How Do Nurses Apply for Loan Forgiveness?
There are three different types of loan forgiveness that are available to nurses: the public service loan forgiveness, Federal Nursing Education Loan Repayment program, and Federal Perkins Loan Discharge/Cancellation for Full-Time Nurses. These three programs are available to nurses no matter what state they live or work in. There are other programs available by state, but these are the most commonly used methods for nursing loan forgiveness. Each one has different requirements for how to apply and be accepted for loan forgiveness.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness is available only to those borrowers who work full-time in the public service industry. In order to qualify to apply for this program, you must have a full-time public service job in the healthcare or education industries. Then you must have already made 120 payments on your loan of a qualifying amount. Once it is established that you have met both of those requirements, your application for this type of loan forgiveness will given full consideration. It is important to continue making loan payments while you are waiting to hear back on your loan forgiveness. If your loan goes into default while your application is being considered, it will more than likely be denied.
The Federal Nursing Education Loan repayment program is an extremely competitive program to get into. You can only apply after you have graduated and the program pays back 60% of your loan balance in exchange for two years of employment service at a critical shortage hospital. You may also be offered an additional 25% repayment of your loan if you agree to work an additional year at the same facility. That is not a bad deal to have up to 85% of your student loans for nursing paid back in exchange for working at a specific medical facility. The application period for this program is only from January to March and, as I mentioned earlier, it is very competitive to get into.
The Federal Perkins Loan Discharge/Cancellation for Full-Time Nurses program is for those nursing students with Federal Perkins loans who have already graduated. The loan discharge varies by case, but there is the possibility of getting up to 100% of your Perkins loan for nursing forgiven in exchange for a certain amount of time of employment as a nurse. You must get the application from your college that supplied the Federal Perkins loan funds to you and apply through them. While you are working as a nurse, your payments will be deferred and then forgiven once you have completed your term of service that was agreed upon. All of these are very good options for nursing students with a lot of student loans.