There are a couple of differing types of student loan forgiveness for nurses that enroll within the military. one among the foremost popular options is that the Army Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program. Both RNs and APRNs are eligible.
What is the military Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program?
In exchange for enlisting within the Army, you’ll qualify for up to $120K to repay nursing loans in exchange for a minimum 3-year service to the military . This loan repayment program is 3 years long, and you’ll receive $40K per annum .
In addition to the repayment funds, you’ll also earn sign-on bonuses for enrolling within the program. There also are options for Army reserve loan forgiveness, which provides part-time, local options for Army Reserve nurses.
Beyond the choices we’ve listed here, there are loan forgiveness programs that are specific for advanced practice nurses only, including nurse practitioners, certified midwives, certified RN anesthetists, and nurse educators.
If you’re curious about becoming an APRN, it’s worthwhile to both ask your school also as your current and prospective employers to ascertain what quite loan forgiveness could also be available.
And for nurses who don’t qualify for loan forgiveness, refinancing your student loans to a lower rate of interest could also be an option. The new loan replaces your old one, leaving you with a lower payment and/or a shorter payoff time-frame . you’ll learn more about refinancing in our guide to refinancing school of nursing student loan debt.
As mentioned before, this student loan forgiveness for nurses requires the borrower to make 120 payments. However, these payments should have some qualifications. They should be in the full amount shown on the bill. Besides, the borrowers should not miss the deadline for payment. Usually, the payments within 15 days later than the due date will count.
A time frame also applies to the repayment. Any payments before October 2007 are not counted. Meanwhile, the borrower should be employed based on the conditions described above. Keep in mind that during the 120 payment period, the debtor should utilize Income-driven plans.
Misconceptions about the PSLF
Some people might think that if they make payments when they are not required, they will qualify for this program faster. However, it is a misconception. Qualifying payments cannot be made when the borrower still studies or in the grace period. Besides, if the loan has deferment, forbearance status, the payments will not qualify.
Another misconception is that borrowers want to receive forgiveness fast by making excess payments. Be aware that you are only required to repay the amount shown on the bill each month. Any amount more than the required will count for the next month’s payment due, but it will not bring extra credits.
Lastly, the payments do not need to be consecutive. There can be times when a borrower stops working with a qualifying employer or misses the payment deadlines. The gained credits for 120 payments will not be lost in such cases. When the borrower finally qualifies for the program, the credits will continue to accrue.
The government provides multiple repayment plans with different payback periods, interest rates, and other functions. However, for this student loan forgiveness for nurses, borrowers can only use Income-driven repayment plans to make qualifying payments. These plans base the monthly payment amounts on the income level, making it more affordable for borrowers.
Before changing the repayment plan, borrowers should think twice. The current Standard Repayment Plan allows borrowers to eliminate debt after repaying the debt for ten years – after 120 payments. When moving to Income-driven plans, the monthly payment amount can increase depending on the revenue and debt owed. Hence, if a borrower does not wish to make higher payments every month, they can keep the Standard plan.
How to Apply?
While progressing toward 120 payments, debtors need to fill a PSLF form and submit it to the loan servicer. In this way, the loan servicer can check the progress and inform if the borrower makes a mistake. In other words, this form is necessary to ensure the debtor is on the right track for forgiveness.
The loan servicer is informed only through the PSLF form about the number of qualifying payments. The form will also involve the employer’s certification, which shows the employer’s qualifications, work hours, etc. If the borrower does not provide this certificate periodically or when he/she changes the workplace, at the time of forgiveness application, he/she will be required to submit multiple certificates for each employer.
The loan servicer of the PSLF is FedLoan Servicing. Hence, the PSLF form, together with the employer’s certification, should be sent to FedLoan Servicing by mail, fax, or through their online platform.
Perkins Loan Forgiveness
Previously, we mentioned that the Public Service Loan Forgiveness covers only Direct loans. If you have a Perkins loan, you cannot apply to that student loan forgiveness for nurses. However, borrowers with Perkins loans can utilize the Perkins Loan Forgiveness. Besides many different employment types, including firefighters, librarians, law enforcement officers, nurses, and medical technicians can also apply to this forgiveness opportunity.
The debt cancellation for nurses depends on how long they serve. It is still possible to achieve 100% debt reduction with this program.
Usually, in the first and second years of service, applicants receive 15% debt forgiveness. In the following two years, this amount increases to 20%. Finally, in the fifth year, borrowers get 30% student loan forgiveness.
Application to this program happens through the school or its Perkins loan servicer. If you want to benefit from this forgiveness opportunity for nurses, you can contact the school(or the servicer) to get the form and know about other instructions.
Which Program to Choose?
Applying to the forgiveness program is difficult. If one program is selected, the borrower might lose eligibility to others for a short period. The application can also get rejected for thousands of reasons, like unclear information, ineligible qualifications, wrong documentation, false application, etc. Therefore, borrowers need to think twice before applying.
It is much recommended to get expert help before choosing a program. Third-party debt specialists like those in Student Loans Resolved can help borrowers determine the most suitable program. The experts have years of experience and are well-aware of financial operations. Hence, they can analyze the debtors’ financial standings and match them with the best forgiveness options.
Besides, the debt specialists will be by your side in every step and ensure a smooth application process. If you want to stop debt struggles in a short period, contact us now.