How can I cancel my student loan? PSLF derogations and more

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Despite calls for the US government to cancel all or part of federal student loans, there is no indication that such a decision is in the works. For now, millions of borrowers will have to resume student loan repayments when the current payment moratorium ends on September 1, 2022.

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However, even if lawmakers don’t pass some kind of forgiveness legislation, there are still ways to get your loans forgiven through government programs. You will need to meet specific eligibility criteria to be eligible, but if you do, you can have all or part of your loan cancelled.

Here are some loan forgiveness options described by the studentaid.gov website.

Teacher loan forgiveness

This option is available to those who teach full-time for five full, consecutive school years in certain elementary or secondary schools, or work in educational service agencies that serve low-income families. If you qualify, you may be eligible for a rebate of up to a combined total of $17,500 on qualifying federal student loans.

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Civil Service Loan Waiver (PSLF)

If you work full-time for a government or non-profit organization, you may be eligible to have your entire remaining direct loan balance forgiven after making 120 qualifying payments, or 10 years. To qualify for PSLF, Studentaid.gov says you must repay your federal student loans under an income-driven repayment plan. You can learn more about PSLF by calling 855-265-4038.

Note that if you were denied loan forgiveness under the PSLF because one or all of the payments you made on your direct loans were under an ineligible repayment plan, you may be eligible. to a temporary extended public service loan forgiveness.

Income Based Reimbursement Plan (IDR)

Borrowers repaying their loans under an IDR plan can have their remaining balances canceled after making a certain number of payments over a certain period of time.

Other options

In addition to the above discount options, you may also qualify for benefits such as reduced interest rates and financial rewards to help pay off your student debt if you served in the U.S. military or in the AmeriCorps.

If you don’t qualify for the rebate, you may still be able to reduce the amount of student debt you owe. You will need to contact your loan manager to see if you can do the following:

  • Change your repayment plan to reduce your monthly payments
  • Consolidate multiple federal loans into one loan, which could result in a lower monthly payment
  • Request a deferral or forbearance to temporarily defer or reduce your payments

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who has previously held positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work has also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a BA in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting has earned him awards from the North Carolina Press Association, Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A North Carolina native who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story “Saint Christopher” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest short story competition. Two of her short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. Her first novel, Voodoo Hideaway, is published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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