Your Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness as a Nonprofit Employee

Working in the nonprofit sector can be rewarding. It can give you purpose and passion for your job. But it can also mean long hours and low pay.

If you have student loan debt, managing payments on a nonprofit salary can be difficult. However, there are various student loan forgiveness and repayment assistance programs that can help. Read on for more about nonprofit student loan forgiveness nonprofit options.

1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Amount of student loan forgiveness: 100% of student loan debt

One of the most popular nonprofit student loan forgiveness options is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF). Under PSLF, workers employed through a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization may qualify to have all of their loans forgiven. On top of that, no taxes are imposed on the forgiven amount, which is a huge benefit compared to forgiveness under an income-driven repayment plan.

How to qualify

To qualify for PSLF, you’ll need to serve for 10 years at a qualified 501(c)(3) and make a total of 120 payments (PSLF payments don’t need to be consecutive). During the 10 years of service, your employment must be full time, which is defined as 30 hours or more.

If you work under a program like Americorps or the Peace Corps, your employment can still count.

You must have Direct Loans that are repaid on an income-driven repayment plan to be eligible for PSLF.

How to get started with PSLF

During your service years, make sure you qualify for PSLF by turning in an Employment Certification Form every year. It’s also a good idea to submit it each time you change jobs as well.

After submitting your paperwork for 10 years and making 120 qualifying payments, you can submit your PSLF application to:

U.S. Department of Education

FedLoan Servicing

P.O. Box 69184

Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

You can also fax your paperwork to:

(717) 720-1628

If FedLoan Servicing is your current loan servicer, you can upload your PSLF paperwork through its web portal.


2. Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Amount of student loan forgiveness: $5,000 or $17,500

If you work at a nonprofit school that qualifies, you may be eligible for Teacher Loan Forgiveness. Though it doesn’t provide forgiveness for all of your student loans, it can provide some student loan repayment assistance.

How to qualify

To qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, you must work full time at a low-income school and serve for five years to get student loan forgiveness of $5,000 or $17,500, depending on which subject you teach. To receive the maximum amount, you need to be deemed a highly qualified math, science or special education teacher.

Teachers must be licensed. Depending on the grade level, you may also have additional requirements you need to meet, such as passing a subject test or having an advanced degree.

How to get started with Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Verify that your place of employment qualifies for this nonprofit student loan forgiveness program. You can confirm whether you’re employed by an eligible school by searching the Teacher Cancellation Low Income (TCLI) directory for your school or organization.

After working for five years toward this forgiveness program, you can submit the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application to your loan servicer.

3. Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation

Amount of student loan forgiveness: 100% of student loan debt

If you work at a nonprofit elementary or secondary school, you could get all of your Perkins Loans cancelled.

How to qualify

To qualify for Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation, you must work at a nonprofit school and serve low-income families, teach in special education or teach a subject that has a shortage of teachers.

How to get started with Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation

To get the full amount of nonprofit student loan forgiveness, you need to serve for five years. Each year earns you a portion of student loan debt forgiveness.

  • Years 1 and 2: 15% of loans are forgiven
  • Years 3 and 4: 20% of loans are forgiven
  • Year 5: 30% of loans are forgiven

You must apply to have your loans forgiven through the school’s loan servicer or with the school that disbursed your loans. You can get the appropriate paperwork through your school and submit the forms back to the school for student loan forgiveness.

4. National Health Service Corps State Loan Repayment Program

Amount of student loan forgiveness: Varies by state

If you’re a clinician, you may be eligible for student loan forgiveness as a nonprofit employee with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP).

How to qualify

To qualify for this program, you must work in a qualified field. According to the NHSC website, eligible clinicians include:

  • Allopathic Medicine (MD)
  • Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
  • General and Pediatric Dentistry (DDS/DMD)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)
  • Health Service Psychologist (HSP) (Clinical and Counseling)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Psychiatric Nurse Specialist (PNS)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Pharmacist (Pharm)
  • Substance Use Disorder Counselors

You must work full time for two years or part time for four years. Clinicians are required to serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) at public or nonprofit sites. The three areas that qualify include mental health, dental health and primary medical care. The amount you can qualify for varies by state.

How to get started with NHSC SLRP

To get started with this program, you’ll want to check your eligibility and then apply for the NHSC SLRP program online. If you have any questions about the program, you can call the National Health Service Corps directly at 1-800-221-9393.

Get started with 501(c)(3) student loan forgiveness

If you’re looking for 501(c)(3) student loan forgiveness or student loan forgiveness nonprofit options, check out these various programs. Doing your research to see which program you’d get the most value from, based on your eligibility, can help you chip away (or completely eliminate) your student loan debt. Rewarding work doesn’t have to be such a burden with student loans if you can pursue these programs.

Refinance student loans and get a bonus in 2019

Not sure what to do with your student loans?

Take our 11 question quiz to get a personalized recommendation of whether you should pursue PSLF, IDR forgiveness, or refinancing (including the one lender we think could give you the best rate).

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