ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Don’t Want to Pay Back Student Loans? Go Into Public Service

Updated on April 2, 2013

Learn More About Income Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Would you give ten years to public service for student loan forgiveness?

See results

A few lucky students enter college knowing exactly what they want to do when they graduate. Most of us, however, take a murkier and more winding path through our college careers. During that time we may accrue four, five or even more years worth of student loan debt. At the end of that process, we have a degree but it may not be one that guarantees us a job after graduation. What should you do if you find yourself in this position? One smart answer might be to enter the field of public service. Doing so allows you to not only gain valuable work experience but also to have the opportunity to eliminate your student loan debt through a loan forgiveness program.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

The federal government created this program in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.It requires you to work full-time in the field of public service for ten years. During that time you do need to make small monthly payments on your student loans. However, at the end of the ten years, the amount of money that you still owe on your student loans will be forgiven. In other words, that debt is wiped out because you’ve effectively contributed to your society. You no longer owe those school loans at all.

Some of the rules of the program

o To qualify for the program you must be employed in a public service field. This can include working for AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, working for a nonprofit organization or working for the government itself.

o This must be full time employment. Typically this means working at least thirty hours per week or more although this may vary depending on the nature of the work that you do.

o Only Federal Direct Loans are included in the loan forgiveness program. This includes things like Stafford loans and federal student debt consolidation loans. It does not include other loans such as Parent PLUS loans or private commercial loans.

o You must make on-time monthly payments on your student loan during the ten years prior to the forgiveness of the loan for a total of 120 monthly payments. There are rules surrounding this repayment including that you are not allowed to choose an extended repayment plan. However, you can choose an income based repayment plan which should make the debt payments manageable for you during the time that you are working in public service.

Signs that this is a good program for you:

o You already plan to work in an area of public service. If you are entering a field such as social work, education or public defender law then you’re going to be working in public service anyway. Why not make this work for you by applying to participate in the loan forgiveness program.

o You aren’t sure what type of work you want to do now that you’ve graduated. Many students graduate with degrees in very general fields and then aren’t sure what to do with those degrees. Instead of getting a job as a bartender or customer service representative, consider using your time to help others by entering a public service field. You can spend the next ten years gaining work experience while you figure out what else you might like to do in the future. At the end of the ten years, you’ll have a better picture of the work that you want to do and you’ll be debt-free.

o You have racked up a lot of student loan debt and can’t imagine how you are ever going to pay it off. This is one option for getting that debt taken care of in just ten years rather than spending a lifetime paying it off. You do have to commit ten years of your life to others in your work but there are a lot of different job options that you can select to make this happen.

o You plan to take a long time to repay your loans. This program is not for people who are using a standard ten year repayment plan for their student loan debt. That’s because the debt would already be paid off at the end of ten years and there would be nothing left to forgive. Instead, it is for people who are choosing to extend their loan repayment through programs like income-based repayment.

Signs that this is not a good program for you:

o You have a career path in mind that does not include public service. Think about this carefully, though, because there are many public service positions available and you could possibly take your career path in that direction after all.

o You have the opportunity to earn a high income immediately after graduating without participating in public service. In that case you should be able to repay your loan yourself within the next ten years and therefore don’t need this program’s assistance.

o The majority of your loans are private loans. If you don’t have a significant amount of federal student loan debt then this program isn’t going to be able to help you out. If you’ve consolidated your loans into a private loan then it’s not going to work for you either.

o You are using an extended repayment or graduated repayment plan. These repayment plans are not eligible for participation in the program and therefore the program wouldn’t work for you.

The student loan forgiveness program is a great way to defray the costs of your education while performing important public service duties at the start of your career. However, it’s not right for everyone. Consider it carefully. If it’s something that interests you then you can get more information about the application process through the U.S. Department of Education.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    7 years ago from London, UK

    Very good and helpful information. Great hub.

  • profile image

    Contrice 

    7 years ago

    Heck Yeah, where I live, elementary teachers that work at Title 1 schools can receive up to 5 or 6 thousand dollars for their student loans. High school math and science teachers can receive up to 20,000 dollars in loan forgiveness.

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    7 years ago from San Francisco

    This whole public service debt repayment option is fascinating - and a big reason, I imagine, why many of my friends opted for public service jobs!

  • DogDays profile image

    DogDays 

    7 years ago

    Does this include public education?

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)