Loan consolidation basically means that you can combine all your loans of a specific type into a single loan! This can work for federal direct student loans, federal gradPLUS loans, direct PLUS loans, and private loans, but you can’t combine federal loans and private loans. Call us at the Hardin Simmons Financial Aid office, we would love to help! Visit studentloans.gov to learn more about federal loan consolidation, including specific instructions.
Loan forgiveness is the term used for when the federal government cancels a student loan. This all began in 1958 with the first National Defense Education Act of 1958. Since then, tons of repayment and forgiveness programs have started. The info we listed here is by no means comprehensive, but it is a small snapshot. All of the loan forgiveness programs have a few similarities:
- Only federal loans are eligible for federal forgiveness programs. Private educational loans are not included.
- Federal loan forgiveness is only available to students when they have graduated, and any post-graduation grace periods have been completed.
- None of the federal loan forgiveness programs are automatic. The eligible borrower must complete and submit all required forms and documents for the forgiveness process to begin.
When and if loans are forgiven, the borrower has to report the canceled loans as income when their tax liability for the year is calculated. If you are a part of volunteer work, military, teaching, or practicing medicine, you could meet the requirements for several federal loan forgiveness programs.
If you are wanting to work in healthcare, make sure you check out their loan forgiveness programs when deciding where to work! Contact the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1488; 1-800-999-2782) or the American Occupational Therapy Association (P.O. Box 31220, 47200 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220; 1-301-652-2682).
This program encourages students to enter and continue to work in public service jobs! In the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you can receive forgiveness for the rest of your loan after you make 120 on-time payments while working full time for certain public service employers, including non-profits. You can receive loan forgiveness for all of these positions!
- Emergency management
- Military service
- Public safety
- Law enforcement
- Public interest law services
- Early childhood education (including licensed or regulated childcare, Head Start, and state-funded pre-kindergarten)
- Public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly
- Public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations)
- Public education
- Public library services
- School library or other school-based services