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Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program: Quick Overview

Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.

If you have a Direct Consolidation Loan or a Federal Consolidation Loan, you may be eligible for forgiveness of the outstanding portion of the consolidation loan that repaid an eligible Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Eligibility Requirements

  • You must not have had an outstanding balance on Direct Loans or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans as of Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date that you obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998.

  • You must have been employed as a full-time, highly qualified teacher for five complete and consecutive academic years, and at least one of those years must have been after the 1997–98 academic year.

  • You must have been employed at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves low-income students (a “low-income school or educational service agency”).

  • The loan(s) for which you are seeking forgiveness must have been made before the end of your five academic years of qualifying teaching service.

The Federal Student Aid center offers the following loan forgiveness programs:

  1. Teacher Loan Forgiveness for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  2. Teacher Cancellation for Federal Perkins Loans

The programs do not cite teacher salaries as a determinate for approval if you meet the other requirements.

Both programs are aimed at teachers who work at low-income designated school districts, target particular subjects, and teachers who teach special education.  Check to see if you’re school is designated as a low-income school for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.

Check to see if your school has this low-income designation and if you meet the other qualification to have your student loan debt forgiven.

Learn more about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program on

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