Top 10 Ways to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven

With the climbing cost of education, student loan debt is becoming a bigger burden with each graduating class. Luckily, however, there are a few ways to reduce, or even eliminate, your student loan debt.

Consider these career strategies to shrink your student loan debt:

  1. Join the military. Serve Uncle Sam and you can eliminate up to 100% of your student loans. The amount of forgiveness depends on the type of student loan and where you’re stationed. If you’re considering joining the military, speak to a recruiter and ask for more information.
  2. Become a nurse. Due to the demand for more nurses, nurses are eligible to receive 100% forgiveness for Federal Perkins Loans. Nurses also enjoy high salaries, especially considering that it only requires two years to learn to become a registered nurse.
  3. Work with the disabled. Many organizations offer this student loan forgiveness program. If you provide early intervention services to the disabled, you may qualify for up to 100% forgiveness of your Federal Perkins Loans.
  4. Become a faculty member at a Tribal university. The government has labeled a few colleges and universities as tribal schools. These primarily serve Native Americans or Alaskan Natives. If you teach at one of these schools, you can have up to 100% of your Perkins Loan forgiven.
  5. Join the Peace Corp as a volunteer. You can have a great experience in a new country, help others, and reduce your student loan debt at the same time. You can earn up to 70% forgiveness of your Federal Perkins Loans.
  6. Join AmeriCorps VISTA. This is similar to the Peace Corp, but serves challenged areas of the U.S. Again, loan forgiveness can be up to 70%. Perhaps not exotic as the Peace Corp, but you can potentially stay close to home.
  7. Become a teacher. There are many places in the U.S. in desperate need of teachers. Most of these areas serve lower-income neighborhoods. Teach for five years and you can eliminate up to $17,500 worth of Federal Stafford loans. However, Plus Loans are not eligible.
  8. Become an educator. This program is much broader than the program aimed solely at teachers and will forgive up to 100% of Federal Perkins Loans. You can be a speech pathologist, school librarian, staff member at a pre-kindergarten program, or even a teacher. Other professions can also qualify.
    • Depending on the position, you may have to work for a certain number of years or have an advanced degree.
  1. Become a firefighter. If you’ve considered becoming a firefighter, there’s good news. You can receive up to 100% forgiveness of your Federal Perkins Loans after serving a few years.
  2. Become a police officer or corrections officer. The firefighter plan also applies to police officers and corrections officers.

Many career options offer partial or complete student loan forgiveness. There’s a common theme to these programs: you must be providing an important service to those in need. You can gain valuable experience and enjoy the knowledge that you’re helping to improve the lives of others while you get rid of your student loans.