BY SIENNA WALKER
Going to college may give you the life experience and qualifications you need to succeed once you’ve graduated. However, it’s also likely to give you a hefty student loan that you’ll be paying off for a large chunk of your working life.
Students can find themselves in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of debt. At the end of 2016, cumulative student loan debt was 170% higher than in the previous decade. Paying off your student loan can really put a dent in your pay packet and even make it difficult to secure other loans, such as a mortgage. So anything you can do to reduce that burden must be a good thing, right?
There are a number of careers that offer loan forgiveness, a reduction in your outstanding loan which could save you thousands in interest alone. If you have the right qualifications, these seven careers are a great way to go:
There are a number of loan forgiveness options open to practicing lawyers. If you choose to work in a non-profit or public service legal position, you could be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). Once you’ve worked in a position for 120 months’ worth of repayments, you loan can be forgiven. The Department of Justice, individual states and some law schools also operate their own loan forgiveness programs so do your research to find the best options available.
Not all teachers are eligible for loan forgiveness. However, if you work in a low-income school district, as a special educational needs teacher or you teach a subject that’s in particular demand, you could qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. The amount you receive will depend upon the number of years you have spent in the job and qualifying teachers can expect to receive between $5,000 and $17,500 in loan forgiveness.
Choose to work in a state experiencing a veterinarian shortage or just a shortage of skills working with a particular animal, and you could be eligible for loan forgiveness. The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program pays up to $25,000 per year to vets who match this description, have worked in said area for three years or more and make the proper applications.
There are a number of student loan forgiveness programs available for military personnel. The Montgomery G.I. Bill may pay up to 60% of college tuition fees. The PSLF is another option. Member of the military who have served for ten years become eligible for complete forgiveness of their student loan.
The PSLF is also an option for doctors who choose to work in non-profit environments. Other loan forgiveness programs to try include the National Health Service Corps Program, the Student to Service Program and state level programs too. The Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Program, which offers up to $40,000 worth of repayments, is available to graduates who work for two years within an organisation that specifically supports American Indian communities.
Dentists are eligible for many of the loan forgiveness programs open to doctors. They can also try the Maine Dental Education Loan Forgiveness Program. Maine is currently suffering from a dentist shortage and able to offer dentists working in the area up to $80,000 per year.
- Social Worker
Social workers can’t rely on a hefty salary for doing their job. However there are benefits to be gained in loan forgiveness. Social workers who work with families in areas deemed as low-income or high risk are eligible for total loan forgiveness. Working longer in a particular area makes a social worker eligible for a greater amount deducted from their loan.
With the right planning you can start in your chosen career as soon as you graduate from college. If your interests and your qualifications chime with one of these eligible careers, you could be a lot better off thanks to one of many great loan forgiveness programs.
Sienna Walker is a careers blogger who often writes for students and young people entering the workforce. Currently supporting DirectorStats, Sienna is always happy when her articles meet with interest of young job-seekers and business people. Follow her on @SiennaWalkerS.