Tech students put a lot of time, nerve, patience, and effort into their studies. Unfortunately, when it comes to federal benefits, they do not find any program specifically designed for them.
However, there still exist loan forgiveness options that have more applicability to tech students. This guide presents the four most popular loan forgiveness programs for tech students.
1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is one of the most distinguished debt cancellation options regardless of the study field. This program grants 100% debt forgiveness once the borrower makes 120 qualifying payments. Hence, it takes at least ten years to receive the benefit.
If tech students start to work in federal, state, tribal, or local government, they can immediately progress toward the loan forgiveness program. Besides, borrowers providing service in non-profit establishments can also qualify for this opportunity.
Keep in mind that PSLF has extensive eligibility requirements for loans, workplace, work hours, repayment process, etc. Hence, it is necessary to get familiar with all details before applying for this program.
If you work full-time or part-time in one of the areas mentioned above, you can qualify for forgiveness. However, part-time employees should have more than one work to fulfill the full-time requirement.
Additionally, loan types matter. Only Direct loans qualify for this loan forgiveness option. Moreover, borrowers need to repay the debt 120 times through Income-driven repayment plans. Each payment should be in full amount and made on time.
You can contact the loan servicer, FedLoan Servicing, to apply this loan forgiveness program for tech students.
2. Closed School Discharge
Some of the schools that provided tech education closed during recent years. If your school closes while studying or shortly after withdrawal, you can apply for Closed School Discharge (CSD).
CSD is one of the loan forgiveness programs for tech students that do not have many requirements. You should be:
- Enrolled during the closure or
- Withdrawn less than 120 days before the closure
There also exists an exception to this rule. If you received your loan after July 2020, the withdrawal window is not 120 days but 180 days.
However, keep in mind that you cannot transfer your credits to a comparable program. So, for example, if you use your credits in a closed school to continue tech education in another school, you will not qualify for discharge.
It is enough to contact the loan servicer to request forgiveness if your school closes. However, borrowers can also become automatically eligible for the discharge three years after closure. If you do not want to wait for automatic discharge, contact the loan servicer.
3. ITT Tech Student Loan Forgiveness
ITT Tech is well-known for its closure and subsequent forgiveness programs that protect its students. Recently, the Education Department announced that they allocated $1.1 billion discharge to 115,000 borrowers. This loan forgiveness applied to students who left ITT tech after March 2008.
The majority of the loan forgiveness covered borrowers who did not enroll in a new school- for the comparative field- within three years. However, it is also possible to qualify for this loan forgiveness even if a student enrolled in a new school but could not complete the program to get a degree.
If you studied in ITT Tech, it is highly advisable to follow the news for any updates. You can also talk to your loan servicer to identify if you qualify.
4. Borrower’s Defense to Repayment
School closure is not the only case when schools mislead tech students. Lying about quality of education, the true cost of the program, or job replacement rates after graduation are equally catastrophic.
If you faced any unethical, illegal action by the school officials which affected your education decision, you could apply for Borrower’s Defense to Repayment.
It is one of the loan forgiveness programs for tech students that thrives during Biden’s administration. Many borrowers that previously received partial forgiveness through this program got full forgiveness during Biden’s presidency. Besides, more applications are reviewed and granted forgiveness, indicating that it is the best time to apply for this program.
The most significant condition for this forgiveness option is proving that the school engaged in fraudulent activity. For example, you can prove your case with email communications where the officials lied to you or brochures that utilize fake advertising.
What Other Options Exist?
Receiving forgiveness means your debt will be canceled, and you will not pay a penny from your pocket. As its benefit is huge, it is also a complex process. If you do not qualify for loan forgiveness programs for tech students, you can check other options such as grants and scholarships.
In addition, each state and school has its programs to reward high-performing students, and maybe your state/school has similar programs for tech students. Besides, you can refinance your debt for lower interest rates or change repayment plans for more affordable payments.
Also Read- Check If You Can Afford a Loan