to serve for a minimum of six years.

To find out all about these benefits, please visit my page on the Navy Student Loan Repayment Program (Navy SLRP).

The National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

Soldiers and officers that join the Guard with an existing student loan obligation at the time of their enlistment may be eligible for the National Guards Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), which offers up to $50,000 of student loan debt relief for Guard members who take on certain jobs with a six or eight-year enlistment agreement.

Existing Guard members who extend their enlistment contract for at least six years are also eligible for the National Guard SLRP, as long as they meet eligibility requirements, including scoring high enough on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test and being a member of a valid Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in their National Guard unit.

Finally, the National Guard student loan repayment program is also available to applicants entering Officer Candidate School (OCS) who have at least 90 college credit hours and agree to an additional eight-year commitment at the time of enrollment in OCS.

For specific details on this program, please visit my page on the National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program

The Air Force Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

The Air Force student loan repayment program is an incentive to enlistees that begins after airmen have completed their first year of service.

After their first year of service, the Air Force begins making annual payments totaling up to $10,000 on outstanding college loans for eligible airmen.

Through the CLRP, the Air Force pays off 33.33% or $1,500 (whichever is greater) of any qualified outstanding student loan debts for each year of service.

Payments end once the Air Force has paid $10,000, the maximum amount available for CLRP repayments.

To find out how this program works, please visit my page about the Air Force Student Loan Repayment Program.

The Army & Navy Reserves Forgiveness Programs

Army Reserves and Navy Reserves personnel are eligible to have up to 15% of the outstanding principle balance of their loans paid off by their respective branch annually, or up to $1,500 in annual debt repayments, whichever is greater, for each year of service.

The Air National Guard offers 15% annually, or up to $5,000 (again whichever value is greater) of student loan debt repayment for each year of service.

For details on how these programs works, visit their sections on the respective pages here: Army Reserves SLRP, Navy Reserves SLRP and Air National Guard SLRP.

10. Volunteer Forgiveness Programs (Peace Corps, VISTA & AmeriCorps)

Federal student loan debt forgiveness benefits are also available to individuals serving as volunteers through community service organizations like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and VISTA.

These benefits are provided via the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), which again, makes them some of the best available.

Not everyone who serves in these organizations can take advantage of the available college loan forgiveness programs, but those individuals who have large debts, low incomes, and who have served or plan on serving for an extended period of time in these organizations are excellent candidates.

Federal student loan forgiveness for public service primarily serves volunteers working with:


If you serve for at least 12 months, you’ll receive up to $7,400 in stipends, along with $4,725 that you can apply towards your student loan debts. For more information, call 1-800-942-2677, or visit the AmeriCorps website here.

Peace Corps:

Peace Corps volunteers are eligible to apply for Stafford, Perkins and Consolidation loans deferment, as well as partial cancellations of Perkins Loans (at 15% for each year of service, up to a maximum of 70% in total loan Perkins Loans forgiveness for service). For more information, contact the Peace Corps at 1-800-424-8580, or visit the Peace Corps website here.

VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America):

VISTA volunteers who provide 1,700 hours of service are eligible to receive $4,725 in loan forgiveness. For more information, call 1-800-942-2677, or visit the AmeriCorps VISTA website here.

11. Closed School Student Loan Discharges

One of the newest avenues allowing you to qualify for Federal student loan forgiveness benefits is via the Closed School Student Loan Discharge Program, which lets you apply for forgiveness if you attended a school that shut down before you could finish your degree program.

Closed School Discharges are extremely powerful, in that they’re not that hard to qualify for, but their limiting factor is that the vast majority of people simply won’t be able to use them, since you had to be attending a school that shut down, and very few schools shut down (since they make so much money!).

However, if you are one of the lucky souls who attended a school that recently closed, then you’re in for a big reward, because it’s possible that you’ll get the rest of your loans forgiven, and in some cases, you may even qualify for a refund on the money you’ve already paid the school back.

There are a lot of specific details regarding this program though, so don’t assume you’ll qualify for the discharge simply because you attended a school that is no longer in business.

To find out if you’re eligible for the benefit, visit my page about Closed School Student Loan Discharges, or my pages on the Corinthian Colleges Student Loan Forgiveness Program, or the ITT Tech Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

12. The Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Program

If you haven’t qualified for any of the other Federal student loan forgiveness benefits programs mentioned above, don’t despair quite yet, because you’ve got one final hope: the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program, which lets you challenge the legal validity of your loans.

This program has actually been around for some time, but most people had never heard of it, and it wasn’t until the big media coverage for the Corinthian Colleges shut down that it became popular.

Now, however, there are so many Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Discharge Applications being submitted on a daily basis, that the Department of Education is literally overwhelmed by them, and I’ve received first-hand reports of people waiting OVER A YEAR to find out whether or not their applications were approved!

The way Borrower’s Defense works is that it offers a complete Federal student loan discharge to anyone who can prove that their lender, school, or student loan servicing company did something illegal that led to them taking a loan which they wouldn’t have gotten had that behavior not occurred.

The easiest way to qualify for the Discharge is to explain that your school performed some sort of false advertising, or made misleading promises about what you would get as a result of completing their degree programs.

For details on how this program works, you definitely need to visit my page on the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program, but because the system is so complicated, and can take so long to get an approval or denial response, this is one situation where I recommend that EVERYONE hires a student loan expert for assistance in preparing the application.

If you want to get approved for a Borrower’s Defense Discharge, then you should call the Student Loan Relief Helpline’s Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Hotline and pay them to review your situation, help you put together the legal arguments required for your application, and increase the odds that you’ll actually receive an approval after it’s been submitted.

Call the Borrower’s Defense Hotline at: 1-888-732-4742.

Federal Forgiveness Benefits & Taxable Income Laws

The only real downside to getting Federal student loan forgiveness benefits is that some of the programs mentioned above WILL require you to pay taxes on the amount of money you get forgiven.

Per the IRS’s rules, whatever student loan forgiveness benefits you receive need to be included your annual IRS filings, and will count against your tax liabilities the year you receive them.

The forgiveness amount will furthermore be treated as regular income, so if you got $50,000 in forgiveness benefits, that would raise your taxable income for the year by $50,000 (which could end up costing you a LOT of money).

The worst part about the taxable income laws isn’t just that it ends up making you owe a ton of money to the IRS, but that the amount you’ll need to pay them needs to be paid all up-front, rather than stretched out over a period of money years, like you were doing with your student loans!

This is the dirty little secret of the student loan forgiveness industry that no one wants to talk about, but it’s also one of the most important considerations to take into account when deciding which forgiveness program you want to apply for, because remember, some do have tax liabilities, and other don’t.

As an example, many of the Nursing Forgiveness Programs will require you to claim the benefits you receive as taxable income, while the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program won’t lead to any additional tax costs.

To find out exactly how it all works, please visit my page on Student Loan Forgiveness Benefits and Taxable Income Laws.

Additional Resources for Tax-Related Problems

I think there’s an enormous potential for student loan forgiveness benefits to absolutely destroy the financial lives of many Americans, which is why I’ve created a brand new website focused entirely on tax-debt related issues: Forget Tax Debt.

At Forget Tax Debt, I offer the same kind of advice I provide here, except it’s focused entirely on helping you avoid getting into trouble (or helping you get OUT of trouble) with the IRS.

Whether you’re looking for basic information on How to Pay IRS Back Taxes, trying to figure out How to Sign up for the IRS Fresh Start Program, or looking for details on IRS Tax Debt Forgiveness Programs, Forget Tax Debt will walk you through the steps you need to take in order to avoid getting nailed by the IRS.

Watch Out For Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Scams!

One quick word of warning: scam artists have long been aware of all these amazing student loan forgiveness programs, and they’re doing everything they can to try and trick borrowers out of their hard-earned money.

If anyone contacts you via the phone, email, or even with a written letter, attempting to get you to sign up for one of their forgiveness programs, you should be extremely cautious before providing them with any personal information.

To find out how to sniff out a scam, and to protect yourself and your family from these con artists, please visit my page about Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Scams.

Why Does the Government Offer Student Debt Loan Forgiveness?

Due to the rising costs of higher education, the average college graduate leaves school with more debt than ever before, making Student Loan Debt Relief more important than it’s ever been before, especially considering the fact that many graduates will be unable to find jobs with salaries high enough to cover their monthly loan payments.

In fact, a recent article from CNN Money reported that the average student loan debt for recent graduates now sits at $29,400, which is a significant increase from years past, and something that would have been completely unthinkable just a couple of decades ago.

With an economy that continues to struggle, and excessive student loan debt weighing down the purchasing power of virtually every college graduate, the Federal Government realizes that many Americans are facing a relatively dire situation, and they’ve responded appropriately.

Accordingly, the Federal Government has created a wide variety of available debt forgiveness programs made for those people having trouble paying their student loans, with so many opportunities for financial assistance that virtually everyone will qualify (or could easily qualify with simple life changes) for some form of debt relief.

These debt forgiveness programs are taxpayer funded (you’re welcome!), and are certain to help you pay back your student loans more quickly, and at a lower cost, than you’d be able to do on your own, so be sure to take advantage of them!

If you have questions about anything covered on this page, please ask them in the comments section below. I’ll do my best to answer all questions within 24 hours.

Other Federal Student Loan Relief Programs

If you don’t find a way to qualify for any of the Federal student loan forgiveness programs listed above, you’re not sunk yet, because you still may qualify for one of the many excellent Federal Student Loan Relief Programs currently on offer, including:

All of these programs offer some sort of debt relief or financial assistance to borrowers who are having trouble paying back their student loans, and each program could stand to save you hundreds to thousands of dollars a month!

If You Have Private Student Loans…

If you’re one of the many unlucky souls to be holding Private Student Loan Debt, then you’ll want to head on over to my page about Private Student Loan Forgiveness so you can find out what’s available to you.

Please Help Spread the Word!

SO MANY Americans still aren’t aware of all these excellent Federal student loan programs created specifically to help them, so please try to do your part in spreading awareness for these benefits by sharing a link to this page with everyone you know!

If this page was helpful to you, help me get the word out by posting it to your Facebook, Twitter or other Social Media account, or by emailing it to friends and family.

I do not spend any money on advertising so I have to rely on people like you to help get more traffic to my site, and the only way that I can afford to keep dedicating so much time and energy to developing more content like this is if more people visit!

Thank you for visiting, and thank you so much for your help! I really do appreciate it!

Disclaimer:Information obtained from Forget Student Loan Debt is for educational purposes only. You should consult a licensed financial professional before making any financial decisions. This site receives some compensation through affiliate relationships. This site is not endorsed or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.


Tim's experience struggling with crushing student loan debt led him to create the website Forget Student Loan Debt in 2011, where he offers advice, tips and tricks for paying off student loans as quickly and affordably as possible.